Nondestructive Testing of Defects in Additive Manufacturing Titanium Alloy Components

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1 Nondestructive Testing of Defects in Additive Manufacturing Titanium Alloy Components P. H. Yang 1, 2, 3, X. X. Gao 1, 2, 3, J. Liang 1, 2, 3, Y. W. Shi 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3, N. Xu 1 AECC Beijing Institute of Aeronautica l Materia ls, Beijing, China More info about this article: 2 Beijing Key Laboratory of Aeronautical Materials Testing and Evaluation, Beijing, China 3 Aviation Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Aeronautica l Materia ls Testing and Evaluation, Beijing, China Abstract TC11 titanium alloy deposited by laser additive manufacturing (LAM) method was experimentally investigated. Relationship between microstructures and ultrasonic testing results was developed, and characteristics of defects were determined on the basis of metallography and NDT results. Detection capability of different NDT methods was analyzed, as well. The results show that gas pore is one of the main defect types in LAM components. The optimum direction for ultrasonic testing is along the deposition direction. Quantitative results of defects determined through ultrasonic testing are greater than their real sizes. Detection capability of radiographic testing is affected by the thickness of specimens and the defect types significantly. Keywords: Additive manufacturing, Nondestructive testing, Defect 1 Introduction Laser additive manufacturing (LAM) is a near-net-shape manufacturing method, which using alloy powder or wire as raw material, laser or electron beam as heat source, and experiences rapid melting and solidification of metal materials layer by layer [1-3]. Compared with traditional subtractive manufacturing processes, LAM has many advantages as follows: parts can be made easily ondemand for customization and personalization, no need for special tooling existence in part fabrication, material waste is greatly reduced, the time and cost of manufacturing can be reduced significantly for individualized parts and small-quantity productions, novel components and structures of complex geometries can be fabricated without difficulty, etc. Therefore, LAM is especially suitable for low-cost and short-cycle prototyping of products, such as large and complex metal structure utilizing for aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, satellites and other aerospace defence equipments [4-6]. LAM combines the process for preparing the material and forming the part together, the manufacturing process is entirely different from traditional metal components. Therefore, the microstructure and defects that may arise in LAM components are especially different from forgings and castings [7-9]. Thus, simply copying the NDT methods for forgings or castings, will certainly bring some hidden troubles to the safety and reliability of components, some novel NDT methods suit for LAM components should be developed as soon as possible. [ID 120] 1

2 Several research on NDT methods of LAM components has been carried out in research institutions and enterprises such as NASA, GE, IZFP, MTU, TWI, BIAM, etc, and some achievements have also been made [10-13]. Even so, research on NDT of LAM components is still lack of systematization, and the influence of microstructure on NDT of LAM, as well as the detection ability of different NDT methods are not yet clearly. Experimental research was carried out on TC11 titanium alloy deposited by LAM in this work. Relationship between microstructure of different deposition directions and ultrasonic testing results was developed. Detection ability of different NDT methods, as well as the influence factors of detection ability were analyzed on the basis of ultrasonic testing, radiographic testing and metallography results. The results are of great reference value to the selection of NDT method for LAM components. 2 Experimental 2.1 Specimen Preparation To analyze the relationship between microstructures and ultrasonic testing results, a LAM TC11 titanium alloy specimen was fabricated by direct deposition method. The specimen dimensions are 60 mm(x) 60 mm(y) 60 mm(z), where X represents the index direction of high energy beam, Y is the scan direction of high energy beam, and Z is the deposition direction (see Fig.1). Fig.1 Schematic of the directions in additive manufacturing A 10MHz immersion focusing probe was used to test the LAM TC11 titanium alloy material. The diameter and focus length of the probe are 11 mm and 89 mm, respectively. USIP40 ultrasonic flaw detector and SM-J6B-300 scanner were used, as well. Then, typical defects were selected according to the obtained C-scan images, and 12 rectangular specimens with defects were prepared. The sizes of [ID 120] 2

