Monash University researchers create high-strength titanium alloy using Additive Manufacturing

September 21, 2022

Nanotwinned α-precipitates in the PBF-LB microstructure after post-heat treatment at 480°C/6h (Courtesy Professor Huang, Aijung and Dr Zhu, Yuman, et al, ‘Ultrastrong nanotwinned titanium alloys through additive manufacturing)
Nanotwinned α-precipitates in the PBF-LB microstructure after post-heat treatment at 480°C/6h (Courtesy Professor Huang, Aijung and Dr Zhu, Yuman, et al, ‘Ultrastrong nanotwinned titanium alloys through additive manufacturing)

Researchers from Monash University, based in Melbourne, Australia, have published a study which demonstrates the use of Additive Manufacturing to develop an ultra-strong titanium alloy via the manipulation of its microstructure. The research, published in Nature Materials, was done on commercially available material.

The researchers used Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) to manufacture from ß-titanium alloy powders, exploiting the inherent thermal cycling and rapid cooling Additive Manufacturing to achieve a nanoprecipitation microstructure that the researchers believe is a first of its kind.

The additively manufactured parts were subjected to heat treatments at two different temperatures (480 and 520ºC); the tensile stress-strain curves of as-built and post-processed parts were measured. From the curves, the thermally treated samples showed what the researchers called an unexpectedly high level of strength, with a 50–70% relative improvement over the as-built sample. In particular, the UTS after the 480°C post-heat treatment reached the level of 1,611 MPa whilst maintaining a good uniform elongation of 5.4%.

“Titanium alloys require complex casting and thermomechanical processing to achieve the high strengths required for some critical applications,” stated Professor Aijun Huang. “We have discovered that Additive Manufacturing can exploit its unique manufacturing process to create ultra-strong and thermally stable parts in commercial titanium alloys, which may be directly implemented in service.”

He continued, “After a simple post-heat treatment on a commercial titanium alloy, adequate elongation and tensile strengths over 1,600 MPa are achieved – the highest specific strength among all 3D printed metal to date. This work paves the way to fabricate structural materials with unique microstructures and excellent properties for broad applications.”

The process is said to offer a new approach to precipitation strengthening commercial titanium alloys which will enable them to be used in load-bearing applications, making them well suited to aerospace, space, defence, energy and biomedical industries.

‘Ultrastrong nanotwinned titanium alloys through additive manufacturing’ was led by Professor Huang and Dr Yuman Zhu alongside Kun Zhang, Zhichao Meng, Kai Zhang, Peter Hodgson, Nick Birbilis, Matthew Weyland, Hamish L Fraser, Samuel Chao Voon Lim, Huizhi Peng, Rui Yang and Hao Wang. The paper is available here, in full.

www.monash.edu

Nanotwinned α-precipitates in the PBF-LB microstructure after post-heat treatment at 480°C/6h (Courtesy Professor Huang, Aijung and Dr Zhu, Yuman, et al, ‘Ultrastrong nanotwinned titanium alloys through additive manufacturing)

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Transforming access to medical implants with PrinterPrezz
  • Lessons from 2021’s Olympic bike crash
  • Xerox liquid metal AM
  • Additive Manufacturing for oil, gas and maritime
  • Multi-material metal parts by Powder Bed Fusion
  • Findings from Wohlers Report 2022
  • The challenge of grain size: X-ray powder diffraction analysis of parts made by metal AM

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

News from the industry…

    News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

    Browse the archive

    qweqw

    Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

    • AM machines
    • Process monitoring & calibration
    • Heat treatment & sintering
    • HIP systems & services
    • Pre- & post-processing technology
    • Powders, powder production and analysis
    • Part manufacturers
    • Consulting, training & market data
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap