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Maturation and Implementation of Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (EB-PBF) of Ti-6Al-4V

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As Northrop Grumman (NG) continues to invest in research and development of rapidly maturing additive manufacturing (AM) technology, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of material properties as well as detailed, written specifications.  A cross-functional effort including NG Manufacturing Technology, Materials & Processes and Structures Engineering has worked to mature the AM electron beam powder bed fusion (EB-PBF) technology, specifically for Ti-6Al-4V, to a point in which it is ready for utilization in a production setting.  This multi-year development has culminated in the release of EB-PBF Ti-6Al-4V B-Basis design allowables, a full suite of specifications and demonstration of material performance predictability via a case study on an example part.  After a robust review of the generated data and studies, the technology was ultimately implemented on a restricted air program.  This presentation will detail the development and release of the aforementioned aspects of the process maturation including the fatigue, fracture toughness, and crack growth test program, probability of detection and implementation effort.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the specifications required to control the entire process chain for EB-PBF
  • Define the process in which probability of detection studies define the process in which probability of detection studies
  • Describe the entirety of the EB-PBF Ti-6Al-4V process
  • Peter Le
    Principal Manufacturing Engineer/Project Manager
    Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems
  • Eric Fodran
    Sr Staff Manufacturing Engineer
    Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems