Titanium alloy is one of the most commonly used materials for additive manufacturing. Whether for aerospace or medical, people are committed to promoting the application of this technology. Relatively speaking, the absolute majority of research has focused on the evolution of the structure and mechanical properties of Ti6Al4V during additive manufacturing and heat treatment. However, from a metallurgical point of view, Ti6Al4V will inevitably form needle-shaped α'martensite (leading to high strength and poor plasticity) which is unfavorable to the overall performance during cooling, and the adjustable range of the heat treatment process is limited.
In order to maintain sufficient plasticity, 500°C-550°C may provide a more suitable balance of mechanical properties for the alloy. In the heat treatment process of additively manufactured parts, precise control of the size and distribution of precipitates is the key to obtaining comprehensive mechanical properties. Compared with Ti64, the metastable beta titanium alloy has a phase composition that is easier to control, which provides a wider choice for heat treatment optimization.
In contrast, metastable β titanium alloys usually do not form α'martensite during the cooling process of additive manufacturing, and have more heat treatment options than Ti6Al4V, and have broader application prospects for additive manufacturing. Such materials have long been used in aerospace applications with high strength requirements, such as Boeing 787 landing gear and helicopter rotors. Under solid solution conditions, metastable beta titanium alloys are easier to control the phase composition than Ti6Al4V, which can not only achieve high strength, but also achieve higher plasticity. Although the price is more expensive than Ti6Al4V, it is indeed an excellent candidate material for structural applications and additive manufacturing processes.
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