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A Method for Producing Homogeneous Metallic Alloys from Additively Manufactured Consumable Arc-melt Electrodes


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Alex DeTrana
(865) 341-0423
Worker inspects gas turbine

Many advanced metallic alloys such as superalloys and high entropy alloys can be composed of as many as five or more elements. The constituents often vary greatly in melting point, vapor pressure and thermophysical properties that make them especially difficult to combine into a homogeneous alloy using traditional melt processes. Practical issues of combining, melting and containing complex high melting point alloys limit their development and adoption for many applications. This technology combines additive material deposition processes with vacuum arc re-melting as a new method to produce these alloys in a manner that overcomes traditional obstacles. 


Current laboratory scale arc-melt processes employed to create new alloys typically produce very small amounts of material, useful for experiments, but not practical for next steps in development and deployment. This technology provides a path to make kilogram quantities of complex new alloys efficiently. These larger quantities are needed for subsequent thermomechanical processing required to improve microstructures and impart improved properties. Larger quantities are also needed for characterization specimens and prototype components. This technology can be implemented with great efficiency and economy. Additive deposition processes can produce many compositionally blended electrodes from metal powders in a single day. Each electrode can be melted in a matter of minutes using vacuum arc re-melting. Thus, one could produce a matrix of homogenous alloy compositions in a single campaign. This approach is far more economical than traditional methods. 

Applications and Industries

  • Hypersonic capable materials and defense 
  • Advanced and refractive metal alloy industries 
  • Gas turbines 


  • Efficient method for alloy development 
  • Overcomes traditional alloy development obstacles 
  • Saves time, labor and money 
  • Produces significant quantities of material. 
  • Homogenous alloy compositions produced in one easy method 
  • Can work with and improve traditional methods