Francisco Medina PhD, Technology Leader, EWI
Andrew Heidloff PhD, AM&E Powder Plant Engineering Manager, Praxair Surface Technologies Inc
In the past decade metals Additive Manufacturing (AM) has experienced significant growth as evidenced by the surge of metal AM systems being commissioned. In 2015 alone, over 950 systems were sold and an estimated 1700 systems will be sold in 2016. Electron Beam Melting (EBM) is a powder bed fusion technology that uses alloyed powder and a focused energy source to melt and build 3D components. A advantage of this technology is its ability to build materials that are traditionally hard to cast or weld like the intermetallic alloy γ-TiAl which is prone to cracking, providing a low casting production yield. γ-TiAl, is used in aerospace applications that require material stability at high temperatures while possessing a high strength-to-weight ratio. Therefore, γ-TiAl is a strategic material that can exploit this powder bed fusion benefit of EBM by providing a stable high temperature environment throughout the part build process eliminating the stresses induced by the rapid cooling that occurs with other AM technologies. This presentation will discuss a unique methodology to assist its powder production partner in γ-TiAl material parameter development. This multi-phase development approach included powder-characterization, material parameter development, build-sample analysis and mechanical testing.