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Title: An instrument for in situ characterization of powder spreading dynamics in powder-bed-based additive manufacturing processes

In powder-bed-based metal additive manufacturing (AM), the visualization and analysis of the powder spreading process are critical for understanding the powder spreading dynamics and mechanisms. Unfortunately, the high spreading speeds, the small size of the powder, and the opacity of the materials present a great challenge for directly observing the powder spreading behavior. Here, we report a compact and flexible powder spreading system for in situ characterization of the dynamics of the powders during the spreading process by high-speed x-ray imaging. The system enables the tracing of individual powder movement within the narrow gap between the recoater and the substrate at variable spreading speeds from 17 to 322 mm/s. The instrument and method reported here provide a powerful tool for studying powder spreading physics in AM processes and for investigating the physics of granular material flow behavior in a confined environment.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Review of Scientific Instruments
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 043707
American Institute of Physics
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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