The influence of a large build area on the microstructure and mechanical properties of PBF-LB Ti-6Al-4V alloy

Axieh Bagasol, Saranarayanan Ramachandran, Wajira Mirihanage, Denis Dowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) offers unique opportunities to produce metallic components without conventional design and manufacturing constraints. During additive manufacturing process, titanium alloys like Ti-6Al-4V undergo solid-state transformation that conceals initial solidification microstructure from This study investigated the print homogeneity of Ti-6Al-4 V alloy parts, when printed over a large build area of 250 ×
250 ×
170 mm3, using a production scale laser powder bed additive manufacturing system. The effect of part location across this large build area was investigated based on printed part porosity, microstructure, hardness, and tensile properties. In addition, a Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) treatment was carried out on the as-built parts, to evaluate its impact on the material properties. A small increase in part porosity from 0.01 to 0.09%, was observed with increasing distance from the argon gas flow inlet, which was located on one side of the build plate, during printing. This effect, which was found to be independent of height from the build plate, is likely to be associated with enhanced levels of condensate or spatter residue, being deposited at distances, further from the gas flow. Despite small differences in porosity, no significant differences were obtained for microstructural features such as prior β grain, α
lath thickness, and phase fraction, over the entire build area. Due to this, mechanical performances such as hardness and tensile strengths were also found to be homogenous across the build area. Additionally, it was also observed based on the lattice constants that partial in-situ decomposition of α′→α+β
phases occurred during printing. Post HIP treatment result showed a decrease of 7 and 6%, in the yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS), respectively, which was associated with a coarsening of α
lath widths. The potential of the laser powder bed system for large area printing was successfully demonstrated based on the homogenous microstructure and mechanical properties of the Ti-6Al-4 V alloy parts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355
Number of pages14
JournalThe International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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