3 the specimens are 20 mm(x) 20 mm(y) 28 mm(z) or 30 mm(x) 30 mm(y) 28 mm(z), as shown in Fig.2. These specimens will be used to develop experiments of different NDT methods and metallographic analysis. Fig.2 LAM TC11 titanium alloy specimens with defects 2.2 Experiment Methods Back-wall echo monitoring method was performed on LAM TC11 titanium alloy specimen with sizes of 60 mm(x) 60 mm(y) 60 mm(z), by using the same probe and detection system as mentioned in section 2.1. The incident directions of ultrasonic beam were X, Y and Z direction, respectively. The difference of attenuation obtained by back-wall echoes in different deposition directions were analyzed according to the obtained C-scan images. Then, the specimen was etched in a mixed solution of 100 ml H 2 O, l~3 ml HF and 2~6 ml HNO 3. Finally, microstructures in different deposition directions were carefully observed and recorded by stereo microscope (SZ61), and the relationship between C-scan image of back-wall echo and the microstructure of LAM components was analysed. C-scan images of specimens with defect as shown in Fig.2 were obtained, by using the same probe and detection system as mentioned in section 2.1. The incident directions of ultrasonic beam were X, Y and Z direction respectively. Then, X-ray testing along deposition direction was performed on the specimens in Fig.2, by ISOVOLT 450 X-ray flaw detector. Another X-ray testing was performed again after thinning the specimens. The influence of thickness on X-ray testing was investigated by comparison of the two X-ray testing results. Finally, the specimens were machined by wire electrical discharge machining according to the defect location determined by ultrasonic testing, and the defects were exposed to the surface of the specimens by repeated grinding. Observation of defect appearance, as well as precise measurement of defect sizes were performed on SZ61 microscope. The difference between actual size of defects and the quantitative results of ultrasonic testing was compared as well. [ID 120] 3

4 3 Results and Discussion 3.1 NDT and Microstructure of LAM Components The C-scan images of back-wall echo in different deposition directions of LAM TC11 component are shown in Figs.3 (a) to (c). It can be seen that the attenuation of back-wall echo is not uniform in any one direction, which has a banding distribution in X and Y directions, and a spotty distribution in Z direction. The attenuation variation of back-wall echo at different area of Z direction is greater than which in X and Y directions. The microstructure of different directions is shown in Figs.3 (d) to (f). As shown in Fig.3, for LAM TC11 component, the difference of microstructure in different deposition directions is obvious. The microstructures of Y-Z and X-Z planes are similar, which all contain columnar grains and layer bandings spaced regularly. The columnar grains grow continuously across the layer bandings along the deposition direction. However, in the X-Y plane, it can be observed that several clean grains and fuzzy grains distributed uneven, and the overlap between scanning beam, as well as columnar grains can not be observed. Microstructure and C-scan images of back-wall echo have a good correspondence. It can be seen from above results that, the microstructure of LAM component in different directions is disparate and has obvious directivity, which will affect ultrasonic testing greatly. Therefore, it is necessary to develop specialized ultrasonic testing methods for LAM components. Y Z Z X Y X (a) Z direction (X-Y plane) (b) X direction (Y-Z plane) (c) Y direction (X-Z plane) Y Z Z X 5mm Y 5mm X 5mm (d) X-Y plane (e) Y-Z plane (f) X-Z plane Fig.3 Back-wall echo monitoring C-scan and microstructure of LAM TC11 titanium alloy [ID 120] 4

