Metallography, Microstructure, and Analysis

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 103–132 | Cite as

A Metallographic Review of 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing of Metal and Alloy Products and Components

Review
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Abstract

Applications and examples of light and electron micrographs illustrating microstructures, which describe metallurgical phenomena in 3D printing/additive manufacturing of metal and alloy products and components, are presented along with extensive process and processing parameter descriptions and review. Examples include microstructures that have defined turbine blade fabrication and optimization over the past half century, including contemporary electron beam melting fabrication of turbine blade alloys and other novel microstructures and architectures, which result from layer by layer, non-equilibrium melt solidification and epitaxial growth involving powder bed laser and electron beam fabrication. Phase transformations and second-phase formation by rapid cooling in metal and alloy components fabricated by laser and electron beam melting technologies are illustrated for a range of high-temperature materials. Using a range of examples, the advantages of fabricating complex (especially porous) biomedical and related commercial products are described. Prospects for future developments of direct 3D metal and alloy droplet printing, as a key component of the digital factory of the future, are described. This technology is compared with more conventional solidification and powder bed layer building thermo-kinetics, especially in the context of large structure and component fabrication.

Keywords

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) Laser and electron beam melting Metal droplet deposition 3D printing Microstructures and mechanical properties 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful for contributions to this review by many students and colleagues over the past 50 years. Many of these have been acknowledged in the figure captions and other references in the narrative. Special thanks to Dr. Chris Bagnall who critically reviewed the manuscript and contributed to valuable insights.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering; W. M. Keck Center for 3D InnovationThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA

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