Asymmetric Cracking in Mar-M247 Alloy Builds During Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing
In the electron beam powder bed fusion (EB-PBF) process, a substantial number of high-gamma prime Ni-based superalloys are considered as non-printable due to a high propensity to form cracks. In this research, we focused on computational modeling framework to predict solidification-related cracking phenomena in EB-PBF processes. The cracking analysis was performed on cylindrical overhang structures where the cracks are observed only on one side of the part. Comprehensive microstructural characterization correlated the cracking tendency to low-melting point liquid-film formation along columnar grain boundaries with high misorientation angles due to partitioning of alloying elements. Uncoupled numerical thermal and mechanical models were used to rationalize the relationship between process parameters, build geometry, and cracking. The simulations showed asymmetric temperature distributions and associated asymmetric tensile thermal stresses over a cross section due to differences in section modulus and periodic changes in beam scanning directions. The results provide a potential pathway based on spatially varying beam scanning strategies to reduce the cracking tendency during additive manufacturing of complex geometries on the overhang structure in high-gamma prime nickel-based superalloys.
The research was sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with UT-Battelle, LLC. The authors thank Dr. Alex Plotkowski of ORNL for constructive criticism.
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