Abstract: Much of the latent promise of metal additive manufacturing (AM) rests in the potential for controlled creation of spatially tailored microstructures, designed to optimize key build-scale properties through systematic variation across a build. Component optimization possibilities and performance potential expand enormously when this becomes possible. However, the extreme conditions created by AM energy sources and the nature of alloy solidification under such conditions are not adequately understood. Modeling and simulation tools capable of quantitatively predicting AM microstructural outputs would enable a major leap forward. We demonstrate through experimental validation that a multiscale (nm/ns to mm/ms) simulation framework coupling CALPHAD thermodynamic models, microstructure scale phase field simulations, and laser track scale multiphysics simulations can quantitatively predict tailored microstructure formation in laser processed Ti-Nb. Extensive simulations and analysis of detailed microstructural predictions over a broad range of conditions reveal scaling laws for characteristic microstructural features that should generalize to a wide range of materials. Several of our findings highlight the central importance of the alloy freezing range ΔTf, which provides the basis of a generalized strategy for optimizing spatial control of microstructure during AM. This proposed strategy integrates alloy design with process design & control to identify optimal material and process condition combinations. We have also identified conditions and phenomena that appear to require a more complete treatment of far from equilibrium solidification kinetics, highlighting a fundamental need in the field. We anticipate that further development of such methodologies will contribute centrally to realizing the potential of materials with spatially tailored microstructure.

Toward multiscale simulations of tailored microstructure formation in metal additive manufacturing
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2021.09.024