A thermal model of the laser powder deposition (LPD) process has been developed and tested. Results obtained from the model, however, are dependent upon the magnitude of the laser energy absorbed during the process. Although spectral absorptivities of metal surfaces are described in literature, during the LPD process, the powder increases the energy delivered to the substrate. There are no published data regarding this affect. Therefore, the SDSM&T Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AML) is developing a calorimeter to experimentally investigate the affect of the powder on laser energy absorption at the metal substrate. The preliminary design is described in this paper with discussion on measures being taken to increase the accuracy of experimental data.

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