5 3.2 NDT and Defects of LAM Components Ultrasonic Testing of Defects Fig.4 and Fig.5 show C-scan results of specimens with defect as shown in Fig.2. The ultrasonic incident directions are along X, Y and Z direction respectively. For the page limitation of this thesis, we only list C-scan images of 3# and 4# in this paper. Ultrasonic quantitative results of defect in all specimens are shown in Table 1. (a) Z direction (b) X direction (c) Y direction Fig.4 C-scan images of 3# (a) Z direction (b) X direction (c) Y direction Fig.5 C-scan images of 4# Specimen Depth of Z direction Ultrasonic quantitative results note 1 (mm) number (mm) Z direction X direction Y direction 1# Φ0.48 Φ0.41 Φ0.35 2# Φ0.44 Φ0.36 Φ0.27 3# 4.74 Φ0.44 Φ0.28 Φ0.38 4# 18.6 Φ1.1 Φ0.44 Φ0.36 5# 17 Φ0.49 Φ0.38 Φ0.30 6# Φ0.42 Φ0.32 Φ0.34 7# 10.4 Φ1.1 Φ0.62 Φ0.45 8# Φ0.64 Φ0.32 Φ0.29 9# Φ0.53 Φ0.34 Φ # Φ0.90 Φ0.35 Φ # 8.25 Φ0.82 Φ0.34 Φ # Φ0.52 Φ0.32 Φ0.32 Note1:Ultrasonic quantitative results in Table 1 are converted from amplitude of reflection echo. Table 1 Ultrasonic quantitative results of defects by different beam incident directions [ID 120] 5

6 As shown in Table 1, ultrasonic quantitative results for the same defect are various considerably in different beam incident directions. When ultrasonic beam incidents along the deposition direction (Z direction), the ultrasonic quantitative results are maximum in all defective specimens. Especially for the defect in 4 #, 7 #, 8 #, 10 # and 11 #, the equivalent sizes along the deposition direction (Z direction) are larger than the sizes perpendicular to deposition direction (X direction, Y direction) more than 1 times Radiographic Testing of Defects In order to analyze the effect of thickness on the radiographic testing capability, the specimens of LAM TC11 titanium alloy were subjected to X-ray testing along Z direction, the X-ray testing was performed twice when the specimen thickness is 28mm and after thinning, respectively. Table 2 gives X-ray testing results of the defective specimens.. Depth of Z Ultrasonic testing X-ray testing results Specimen direction results of Z direction First X-ray testing Second X-ray testing number (mm) (mm) (thickness:28 mm) (after thinning) 1# Φ0.48 High density inclusion,size: Φ0.1~0.5mm(thickness:20 mm) 2# Φ0.44 High density inclusion,size: Φ0.1~0.5mm(thickness:22 mm) 3# 4.74 Φ0.44 High density inclusion,size: Φ0.1~0.3mm(thickness:20 mm) 4# 18.6 Φ1.1 (thickness:19 mm) 5# 17 Φ0.49 (thickness:17.5 mm) 6# Φ0.42 (thickness:25 mm) 7# 10.4 Φ1.1 Gas pore / 8# Φ0.64 Gas pore (thickness:16.5 mm) 9# Φ0.53 Gas pore (thickness:14.5 mm) 10# Φ0.90 (thickness:26 mm) 11# 8.25 Φ0.82 (thickness:20 mm) 12# Φ0.52 (thickness:15 mm) Note: presents not detected Table 2 X-ray testing results of defective specimens As shown in Table 2, the gas pore size can be detected by X-ray is Φ 1.1 mm when the specimen thickness is 28 mm, while Φ mm when the thickness reduce to 14.5~16.5 mm. The defect sizes mentioned above are all ultrasonic equivalent sizes. It can be seen that, material thickness will have a significant impact on detection sensitivity for X-ray testing. [ID 120] 6

7 It can be seen from Table 2 that, for specimens 1#, 2#, 3#, 4# and 11# with thickness of about 20 mm, the smaller defect in specimens 1# to 3# were detected by X-ray testing, while the greater defect in specimen 4# and 11# were not detected. The phenomenon can be explained utilizing the X-ray films obtained, the indications in specimens 1# to 3# are clearly different from other specimens in the films, which are light and dot display scattered throughout the whole specimen, while the indications detected in other specimens are all single black dot. Therefore, the defect type of specimens 1# to 3# determined by X-ray testing are high-density inclusion defects, which are different from other specimens. In summary, the detection ability of X-ray method is also related to defect types, and the detection sensitivity of X-ray testing for high density inclusion is higher than other types of defect Metallography of Typical Defects Fig.6 shows metallographic photographs of typical defective specimens. It shows that the defect morphology is spherical or quasi-spherical, and the defect type is gas pore in all specimens except 1#. From the energy spectrum analysis result of specimen 1# as shown in Fig.7, we could identify that the defect was tungsten inclusion. Actual sizes of defect measured on metallographic photographs are shown in Table 3. (a) 1# (b) 2# (c) 3# (d) 4# (e) 5# (f) 8# [ID 120] 7

