Microstructures and Mechanical Properties of Hybrid, Additively Manufactured Ti6Al4V after Thermomechanical Processing
In the present study, we propose a hybrid manufacturing route to produce high-qualityTi6Al4V parts, combining additive powder laser directed energy deposition (L-DED) for manufacturing of preforms, with subsequent hot forging as a thermomechanical processing (TMP) step. After L-DED, the material was hot formed at two different temperatures (930 C and 1070 C)and subsequently heat-treated for stress relief annealing. Tensile tests were performed on small sub-samples, taking into account different sample orientations with respect to the L-DED build direction and resulting in very good tensile strengths and ductility properties, similar or superior to the forged material. The resulting microstructure consists of very fine grained, partially globularized alpha grains, with a mean diameter ~0.8-2.3 µm, within a beta phase matrix, constituting between 2 and 9% of the sample. After forging in the sub-beta transus temperature range, the typical lL-DED microstructure was no longer discernible and the anisotropy in tensile properties, common in additive manufacturing (AM), was significantly reduced. However, forging in the super-beta transus temperature range resulted in remaining anisotropies in the mechanical properties as well as an inferior tensile strength and ductility of the material. It was shown, that by combining L-DED with thermomechanical processing in the sub-beta transus temperature range of Ti6Al4V, a suitable microstructure and desirable mechanical properties for many applications can be obtained, with the advantage of reducing the material waste.