The emergence of Additive Layer Manufacturing is an exciting development in powder metallurgy, which requires powder of consistently high quality. Gas atomisation is a specialised processing route for the production of fine, spherical powders. However, fully understanding and exerting a high level of control over this process is a challenge faced by industry.
Utilising Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), an axi-symmetric simulation of a production gas atomiser has been undertaken. Coupling the CFD with a Discrete Particle Model, an assessment has been made of the effect of process parameters on the produced powders particle size distribution (PSD). Appropriate models to capture the secondary break-up phenomenon of the atomising melt have been investigated, with process data used for the model's validation. As a result, a simulation methodology has been found to predict accurately the effect of operational parameter changes on PSD, which will be of benefit when optimising the process.