Titanium aluminides qualify adequately for advanced aero-engine applications in place of conventional nickel based superalloys. The combination of high temperature properties and lower density gives an edge to the titanium aluminide alloys. Nevertheless, challenges remain on how to process these essentially intermetallic alloys in to an actual product. Electron Beam Melting (EBM), an Additive Manufacturing Method, can build complex shaped solid parts from a given feedstock powder, thus overcoming the shortcomings of the conventional processing techniques such as machining and forging. The amount of energy supplied by the electron beam has considerable influence on the final build quality in the EBM process. Energy input is decided by the beam voltage, beam scan speed, beam current, and track offset distance. In the current work, beam current and track offset were varied to reflect three levels of energy input. Microstructural and mechanical properties were evaluated for these samples. The microstructure gradually coarsened from top to bottom along the build direction. Whereas higher energy favored lath microstructure, lower energy tended toward equiaxed grains. Computed tomography analysis revealed a greater amount of porosity in low energy samples. In addition, the lack of bonding defects led to premature failure in the tension test of low energy samples. Increase in energy to a medium level largely cancelled out the porosity, thereby increasing the strength. However, this trend did not continue with the high energy samples. Electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction investigations were carried out to understand this non-linear behavior of the strength in the three samples. Overall, the results of this work suggest that the input energy should be considered primarily whenever any new alloy system has to be processed through the EBM route.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited