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Predicting Geometric Influences in Metal Additive Manufacturing...

by Peeyush Nandwana, Alexander J Plotkowski, Rangasayee Kannan, Sean Yoder, Ryan R Dehoff
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Materials Today Communications
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Metal additive manufacturing (AM) has evolved from scientific curiosity to a potential paradigm shift in materials manufacturing owing to its ability to control microstructure and fabricate complex geometries. However, geometry, often ignored as a variable, can have a significant impact on microstructure evolution, thereby indirectly limiting the design flexibility offered by AM. Currently, the process of retaining microstructure with changing geometry relies on trial and error-based processing followed by microstructural evaluation that places significant demands on time and costs associated with experimentation and characterization. We demonstrate that lightweight thermal models can be effectively used to predict microstructural changes with geometry. These models can in turn be used as precursors to developing geometry independent scan strategies and achieve microstructure control in various alloy systems. Even if the thermal signatures predicted by the model are not accurate, scan strategies can be developed to mimic the thermal conditions during initial process development. We present a case study on one of the most studied AM alloys: Ti-6Al-4V.