Additive manufacturing (AM) enables innovative part geometries and dynamic production processes. AM submits the material to extremely high cooling rates and thermal gradients, which results in unique microstructures and materials
properties. OpenPhase provides detailed insights into microstructure evolution in the context of additive manufacturing.
Process parameters control dendrite spacing and shape, concentration gradients, nucleation kinetics and mechanical properties. OpenPhase evaluates these properties through simulation of physics-based models resolved in space and
time. The figure below shows the simulation of additive manufacturing in Ni-base superalloys (color scale: temperature, grey scale: nickel concentration). Using simulations like this, new process conditions and materials can
be explored quickly, saving valuable time and resources.
Correctly capturing temperature/energy input in additive manufacturing is paramount in additive manufacturing. This is not only relevant when simulating the initial rapid solidification, but also for simulating the influence the
repeated heating steps in a build process have on the microstructure.
OpenPhase® is equipped with two different ways of simulating temperature: direct, prescribed temperature history/temperature gradient or heat extraction/input where temperature is a result of solving the heat diffusion equation.
When using the former, i.e. prescribing the temperature history, the temperature and gradient can be set from a csv file, enabling quick and easy microstructure simulations from measured or simulated temperature history. The
latter method, simulating heat diffusion considers the significant latent heat generated by the phase transformation happening in additive manufacturing.
Thermodynamics and kinetics dictate the solidification path and ultimately are the most important factor for determining the final microstructure. OpenPhase therefore offers coupling to thermodynamic and kinetic databases currently
through Thermo-Calc® or OpenPhase® native databases with more interfaces to come. The thermodynamic and kinetic data is fed into the highly precise multi-component diffusion solver of OpenPhase®, solving for the diffusional
fluxes and the resulting phase distribution resolved in 3D space and time.