Collaboration to Accelerate the Discovery of New Alloys for Additive Manufacturing
Recently, there has been significant interest in additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing. While there have been many efforts aimed at exploring the geometric design space such efforts invariably use legacy materials (e.g., Ti-6Al-4V) that were designed and optimized decades ago for conventional manufacturing approaches. When the material is not part of the design strategy, there is both an intrinsic risk and an opportunity lost. With respect to risk, such legacy materials may exhibit properties that are inferior to the same material prepared using conventional approaches. With respect to the lost opportunity, there are unique characteristics of the additive manufacturing processes, such as very high solidification rates, that can result in superior properties for the right materials. Thus, there is a need to design new materials that leverage the unique characteristics of additive manufacturing processes to achieve a balance of properties that exceeds what is currently possible when legacy materials are used. The titanium alloys developed under this project, as well as the general framework of accelerated alloy development, will be disseminated through a series of industry dissemination workshops. This dissemination will impact a wide range of economic sectors, including, for example, aerospace, automotive, and biomedical.