Virtual and Physical Prototyping (Dec 2023)

Smart-substrate: a novel structural design to avert residual stress accretion in directed energy deposition additive manufacturing

  • Xufei Lu,
  • Guohao Zhang,
  • Michele Chiumenti,
  • Miguel Cervera,
  • Mehdi Slimani,
  • Liang Ma,
  • Lei Wei,
  • Xin Lin

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18, no. 1


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Residual stresses, related distortions and cracks are detrimental in metallic Additive Manufacturing (AM). Previously developed stress-control strategies based on reducing thermal gradients hardly diminish the stress concentrations at the built basement and easily affect other physical phenomena involved in AM. To overcome this, a novel strategy, named as Smart-Substrate, consisting of optimising the inner structure and local stiffness of the substrate is proposed to avert stress accretion and related part deformations. To demonstrate its advantages, a coupled thermomechanical finite element model for AM, experimentally calibrated with in-situ temperature and displacement measurements, is employed to analyse the thermal and mechanical behaviour of three groups of different structures with increasing geometrical complexity (single-wall, rectangular and block parts) fabricated by Directed Energy Deposit (DED) on the standard and smart substrates, respectively. Through using Smart-Substrate, the generation of residual stresses, especially the stress concentrations at the bottom corner of DED-builds being highly sensitive to cracks, and the induced deflections, are fundamentally throttled, and contrariwise for the standard substrate. More importantly, the use of Smart-Substrate is almost without prejudice to the temperature field, metallurgy and resulting mechanical hardness. This provides a possibility for addressing different physical problems individually, enlarging the AM process window.