Structural fluctuations in thin cohesive particle layers in powder-based additive manufacturing

Sudeshna Roy*, Hongyi Xiao, Vasileios Angelidakis, Thorsten Pöschel

*Corresponding author for this work

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Producing dense and homogeneous powder layers with smooth free surface is challenging in additive manufacturing, as interparticle cohesion can strongly affect the powder packing structure and therefore influence the quality of the end product. We use the Discrete Element Method to simulate the spreading process of spherical powders and examine how cohesion influences the characteristics of the packing structure with a focus on the fluctuation of the local morphology. As cohesion increases, the overall packing density decreases, and the free surface roughness increases, which is calculated from digitized surface height distributions. Local structural fluctuations for both quantities are examined through the local packing anisotropy on the particle scale, obtained from Voronoï tessellation. The distributions of these particle-level metrics quantify the increasingly heterogeneous packing structure with clustering and changing surface morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages14
JournalGranular Matter
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Anisotropy
  • Cohesion
  • Discrete element method
  • Powder spreading
  • Surface roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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