The role of lattice defects, element partitioning and intrinsic heat effects on the microstructure in selective laser melted Ti-6Al-4V

Haubrich, J. and Gussone, J. and Barriobero-Vila, P. and Kürnsteiner, P. and Jägle, E.A. and Raabe, D. and Schell, N. and Requena, G.

Volume: 167 Pages: 136-148
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2019.01.039
Published: 2019

The microstructure and phase composition in selective laser melted (SLM) Ti-6Al-4V plays a key role for its mechanical performance. The microstructure evolution in SLM Ti-6Al-4V was studied in the as-built condition and after sub-transus heat treatments between 400 °C and 800 °C focusing on elemental partitioning and the role of lattice defects on precipitation of the β phase. With SLM parameters corresponding to low volume energy density (E V = 77 J/mm 3 ) the as-built microstructure consisted of acicular martensite and showed a higher density of lattice defects than that synthesized under high E V = 145 J/mm 3 condition. High energy X-ray synchrotron diffraction indicated the presence of ∼2 wt.% β-phase at this high E V . Moreover, atom-probe tomography revealed enrichments in β-stabilizers at one- and two-dimensional lattice defects. These fine enriched one-dimensional columnar and two-dimensional features are identified as precursors of β-phase, revealing the role of lattice defects for β-precipitation. Upon annealing at 400 °C and 530 °C, β-films began to fragment into β−platelets and nanoparticles, whereas annealing at 800 °C led to a coarse-lamellar α/β-microstructure. Moreover, α 2 -Ti 3 Al was found in the 400 °C annealed condition. In line with the microstructure changes, Vickers hardness increased upon annealing at temperatures up to 530 °C and dropped when coarsening occurred at higher temperatures. Substantial element partitioning occurred during thermally driven martensite decomposition, which was significantly stronger for Fe than for V. © 2019 Acta Materialia Inc.

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