Titanium Alloy Optimization for Additive Manufacturing

Optimizes the composition of titanium alloys to produce an equiaxed grain structure in additively manufactured components.

The Need

The titanium additive manufacturing market is valued at $330 million, growing at a rapid pace and generating high revenue opportunities in the industry. As a result, optimizing the composition of titanium alloys for AM could prove to be extremely profitable. Additive manufacturing (AM) of current titanium alloys produces a columnar grain structure which leads to undesirable anisotropic material properties. Additional steps can reduce or eliminate the columnar grain structure, but the processes are costly and limit direct placement of the as-deposited component. As a result, applications for titanium alloy AM components are limited. There is a need to optimize the composition of titanium alloys for AM to improve the properties of manufactured components.

The Technology

Brian Welk and Hamish Fraser, researchers at The Ohio State University, have developed new titanium alloys for AM that reduce or eliminate the columnar grain structure typically observed in AM components. Alloying elements are added to pure titanium or titanium-based alloys to breakdown the columnar grain structure and form equiaxed grains. Mechanical testing of the alloys both perpendicular and parallel to the build direction show isotropic material properties. Ongoing research efforts have led the researchers to hypothesize that the equiaxed grain structure and isotropic material properties could allow the AM components to be put directly into service after manufacturing.

Commercial Applications

  • Titanium-based powders and wires for AM and welding

  • AM components in aerospace and healthcare applications

Benefits/Advantages

  • Broadens the application of titanium alloy AM components in aerospace and healthcare

  • Allows titanium AM components to be put directly into service

  • Decreases manufacturing cost and time

  • Eliminates additional processes, such as HIPing or heat treating, needed to breakdown the columnar structure and improve the material properties

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