Numerical modelling of heat transfer and experimental validation in powder-bed fusion with the virtual domain approximation

Eric Neiva, Michele Chiumenti, Miguel Cervera, Emilio Salsi, Gabriele Piscopo, Santiago Badia, Alberto F. Martín, Zhuoer Chen, Caroline Lee, Christopher Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Among metal additive manufacturing technologies, powder-bed fusion features very thin layers and rapid solidification rates, leading to long build jobs and a highly localized process. Many efforts are being devoted to accelerate simulation times for practical industrial applications. The new approach suggested here, the virtual domain approximation, is a physics-based rationale for spatial reduction of the domain in the thermal finite-element analysis at the part scale. Computational experiments address, among others, validation against a large physical experiment of 17.5 [cm3] of deposited volume in 647 layers. For fast and automatic parameter estimation at such level of complexity, a high-performance computing framework is employed. It couples FEMPAR-AM, a specialized parallel finite-element software, with Dakota, for the parametric exploration. Compared to previous state-of-the-art, this formulation provides higher accuracy at the same computational cost. This sets the path to a fully virtualized model, considering an upwards-moving domain covering the last printed layers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103343
Number of pages17
JournalFinite Elements in Analysis and Design
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Additive manufacturing (AM)
  • Finite elements (FE)
  • High performance computing (HPC)
  • Powder-bed fusion (PBF)
  • Selective laser melting (SLM)
  • Thermal analysis

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