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Microscopic defects that occur in laser-based manufacturing of metal parts can lead to big problems if undetected, and the process of fixing these flaws can increase the time and cost of high-tech manufacturing. But new research into the cause of these flaws could lead to a remedy.
Researchers from Missouri S&T, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Utah created high-speed X-ray “movies” of a manufacturing phenomenon known as laser spattering. Laser spattering refers to the ejection of molten metal from a pool heated by a high-power laser during laser-based manufacturing processes, such as laser welding and laser-additive manufacturing. These laser manufacturing technologies are used to fabricate parts for use in a variety of industries, including aerospace, the automotive industry, health care and construction.
The researchers describe their findings in a paper published in Physical Review X in June. Dr. Lianyi Chen, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at S&T, is one of the paper’s corresponding authors.