Characterisation of the Tensile and Metallurgical Properties of Laser Powder Bed Fusion-Produced Ti-6Al-4V ELI in the Duplex Annealed and Dry Electropolished Conditions

Metal additive manufacturing is becoming a popular manufacturing process in industries requiring geometrically complex components, part consolidation, and reductions in material waste. Metals manufactured via additive manufacturing processes such as laser powder bed fusion typically exhibit process-induced defects, material inhomogeneities, and anisotropy in terms of mechanical properties. Post-processing techniques such as heat treatments and surface finishing have been touted as approaches for improving these materials. Although various post-processing techniques have been proposed, the optimal post-processing route remains an active area of research. This research investigates Ti-6Al-4V ELI produced using laser powder bed fusion and post-processed via different routes. The materials in the stress-relieved and duplex annealed material conditions as well as dry electropolished and machined surface conditions were characterised. The duplex annealed Ti-6Al-4V ELI material showed improvements in ductility but at reduced strength when compared with the material in the stress-relieved condition. The microstructure of the duplex annealed material shows little evidence of process-induced defects and features and consists primarily of elongated and acicular <i>&alpha;</i> in a lamellar structure with intergranular <i>&beta;</i> and exhibits uniform microhardness throughout the material. A reduced surface roughness due to surface finishing resulted in an improved reduction in area. This research highlights the effects of post-processing treatments and their ability to improve the properties of laser powder bed fusion-produced Ti-6Al-4V ELI.