The effect of energy density and Nb content on the microstructure and mechanical properties of selective laser melted Ti-(10-30 wt.%) Nb
journal contributionposted on 2021-10-05, 10:22 authored by James Borgman, Jing Wang, Lorenzo Zani, Paul ConwayPaul Conway, Carmen TorresCarmen Torres
In this study, Ti-(0-30 wt.%)Nb alloys developed from elemental powders were fabricated by the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process. Compositional homogeneity, microstructure and mechanical performance were investigated as a function of energy density. The proportion of un-melted Nb particles and isolated pore count reduced with increasing energy density, while Ti allotropic content (i.e. α’, α” and β) varied with energy density due to in-situ alloying. Increasing the Nb content led to the stabilisation of the α” and β phases. The mechanical properties were similar to those compositions manufactured using casting methods, without further post processing. The addition of 20Nb (wt.%) and using an energy density of 230 J/mm3 resulted in a Young’s Modulus of 65.2 ± 1.8 GPa, a yield strength of 769 ± 36 MPa and a microstructure of predominantly α” martensite. This strength to stiffness ratio (33% higher than Ti-10Nb and 22% higher than Ti-30Nb), is attributed to in-situ alloying that promotes solid solution strengthening and homogenisation. These alloys are strong contenders as materials suitable for implantable load-bearing orthopaedic applications.
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