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LASER PULSE SHAPING FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

United States Patent Application

20170216966
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A system for melting powdered material and bonding it to the substrate below such as could be used for the additive manufacturing of a product includes a substrate, powder particles on the substrate, a pulsed laser that produces a pulsed laser beam with one or more low flux components on the order of kW/cm 2, and one or more high flux components on the order of MW/cm 2 during the duration of the pulse. The pulsed laser beam is directed onto the powder particles on the substrate thereby melting the powder particles and melting the substrate at the interface layer between the powder and the substrate such that the powder particles bond to the substrate. The laser further can be spatially patterned through the use of a mask such that portions of the laser pulse can be transmitted to the powder to be melted, and other portions can be rejected to prevent melting of the powder in desired locations. The system enables the conversion of powder to solid material in a layerwise fashion where the powder can be bonded to the substrate layer (or previous layer) such as is desired in the process of additive manufacturing. This is accomplished by using low power (and low cost) lasers to do the majority of the energy transfer, and using high power (and higher cost) lasers to complete the melting process, overcoming the kinetics of powder agglomeration through surface tension forces by partially melting the powder-substrate interface layer before surface tension can take effect on the molten powder particles.
DeMuth, James A. (Livermore, CA), Bayramian, Andrew J. (Manteca, CA), Duoss, Eric B. (Dublin, CA), Kuntz, Joshua D. (Livermore, CA), Spadaccini, Christopher M. (Oakland, CA)
15/ 010,107
January 29, 2016
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO APPLICATIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT [0002] The United States Government has rights in this application pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.