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Schmid Factor Crack Propagation and Tracking Crystallographic Texture Markers of Microstructural Condition in Direct Energy Deposition Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V



Alec Saville, Jake Benzing, Sven Vogel, Jessica Buckner, Collin Donohoue, Andrew Kustas, Adam Abel Creuziger, Kester Clarke, Amy Clarke


Metallic additive manufacturing (AM) provides a customizable and tailorable manufacturing process for new engineering designs and technologies. The greatest challenge currently facing metallic AM is maintaining control of microstructural evolution during solidification and any solid state phase transformations during the build process. Ti-6Al-4V has been extensively surveyed in this regard, with the potential solid state and solidification microstructures explored at length. This work evaluates the applicability of previously determined crystallographic markers of microstructural condition observed in electron beam melting powder bed fusion (PBF-EB) builds of Ti-6Al-4V in a directed energy deposition (DED) build process. The aim of this effort is to elucidate whether or not these specific crystallographic textures are useful tools for indicating microstructural conditions in AM variants beyond PBF-EB. Parent β-Ti grain size was determined to be directly related to α-Ti textures in the DED build process, and the solid state microstructural condition could be inferred from the intensity of specific α-Ti orientations. Qualitative trends on the as-solidified β-Ti grain size was also determined to be related to the presence of a fiber texture, and proposed as a marker for as-solidified grain size in any cubic metal melted by AM. Analysis of the DED Ti-6Al-4V build also demonstrated a near complete fracture of the build volume, suspected to originate from accumulated thermal stresses in the solid state. Crack propagation was found to only appreciably occur in regions of slow cooling with large α+β colonies. Schmid factors for the basal and prismatic α-Ti systems explained the observed crack pathway, including slower bifurcation in colonies with lower Schmid factors of both slip systems. Colony morphologies and localized equiaxed β-Ti solidification were also found to originate from build pauses during production and uneven heating of the build edges during deposition. Tailoring of DED Ti-6Al-4V microstructures with the insight gained here is proposed, along with cautionary insight on preventing unplanned build pauses to maintain an informed and controlled thermal environment for microstructural control.
Additive Manufacturing


Ti-6Al-4V, Directed Energy Deposition, Crystallographic texture, Solidification, Cracking


Saville, A. , Benzing, J. , Vogel, S. , Buckner, J. , Donohoue, C. , Kustas, A. , Creuziger, A. , Clarke, K. and Clarke, A. (2022), Schmid Factor Crack Propagation and Tracking Crystallographic Texture Markers of Microstructural Condition in Direct Energy Deposition Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V, Additive Manufacturing, [online],, (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created July 6, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022