Residual Stress in Additive Manufacturing : Control using orientation and scan strategies

Abstract: Components with complex features that are designed with their function as a core aspect often are not viable to be manufactured with traditional methods. This has been a bottleneck in the past, leading to heavier parts with various sub-assemblies and a significant waste of material. With the emergence of additive manufacturing (AM) technology manufacturing of complex components has now turned into reality. Within AM, the laser-based powder-based fusion (LPBF) method is one of the most widely adopted methods to manufacture near net shape complex metal components. However, to be implemented on a larger scale various hurdles must be mitigated first.One of the main persistent issues in LPBF is of residual stresses (RS), which are formed due to repeated sequences of heating and cooling, creating a high thermal gradient between the layers. These RS can play a significant role in the component’s functionality during service, but also can affect the manufacturing process. Therefore, a detailed investigation into the formation and control of RS is of foremost importance. This thesis aims at shedding light on various aspects of the RS formation especially, the effect of build orientations and different scan strategies. For this purpose, Inconel 718 (IN718) was selected as a material for investigation due to its wide use in gas turbine components and good weldability making it a good material for additive manufacturing processes.L-shaped components and test cubes were prepared for residual stress mapping and microstructure study. The RS were measured using neutron and X-ray diffraction methods where applicable. From the investigations, it was revealed that the L-shape components built in different orientations showed significant variation in RS magnitude, but a general trend of RS distribution with tensile stresses at the surface and compressive at the bulk for all the components. A simplified finite element model for RS prediction was established and validated based on the experimental results. Similarly, the use of different scan strategies can lead to a different magnitude of RS for the L-shape components. The remelting strategy with remelting done after every 3rd printed layer seems to decrease the RS magnitude in comparison to the counterparts printed without remelting. This has also been verified with a simplified finite element simulation. The microstructure study showed that crystallographic texture can also vary with the different scan strategies and no significant preferred orientations of the grains were found with the remelting done at every 3rd printed layer. However, with the total fill strategy, strong crystallographic texture was observed in the scan direction. Further investigations into the remelting scan strategies with different variables of remelting such as power, speed, and number of layers between the remelting scan revealed an effect of the laser power in the increment of texture intensity along the building direction. A combination of chess pattern and remelting every 3rd layer decreased the RS magnitude in comparison with other samples, where parameters for remelting strategies were changed. In addition, the crystallographic texture varied with different process parameters used for the remelting. For further reduction of RS without employing post-processing, investigations into novel scan strategies need to be undertaken and at the same time texture formation also needs to be investigated.

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