The Influence of Porosity on Fatigue Crack Initiation in Additively Manufactured Titanium Components

S. Tammas-Williams, P. J. Withers, I. Todd, P. B. Prangnell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Without post-manufacture HIPing the fatigue life of electron beam melting (EBM) additively manufactured parts is currently dominated by the presence of porosity, exhibiting large amounts of scatter. Here we have shown that the size and location of these defects is crucial in determining the fatigue life of EBM Ti-6Al-4V samples. X-ray computed tomography has been used to characterise all the pores in fatigue samples prior to testing and to follow the initiation and growth of fatigue cracks. This shows that the initiation stage comprises a large fraction of life (>70%). In these samples the initiating defect was often some way from being the largest (merely within the top 35% of large defects). Using various ranking strategies including a range of parameters, we found that when the proximity to the surface and the pore aspect ratio were included the actual initiating defect was within the top 3% of defects ranked most harmful. This lays the basis for considering how the deposition parameters can be optimised to ensure that the distribution of pores is tailored to the distribution of applied stresses in additively manufactured parts to maximise the fatigue life for a given loading cycle.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number7308
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    Early online date4 Aug 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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