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In-Process Manufacturing Research Capabilities

Argonne offers several tools for characterizing materials samples during the additive manufacturing process.

X-Ray Analysis and Material Characterization

Argonne offers a suite of unique, incisive capabilities are at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) to study unresolved questions in additive manufacturing related to solidification, melting, and sublimation of different alloys, and the impact of porosity. Samples can be studied under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure using the following approaches:

  • Macroscopic stress/texture determination and single-grain diffraction microscopy using high-energy X-ray scattering for in-situ studies
  • Porosity mapping and microtomography imaging using fast 2-D phase contrast imaging for slow dynamic phenomena studies (0.1m/s) that can be used to map porosity in additive manufacturing parts.
  • Powder crystal analysis and high-resolution/high-throughput powder diffraction to quantify crystal-structural changes that occur to powder when it is reused
  • Structure and deformation processes analysis and microdiffraction microscopy: A 3-D X-ray microbeam is available for the study of fundamental materials structures and deformation processes.
  • In-situ monitoring of stress and the corrosion/cracking processes: Multiple X-ray techniques available to identify and track the formation of voids, precipitates and cracks under real-world conditions of corrosion and stress.
  • In-situ phase and texture investigation: A unique sample furnace is used in conjunction with APS to investigate in-situ phase evolution/precipitate formation and texture development from alloy melts.

Thermal Tomography

A deconvolution algorithm is used to produce resolution and sensitivity higher than other methods in data acquired from one surface of a sample. Testing and data processing is completed in minutes and provided in 2D slices (in plane parallel or perpendicular to imaged surface).

The combination of an infrared temperature monitoring systems and top-of-the line X-ray imaging enables the analysis of the deposition process and some post-production components to obtain the following information:

  • 3-D images of a material property (thermal effusivity)
  • Most efficient and detailed analysis of metal formed during and after the additive manufacturing processes
  • New insights for understanding material processing and degradation or defect mechanisms
  • Depth-resolved damage distribution in degraded materials


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