Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have long been recognized for their ability to fabricate complex geometric components directly from models conceptualized through computers, allowing for complicated designs and assemblies to be fabricated at lower costs, with shorter time to market, and improved function. Lacking behind the design complexity aspect is the ability to fully exploit AM processes for control over texture within AM components. Currently, standard heat-fill strategies utilized in AM processes result in largely columnar grain structures. Proposed in this work is a point heat source fill for the electron beam melting (EBM) process through which the texture in AM materials can be controlled. Through this point heat source strategy, the ability to form either columnar or equiaxed grain structures upon solidification through changes in the process parameters associated with the point heat source fill is demonstrated for the nickel-base superalloy, Inconel 718. Mechanically, the material is demonstrated to exhibit either anisotropic properties for the columnar-grained material fabricated through using the standard raster scan of the EBM process or isotropic properties for the equiaxed material fabricated using the point heat source fill.
Notice of Copyright. This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).