The Challenges Associated with the Formation of Equiaxed Grains during Additive Manufacturing of Titanium Alloys
It is well established that columnar grain structures usually form when metal alloys are used to additively manufacture components. A challenging goal is to produce an equiaxed grain structure throughout the component to remove anisotropy and refine the grain size in order to improve its mechanical performance. The high cooling rates and associated high temperature gradients are the main reasons for the formation of columnar grains via epitaxial growth of each added layer of material. There appear to be limited strategies for promoting equiaxed nucleation of grains. In addition to cooling rate and temperature gradient, we explore other variables such as the potency of natural or added inoculant particles and the composition of the alloy, and their possible impact on the nucleation of equiaxed grains. Although changing the composition can help, finding a suitably potent nucleant particle is a major challenge. Operating parameters can also influence the microstructure and optimization to produce equiaxed grains may be possible. The limitations of these strategies and possible ways to overcome them are evaluated.
Huiping Tang, Ma Qian, Yong Liu, Peng Cao and Gang Chen
D. H. St John et al., "The Challenges Associated with the Formation of Equiaxed Grains during Additive Manufacturing of Titanium Alloys", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 770, pp. 155-164, 2018