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A Metallographic Review of 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing of Metal and Alloy Products and Components

May 30, 2018
Source: ASM International

This article describes metallurgical phenomena in 3D printing/additive manufacturing of metal and alloy products and components. It covers applications and shows examples of light and electron micrographs illustrating microstructures. It also includes extensive descriptions and reviews of processes and processing parameters.

Examples include microstructures that have defined turbine blade fabrication and optimization over the past half century, including contemporary electron beam melting fabrication of turbine blade alloys and other novel microstructures and architectures, which result from layer by layer, non-equilibrium melt solidification and epitaxial growth involving powder-bed laser and electron beam fabrication.

Phase transformations and second-phase formation by rapid cooling in metal and alloy components fabricated by laser and electron beam melting technologies are illustrated for a range of high-temperature materials. Using a range of examples, the advantages of fabricating complex (especially porous) biomedical and related commercial products are described. Prospects for future developments of direct 3D metal and alloy droplet printing, as a key component of the digital factory of the future, are described. This technology is compared with more conventional solidification and powder bed layer building thermo-kinetics, especially in the context of large structure and component fabrication.

by Lawrence E. Murr, University of Texas at El Paso

Department of Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering; W. M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation, The University of Texas at El Paso   Keck.utep.edu  

Subject Classifications

Industries and Applications | Aerospace and Defense

Industries and Applications | Medical Devices

Materials Processing and Treatment | Additive Manufacturing

Materials Processing and Treatment | Powder Metallurgy

Materials Testing and Evaluation | Materials Characterization

Materials Testing and Evaluation | Metallography and Microstructures


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