Grain refinement mechanisms in additively manufactured nano-functionalized aluminum

TitleGrain refinement mechanisms in additively manufactured nano-functionalized aluminum
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsJ. Martin H, Yahata B, Mayer J, Mone R, Stonkevitch E, Miller J, O'Masta MR, Schaedler T, Hundley J, Callahan P, Pollock T
JournalActa Materialia
KeywordsAdditive manufacturing, Crystallography, Grain refinement, Nucleation, Solidification

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a new and promising production methodology adept at producing complex geometries, which can be optimized for lower weight and enhanced capabilities. The material properties of these additive components are dictated by the microstructures developed during processing, with a high sensitivity to grain structure and associated anisotropy. With this new processing modality comes the added difficulty of understanding the thermodynamics and kinetic mechanisms that dictate the evolution of microstructure. This research addresses the unique thermal conditions present in AM and the pathways for grain refinement in nanofunctionalized aluminum alloys. The Al-Ta system, in which Al3Ta intermetallic compounds are demonstrated to have substantial grain refining capacity, are the focus of this study. The grain size is shown to be reduced relative to pure aluminum by 1000X when tantalum is added at 1 vol%. The effectiveness of the Al3Ta intermetallic is dictated by the crystallography and availability of the inoculant phase under AM conditions.