8 (g) 10# (h) 11# (i) 12# Fig. 6 Metallographic photographs of typical defective specimens Fig. 7 Energy spectrum analysis of 1# (tungsten inclusion) 3.3 Comparison of Testing Results by Different Methods Ultrasonic testing, X-ray testing and metallographic results of defects are listed in Table 3. It can found that ultrasonic testing results of defects in LAM TC11 titanium alloy are generally greater than the size measured on metallographic photograph directly. While, according to the theory of ultrasonic testing, the equivalent size of defects should be smaller than the actual size. The experiment result is not compliance with that of theory, and the possible reasons are as follows: 1) the defect size estimated by ultrasonic testing is based on a simplified formula of reflection of a round plat defect, which assumes a long distance between probe and defect and a very small defect size relative to the beam diameter. In this test, the used transducer has a small focusing diameter comparable to the defect size, which leads to a quantitative error. 2) it shows that, the smaller the actual size of defect is, the greater the quantitative error is. This may due to the too small ratio of defect and wavelength (approaching 1:10). 3) it is difficult to ensure the cross section polished and observed is the one with maximum defect size, which will also lead to smaller actual size than equivalent size. 4) it is hard to distinguish small defects close to each other in ultrasonic testing. Therefore, multiple dense defects are generally quantified as a single large defect, which will result in an excessive quantification of the defect size. For instance, the dense gas pores in specimen 4#. [ID 120] 8

9 Specimen number Depth of Z direction (mm) Ultrasonic testing results note 1 (mm) X-ray testing results actual size measured by metallographic (mm) Defect type note 2 by metallographic 1# Φ0.48 High density inclusion, tungsten size: Φ0.1~0.5mm inclusion 2# Φ0.44 High density inclusion, Φ0.043 Gas pore size: Φ0.1~0.5mm 3# 4.74 Φ0.44 High density inclusion, Φ0.15 Gas pore size: Φ0.1~0.3mm 4# 18.6 Φ1.1 Not detected Φ0.093,Φ0.085 各 1 个 dense gas pores 5# 17 Φ0.49 Not detected Φ0.084 Gas pore 8# Φ0.6 Gas pore Gas pore 10# Φ0.9 Not detected Φ0.035 Gas pore 11# 8.25 Φ0.8 Not detected Φ0.067 Gas pore 12# Φ0.6 Not detected Φ0.14 Gas pore Note 1: A 10MHz focus probe is used to quantitative the defect, and the water distance is 50 mm. Ultrasonic quantitative results in table 3 are converted from amplitude of reflection echo. Note 2: Specimens 2# and 3# have more than one types of defects in each. Table 3 Comparison of testing results by different methods From the defect type obtained by metallographic in Table 3, it can be seen that the defect in all the specimens is gas pore except for specimen 1#. For volume defects such as gas pore, the defect size in different directions are almost the same, so the equivalent size of the defect in different directions should be basically the same. While, the ultrasonic testing results in Table 1 are on the contrary, especially for specimens 4#, 7#, 8#, 10# and 11#, the equivalent sizes along the deposition direction (Z direction) are larger than the sizes perpendicular to deposition direction (X direction, Y direction) more than 1 times. Based on the built relationship between NDT and microstructure of LAM components in section 3.1, it can be seen that the difference of microstructure in different directions will affect the defect equivalent size of LAM component greatly. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the influence of microstructure when selecting ultrasonic incident direction. The optimum incident direction of ultrasonic beam for LAM TC11 component is along the deposition direction. It can be seen in Table 3 that, part of the defect type obtained by metallographic and X-ray methods is different (such as specimens 2# and 3#). The defect type is gas pore according to metallographic result based on ultrasonic, while it is high-density inclusion according to X-ray testing. The reasons maybe as follows: the metallographic result is obtained by one of the cross sections of the specimen, and the depth of the cross section is determined by ultrasonic testing result. While, X-ray result is a [ID 120] 9

