Effect of EBM processing parameters on surface roughness and microstructure of Ti-6Al-4V

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Effect of EBM processing parameters on surface roughness and microstructure of Ti-6Al-4V

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Publication Conference Poster
Title Effect of EBM processing parameters on surface roughness and microstructure of Ti-6Al-4V
Author(s) Safdar, Adnan ; He, H.Z. ; Wei, Liu-Ying ; Snis, A. ; Zolotarevski, A. ; Paz, L.E.C. de
Date 2009
English abstract
Titanium and its alloys especially Ti-6Al-4V is an attractive biomaterial due to their excellent biocompatibility. Electron Beam Melting (EBM) is one of the Solid Free Form Fabrication (SFFF) methods to build 3D solid and near-net shape objects for medical implants and aerospace industry. EBM system utilizes a high energy electron beam to selectively melt a powder layer according to CAD file in a vacuum chamber. EBM system can manufacture complex 3D geometries requiring no or very little machining before use. The EBM systems are energy and material efficient. The microstructures and surface properties of objects produced by EBM can be influenced by the setting of different processing parameters in the EBM system. In this study solid slabs of Ti-6Al-4V, approximately 5 x 5 cm with various thicknesses were produced with different sets of processing parameters such as beam current, offset focus, scan speed and scan direction. The effects of these parameters on surface roughness, surface morphology and microstructure of slabs have been evaluated by using confocal microscopy, SEM /EDX and optical microscopy. The samples for optical microscopy and SEM were prepared by using standard metallographic methods. Microstructures of Ti-6Al-4V alloy produced by EBM usually consist of columnar grains as shown in Figure 1. These grains always grow parallel to build direction. Layers of different contrasts were observed in the samples where the layer interface is perpendicular to the build direction as shown in figure 2. The growth of columnar grains and appearance of layers with different contrasts were observed irrespective of the parameter values. These two observed phenomena can be attributed to the partial reheating / re-melting of the solidified layer by the electron beam during the melting of subsequent layer. The diameter of individual grain and density of grains are not uniform and usually decreases with increase in build height. Upon cooling from the β-transus temperature, more or less continuous α-layers were found to form along the prior β grain boundaries. In the EBM produced Ti-6Al-4V alloy the β -phase was found to be in rod-like geometry, with a size of 0.05-0.1μm in diameter, imbedded in the α-plates. It was observed that the high value of off set focus can cause porosity in the sample. For example the resultant porosity could be up to 11%. On the other hand where the value of offset focus is relatively small no such phenomenon was observed. Reconstruction of 3D surface topography and roughness coefficient (Ra) were computed by using images taken from confocal microscope and novel computer program “COMSTAT’’ [A.Heydorn et al (2000)]. Figure 3 shows a 3D reconstructed surface of the EBM produced sample. The Ra is computed by using the equation below: Where Lfi is the thickness of ith point, Lf is the mean thickness and N is the number of measurements. It has been observed that the value of Ra is processing parameters dependent. A sample with bigger thickness or higher current values tends to have relatively higher values of Ra. The scan speed and scan direction can also influence the surface morphology and microstructures of the EBM produced alloys.
Publisher European Society for Biomaterials
Host/Issue Proceeding 22nd European Conference for Biomaterials
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) EBM, Ti-6Al-4V,surface Roughness, Microstructures,EBM Processing Parameters, ESEM, Confocal Microscopy
Research Subject Categories::TECHNOLOGY::Materials science
Note 22nd European Conference for Biomaterials, 7-11 Sep. 2009, Lausanne, Switzerland
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/9512 (link to this page)
Link http://www.esbiomaterials.eu (external link to related web page)

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