The mechanical properties of additively manufactured metals tend to show high variability, due largely to the stochastic nature of defect formation during the printing process. This study seeks to understand how automated high throughput testing can be utilized to understand the variable nature of additively manufactured metals at different print conditions, and to allow for statistically meaningful analysis. This is demonstrated by analyzing how different processing parameters, including laser power, scan velocity, and scan pattern, influence the tensile behavior of additively manufactured stainless steel 316L utilizing a newly developed automated test methodology. Microstructural characterization through computed tomography and electron backscatter diffraction is used to understand some of the observed trends in mechanical behavior. Specifically, grain size and morphology are shown to depend on processing parameters and influence the observed mechanical behavior. In the current study, laser-powder bed fusion, also known as selective laser melting or direct metal laser sintering, is shown to produce 316L over a wide processing range without substantial detrimental effect on the tensile properties. Ultimate tensile strengths above 600 MPa, which are greater than that for typical wrought annealed 316L with similar grain sizes, and elongations to failure greater than 40% were observed. It is demonstrated that this process has little sensitivity to minor intentional or unintentional variations in laser velocity and power.
This SAND report fulfills the final report requirement for the Born Qualified Grand Challenge LDRD. Born Qualified was funded from FY16-FY18 with a total budget of ~$13M over the 3 years of funding. Overall 70+ staff, Post Docs, and students supported this project over its lifetime. The driver for Born Qualified was using Additive Manufacturing (AM) to change the qualification paradigm for low volume, high value, high consequence, complex parts that are common in high-risk industries such as ND, defense, energy, aerospace, and medical. AM offers the opportunity to transform design, manufacturing, and qualification with its unique capabilities. AM is a disruptive technology, allowing the capability to simultaneously create part and material while tightly controlling and monitoring the manufacturing process at the voxel level, with the inherent flexibility and agility in printing layer-by-layer. AM enables the possibility of measuring critical material and part parameters during manufacturing, thus changing the way we collect data, assess performance, and accept or qualify parts. It provides an opportunity to shift from the current iterative design-build-test qualification paradigm using traditional manufacturing processes to design-by-predictivity where requirements are addressed concurrently and rapidly. The new qualification paradigm driven by AM provides the opportunity to predict performance probabilistically, to optimally control the manufacturing process, and to implement accelerated cycles of learning. Exploiting these capabilities to realize a new uncertainty quantification-driven qualification that is rapid, flexible, and practical is the focus of this effort.
This report summarizes the data analysis activities that were performed under the Born Qualified Grand Challenge Project from 2016 - 2018. It is meant to document the characterization of additively manufactured parts and processe s for this project as well as demonstrate and identify further analyses and data science that could be done relating material processes to microstructure to properties to performance.