Metal additive manufacturing (AM) is used for both prototyping and production of final parts. Therefore, there is a need to predict and control the microstructural size and morphology. Process mapping is an approach that represents AM process outcomes in terms of input variables. In this work, analytical, numerical, and experimental approaches are combined to provide a holistic view of trends in the solidification grain structure of Ti-6Al-4V across a wide range of AM process input variables. The thermal gradient is shown to vary significantly through the depth of the melt pool, which precludes development of fully equiaxed microstructure throughout the depth of the deposit within any practical range of AM process variables. A strategy for grain size control is demonstrated based on the relationship between melt pool size and grain size across multiple deposit geometries, and additional factors affecting grain size are discussed.
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Gockel, J., Sheridan, L., Narra, S.P. et al. Trends in Solidification Grain Size and Morphology for Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V. JOM 69, 2706–2710 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-017-2601-6