Rapid Screening of Single Phase Refractory Alloys Under Laser Melting Conditions

TitleRapid Screening of Single Phase Refractory Alloys Under Laser Melting Conditions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsMullin KM, Frey C, Lamb J, Wu SK, Echlin MLP, Pollock TM
JournalMaterials & Design
KeywordsAdditive manufacturing, high entropy alloy, multi-principal element alloy, refractory alloys, solid-state cracking, solidification cracking

Refractory alloys can be difficult to fabricate by laser-based manufacturing methods due to their high melting temperatures, high interstitial solubility, and propensity for low temperature brittleness. Laser-based processes, such as welding and additive manufacturing (AM), yield similar populations of defects, including microsegregation and solidification and solid-state cracking. Given the extreme challenges and cost associated with the production of refractory powders, this research aimed to develop a rapid screening methodology that combines predictive defect formation metrics with single track melting experiments. A flexible single laser track melting platform was designed to perform screening experiments on conventional and multi-principal element refractory alloys across a wide range of laser energy inputs. The platform was employed to investigate laser melting on solid substrates, or on a substrate with a single layer of powder feedstock, and is demonstrated with the highly fabricable Nb-base alloy C103. Preliminary investigations are performed on refractory multi-principal element alloys in the Hf-Mo-Nb-Ta-Ti family, and significant differences in cracking resistance and solidification morphology are observed. Implications for future alloy design and processing strategies for defect-resistant refractory alloys for AM are discussed.