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An operando synchrotron study on the effect of wire melting state on solidification microstructures of inconel 718 in wire-laser directed energy deposition


Gao, Lin; Chuang, Andrew; Kenesei, Peter; Ren, Zhongshu; Balderson, Lilly ; Sun, Tao


Directed energy deposition (DED) with a coaxial wire-laser configuration has gained significant attention in recent years for the production of large-scale metallic components because of its low directional dependence, fast deposition rate, high feedstock efficiency, and low manufacturing costs. This work studies the coaxial wire-laser DED process of Inconel 718 alloy under a stable deposition condition with a relatively low input volumetric energy density (55.5J/mm3). Post characterization reveals a cluster of refined grains at the center-bottom region of the as-printed track. Operando high-energy synchrotron X-ray experiments and multi-physics modeling are applied innovatively to study the fundamental mechanism responsible for the formation of this microstructure. The X-ray diffraction experiment provides direct evidence, which is supported by the simulation, that the feeding wire can reach the melt pool bottom and release solid particles (primarily carbides) near the mushy zone owing to insufficient melting. Consequently, these sub-micron sized particles suppress the growth of large columnar grains and cause the formation of unique microstructural heterogeneity. This discovery offers new opportunities for tailoring the solidification microstructure by controlling the melting state of the feedstock wire in DED process, in addition to commonly known factors such as the thermal gradient and solidification velocity.