Macroscale finite element (FE) models, with their ability to simulate additive manufacturing (AM) processes of metal parts and accurately predict residual stress distribution, are potentially powerful design tools. However, these simulations require enormous computational cost, even for a small part only a few orders larger than the melt pool size. The existing adaptive meshing techniques to reduce computational cost substantially by selectively coarsening are not well suited for AM process simulations due to the continuous modification of model geometry as material is added to the system. To address this limitation, a new FE framework is developed. The new FE framework is based on introducing updated discretized geometries at regular intervals during the simulation process, allowing greater flexibility to control the degree of mesh coarsening than a technique based on element merging recently reported in the literature. The new framework is evaluated by simulating direct metal deposition (DMD) of a thin-walled rectangular and a thin-walled cylindrical part, and comparing the computational speed and predicted results with those predicted by simulations using the conventional framework. The comparison shows excellent agreement in the predicted stress and plastic strain fields, with substantial savings in the simulation time. The method is then validated by comparing the predicted residual elastic strain with that measured experimentally by neutron diffraction of the thin-walled rectangular part. Finally, the new framework's capability to substantially reduce the simulation time for large-scale AM parts is demonstrated by simulating a one-half foot thin-walled cylindrical part.
A Computationally Efficient Finite Element Framework to Simulate Additive Manufacturing Processes
Manuscript received October 25, 2017; final manuscript received January 6, 2018; published online February 12, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Zhijian J. Pei.
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Jayanath, S., and Achuthan, A. (February 12, 2018). "A Computationally Efficient Finite Element Framework to Simulate Additive Manufacturing Processes." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. April 2018; 140(4): 041009. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4039092
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