Electron Beam Melting of high niobium containing TiAl alloy: feasibility investigation
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Third generation γ-TiAl alloys with a high niobium content, Ti–(47–48)Al–2Cr–8Nb, were processed by electron beam melting (EBM). This near-net-shape additive manufacturing process produces complex parts according to a CAD design. The starting powder is deposited layer by layer on the building table and selectively melted to progressively form the massive part. The EBM parameters such as layer thickness, melting temperature, scanning speed, or building strategy were set up to minimize porosity. The chemical composition of the built material is similar to the composition of the base powder despite a slight evaporation of aluminum and reveals a neglectable oxygen pick-up. The very fine equiaxed microstructure resulting after EBM can be then set up by heat treatment (HT). According to the HT temperature in particular, an equiaxed microstructure, a duplex microstructure with different lamellar ratio and a fully lamellar microstructure is obtained. Not only test bars have been produced but also complex parts such as demo low pressure turbine blades.