The Potential for Grain Refinement of Wire-Arc Additive Manufactured (WAAM) Ti-6Al-4V by ZrN and TiN Inoculation

Jacob Kennedy, Alec Davis, A Caballero, S Williams, Ed Pickering, Phil Prangnell

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Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) of large near-net-shape titanium components has the potential to reduce costs and lead-time in many industrial sectors including aerospace. However, with titanium alloys, such as Ti-6Al-4V, standard WAAM processing conditions result in solidification microstructures comprising large cm-scale, <001> fibre textured, columnar β grains, which are detrimental to mechanical performance. In order to reduce the size of the solidified β-grains, as well as refine their columnar morphology and randomise their texture, two cubic nitride phases, TiN and ZrN were investigated as potential grain refining inoculants. To avoid the cost of manufacturing new wire, experimental trials were performed using powder adhered to the surface of the deposited tracks. With TiN particle additions, the β grain size was successfully reduced and modified from columnar to equiaxed grains, with an average size of 300 μm, while ZrN powder was shown to be ineffective at low addition levels studied. Clusters of TiN particles were found to be responsible for nucleating multiple β Ti grains. By utilizing the Burgers orientation relationship, EBSD investigation showed that a Kurdjumov-Sachs orientation relationship could be demonstrated between the refined primary β grains and TiN particles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021


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