Argonne National Laboratory is reporting a solution to the problem of ensuring the reproducibility of 3D printed parts, of detecting and stopping defects during the build.
Researchers have added an infrared camera to the high-energy X-ray source at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. This camera can be used to measure thermal signatures across surfaces in real time.
Previously, Argonne researchers integrated a metal 3-D printing apparatus into the photon path, or beam line, for x-ray diagnostics. Researchers can view metal powder melting in the melt pool area, where melting occurs in less than a nanosecond. The addition of a high-speed infrared camera enables researchers to watch the deposition processes.
The combined diagnosis tools capture X-ray images at 1,000,000 frames per second and thermal images at 100,000 frames per second during printing. The result is a “movie” of the formation process, including when defects arise because of melt pool instability and powder spatter ejection.
The combination of X-ray microscopy and high-speed thermal imaging can show how much and how fast different regions in a part heat up and cool down during the entire build. This information can be used to help improve the efficiency of additive manufacturing.
The infrared camera is located at the Advanced Photon Source’s 32-ID-B beamline. The IR camera was funded through an LDRD program as part of Argonne’s Manufacturing Science and Engineering Program.
Argonne National Laboratory