The effect of location on the microstructure and mechanical properties of titanium aluminides produced by additive layer manufacturing using in-situ alloying and gas tungsten arc welding
An innovative and low cost additive layer manufacturing (ALM) process is used to produce γ-TiAl based alloy wall components. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) provides the heat source for this new approach, combined with in-situ alloying through separate feeding of commercially pure Ti and Al wires into the weld pool. This paper investigates the morphology, microstructure and mechanical properties of the additively manufactured TiAl material, and how these are affected by the location within the manufactured component. The typical additively layer manufactured morphology exhibits epitaxial growth of columnar grains and several layer bands. The fabricated γ-TiAl based alloy consists of comparatively large α2 grains in the near-substrate region, fully lamellar colonies with various sizes and interdendritic γ structure in the intermediate layer bands, followed by fine dendrites and interdendritic γ phases in the top region. Microhardness measurements and tensile testing results indicated relatively homogeneous mechanical characteristics throughout the deposited material. The exception to this homogeneity occurs in the near-substrate region immediately adjacent to the pure Ti substrate used in these experiments, where the alloying process is not as well controlled as in the higher regions. The tensile properties are also different for the vertical (build) direction and horizontal (travel) direction because of the differing microstructure in each direction. The microstructure variation and strengthening mechanisms resulting from the new manufacturing approach are analysed in detail. The results demonstrate the potential to produce full density titanium aluminide components directly using the new additive layer manufacturing method.