This article presents a fully three-dimensional numerical study on the process of melt pool evolution. In order to overcome the simplifications used in many existing studies, an enthalpy method is developed for the phase change, and an accurate interface capturing method, i.e., the coupled volume-of-fluid and level set (VOSET) method, is employed to track the moving gas-liquid interface. Meanwhile, corresponding experimental studies are carried out for the purpose of validation. The obtained numerical results show the formed interface morphology during the process of melt pool with its typical sizes and are quantitatively consistent with those data measured in experiments. Based on the numerical results, the thermodynamic phenomena, induced by the interaction between heat and momentum exchange, occurring in the formation of melt pool are presented and discussed. Mechanisms of the melt pool evolution revealed in the present study provide a useful guidance for better controlling the process of additive manufacturing.

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