Inoculation Treatment of an Additively Manufactured 2024 Aluminium Alloy with Titanium Nanoparticles
38 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020 Publication Status: Accepted
Considerable studies on metal selective laser melting (SLM) have proved the necessity to refine microstructure parts fabricated by SLM in order to eliminate property anisotropy, hot-tearing and to increase the SLM-processability. In the present work, Ti nanoparticles, at the first time, were discovered to be an extremely effective inoculant for an SLMed 2024 aluminium alloy. 0.7 wt.% addition of Ti nanoparticles was capable of substantially eliminating the hot-tearing cracks and columnar structure, and refining the grains in the SLMed 2024 alloy in a broad processing window. The substantial grain refinement in the Ti-inoculated 2024 alloy was attributed to the in-situ formation of Al3Ti nanoparticles with a L12 ordered structure, which formed a coherent interface with Al matrix and therefore significantly promoted the heterogeneous nucleation of the α-Al during solidification of melt pools in the SLM process. After a conventional T6 heat treatment, this SLMed alloy exhibited a superior balance of strength and ductility (tensile strength was up to 432 ± 20 MPa and elongation of 10 ± 0.8%), which was comparable to its wrought counterpart. This work can be considered as a breakthrough in research of fabricating high-strength aluminium alloys using SLM.
Keywords: Selective laser melting, 2024 aluminium alloys, Grain refinement, EBSD, TEM
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