A study of internal structure in components made by additive manufacturing process using 3 D X-ray tomography
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Additive manufacturing methods are gaining increasing popularity for rapidly and efficiently manufacturing parts and components in the industrial context, as well as for domestic applications. However, except when used for prototyping or rapid visualization of components, industries are concerned with the load carrying capacity and strength achievable by additive manufactured parts. In this paper, the wire-arc additive manufacturing (AM) process based on gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) has been examined for the internal structure and constitution of components generated by the process. High-resolution 3D X-ray tomography is used to gain cut-views through wedge-shaped parts created using this GTAW additive manufacturing process with titanium alloy materials. In this work, two different control conditions for the GTAW process are considered. The studies reveal clusters of porosities, located in periodic spatial intervals along the sample cross-section. Such internal defects can have a detrimental effect on the strength of the resulting AM components, as shown in destructive testing studies. Closer examination of this phenomenon shows that defect clusters are preferentially located at GTAW traversal path intervals. These results highlight the strong need for enhanced control of process parameters in ensuring components with minimal defects and higher strength.
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