To model Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) of single-component metal powders, melting of a subcooled powder bed with single-component metal powder is investigated analytically. Since laser processing of metal powder is a very rapid process, the liquid and solid phases of a partially molten powder particle may have different temperatures: the temperature in the liquid phase is higher than the melting point, and the temperature in the solid phase is below the melting point. Therefore, the local temperature of regions with partial molten particles is within a range of temperature adjacent to the melting point, instead of at melting point. In addition, the powder bed experiences a significant density change during melting. Therefore, melting of a metal powder bed can be modeled as a melting that occurs in a range of temperature with significant density change. The temperature distributions and locations of the various interfaces were obtained by solving the governing equations for solid, liquid and mushy zones in a one-dimensional system using an integral approximate method. The effects of porosity, sub-cooling, dimensionless thermal conductivity of gas, and dimensionless heat flux on the surface temperature and locations of the interfaces were investigated.

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