10 superposition of the projection for all the cross-sections of the specimen. Specimens 2# and 3# have more than one defects in each, and ultrasonic testing detected the gas pore in specimens, while X-ray testing detected high-density inclusion in them. The experiment result above also shows that, for gas pore defect, the detection ability of ultrasonic testing is superior to X-ray testing, while high-density inclusion is on the contrary. 4 Conclusions (1) Microstructure of LAM component in different directions is variation and has obvious directivity. Microstructure and C-scan images of back-wall echo have a good correspondence. (2) Gas pore is one of the main defect types in LAM components. Quantitative results of gas pore determined by ultrasonic testing are greater than their actual sizes. (3) For LAM TC11 component, the optimum incident direction of ultrasonic beam is along the deposition direction. (4) Detection ability of X-ray testing is affected by the thickness of components greatly. For highdensity inclusion defect, the detection ability of X-ray testing is superior to ultrasonic testing, while gas pore is on the contrary. Acknowledgement This project is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No ). References [1] H. M. Wang, S. Q. Zhang and X. M. Wang. Progress and Challenges of Laser Direct Manufacturing of Large Titanium Structural Components, Chinese Journal of Lasers, vol. 36, no. 12, pp , Dec, [2] H. Yong et al. Additive Manufacturing: Current State, Future Potential, Gaps and Needs, and Recommendations, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, vol. 137, pp. 1-10, Feb, [3] C. K. Chua,S. M. Chou,T. S. Wong. A Study of the State-of-the-Art Rapid Prototyping Technologies, Int J Adv Manuf Technol, no. 14, pp , [4] H. M. Wang. Materials Fundamental Issues of Laser Additive Manufacturing for High- Performance Large Metallic Components, Acta Aeronautica et Astronautica Sinica, vol. 35, no. 10, pp , Oct, [5] S. L. Gong. Application of High Power Beam Processing Technology in Aero Engine, Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology, no. 9, pp , May, [ID 120] 10

11 [6] Y. Q. Wang, J. X. Shen, H. Q. Wu. Application and Research Status of Alternative Materials for 3D-Printing Technology, Journal of Aeronautical Materials, vol. 36, no. 4, pp , [7] S. J. Li et al. Compression Fatigue Behavior of Ti 6Al 4V Mesh Arrays Fabricated by Electron Beam Melting, Acta Material, vol. 60, pp , [8] Y. N. Yan, R. J. Zhang, F Lin. New Progress of Laser Rapid Prototyping Technology, New Technology & New Process, no. 9, pp. 7-9, [9] F. Y. Zhang et al. Research on Forming Mechanism of Defects in Laser Rapid Formed Titanium Alloy, Rare Metal Materials and Engineering, vol. 36, no. 2, pp , Feb, [10] J. M. Waller et al. Summary of NDE of Additive Manufacturing Efforts in NASA, AIP Conference Proceedings, no. 1650, pp , [11] J. Bamberg et al. Overview of Additive Manufacturing Activities at MTU Aero Engines, AIP Conference Proceedings, no. 1650, pp , [12] L. Koester et al. Additive Manufacturing Metrology: State of the Art and Needs Assessment, AIP Conference Proceedings, no. 1706, pp. 1-8, [13] P. H. Yang et al. Experimental Research on Ultrasonic Characteristics of TC18 Additive Manufacturing Titanium Alloy, Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology, no. 5, pp , Mar, [ID 120] 11

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