Ultrastrong nanotwinned titanium alloys through additive manufacturing

YM Zhu and K Zhang and ZC Meng and K Zhang and P Hodgson and N Birbilis and M Weyland and HL Fraser and SCV Lim and HZ Peng and R Yang and H Wang and AJ Huang, NATURE MATERIALS, 21, 1258-+ (2022).

DOI: 10.1038/s41563-022-01359-2

Laser additive manufacturing can be exploited to generate unique internally twinned nanoprecipitates in commercial titanium alloys, paving the way to fabricate ultrastrong metallic materials with intricate shapes for broad applications. Titanium alloys, widely used in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors, require complex casting and thermomechanical processing to achieve the high strengths required for load-bearing applications. Here we reveal that additive manufacturing can exploit thermal cycling and rapid solidification to create ultrastrong and thermally stable titanium alloys, which may be directly implemented in service. As demonstrated in a commercial titanium alloy, after simple post-heat treatment, adequate elongation and tensile strengths over 1,600 MPa are achieved. The excellent properties are attributed to the unusual formation of dense, stable and internally twinned nanoprecipitates, which are rarely observed in traditionally processed titanium alloys. These nanotwinned precipitates are shown to originate from a high density of dislocations with a dominant screw character and formed from the additive manufacturing process. The work here paves the way to fabricate structural materials with unique microstructures and excellent properties for broad applications.

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