Wire-Based Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V Using Electron Beam Technique
Journal article, 2020
Electron beam freeform fabrication is a wire feed direct energy deposition additive manufacturing process, where the vacuum condition ensures excellent shielding against the atmosphere and enables processing of highly reactive materials. In this work, this technique is applied for the α + β-titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V to determine suitable process parameter for robust building. The correlation between dimensions and the dilution of single beads based on selected process parameters, leads to an overlapping distance in the range of 70-75% of the bead width, resulting in a multi-bead layer with a uniform height and with a linear build-up rate. Moreover, the stacking of layers with different numbers of tracks using an alternating symmetric welding sequence allows the manufacturing of simple structures like walls and blocks. Microscopy investigations reveal that the primary structure consists of epitaxial grown columnar prior β-grains, with some randomly scattered macro and micropores. The developed microstructure consists of a mixture of martensitic and finer α-lamellar structure with a moderate and uniform hardness of 334 HV, an ultimate tensile strength of 953 MPa and rather low fracture elongation of 4.5%. A subsequent stress relief heat treatment leads to a uniform hardness distribution and an extended fracture elongation of 9.5%, with a decrease of the ultimate strength to 881 MPa due to the fine α-lamellar structure produced during the heat treatment. Residual stresses measured by energy dispersive X-ray diffraction shows after deposition 200-450 MPa in tension in the longitudinal direction, while the stresses reach almost zero when the stress relief treatment is carried out.
wire feed process