Researchers review processes for tungsten Additive Manufacturing

July 6, 2022

A team of researchers from the University of California, Texas A&M University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has published a paper reviewing the efficacy of Additive Manufacturing refractory metal tungsten and tungsten alloys, in the journal Additive Manufacturing.

Tungsten and tungsten alloys are utilised for various industrial applications due to their high melting point (tungsten has a melting point of approximately 3,400°C) and high density, as well as other properties. Because of this melting point, however, tungsten is difficult to use in Laser Beam or Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB or PBF-EB, respectively), while tungsten alloys are typically processed via these technologies and Directed Energy Deposition (DED) Additive Manufacturing.

The paper identified the issue of cracking as particularly relevant to the PBF-LB process as it relates to tungsten. To reduce cracking, the researchers investigated combining pure tungsten powder with 1, 5, and 10% tantalum (Ta) powder. The 5% Ta mixture was shown to reduce grain size, though the 10% showed no further reduction. The researchers also reported solutions via altering the tracking technique, recrystallisation and reheating the substrates, thereby reducing (or eliminating) any tensions produced when additively manufacturing tungsten.

In their research, the team also found that issues associated with DED Additive Manufacturing – namely, thickness building, permeability and splitting – can also be addressed by parameter optimisation, good material integrity and surface preheating.

To date, there is relatively little research into PBF-EB Additive Manufacturing of refractory tungsten and tungsten alloys. The team behind ‘A review on additive manufacturing of refractory tungsten and tungsten alloys’ tested the performance of a tungsten component produced via PBF-EB and reported that the bond strength was reported to be less than standard wrought tungsten.

The paper was authored by Alberico Talignani, Raiyan Seede, Austin Whitt, Shiqi Zheng, Jianchao Ye, Ibrahim Karaman, Michael M Kirka, Yutai Kato, and Y Morris Wang and is available here.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

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

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

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

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

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
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap