Integrated Control of Solidification Microstructure and Melt Pool Dimensions In Additive Manufacturing Of Ti - 6Al - 4V
thesisposted on 2014-05-01, 00:00 authored by Joy E. Gockel
Additive manufacturing (AM) offers reduced material waste and energy usage, as well as an increase in precision. Direct metal AM is used not only for prototyping, but to produce final production parts in the aerospace, medical, automotive and other industries. Process mapping is an approach that represents process outcomes in terms of process input variables. Solidification microstructure process maps are developed for single bead and thin wall deposits of Ti-6Al-4V via an electron beam wire feed and electron beam powder bed AM process. Process variable combinations yielding constant beta grain size and morphology are identified. Comparison with the process maps for melt pool geometry shows that by maintaining a constant melt pool cross sectional area, a constant grain size will also be achieved. Additionally, the grain morphology boundaries are similar to curves of constant melt pool aspect ratio. Experimental results are presented to support the numerical predictions and identify a proportional size scaling between beta grain widths and melt pool widths. Results demonstrate that in situ, indirect control of solidification microstructure is possible through direct melt pool dimension control. The ability to control solidification microstructure can greatly accelerate AM process qualification potentially allow for tailored microstructure to the desired application.