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44th Annual Review of Progress In Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, Vol 37


Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes offer the potential for manufacturing cost savings and rapid insertion into service through production of near net shape components for complicated structures. Use of these parts in high reliability applications such as those in the aerospace industry will require nondestructive characterization methods to ensure post-process material quality in as-built condition. Ultrasonic methods can be used for this quality verification. Depending on the application, the service life of AM components can be sensitive to the part surface condition. The surface roughness and layered structure inherent to the electron-beam powder-bed fusion process necessitates new approaches to evaluate subsurface material integrity in its presence. Experimental methods and data analytics may improve the evaluation of as-built additively manufactured materials. This paper discusses the assessment of additively manufactured EBM Ti-6Al-4V panels using ultrasonic methods and the data analytics applied to evaluate material integrity. The assessment was done as an exploratory study as the discontinuities of interest in these test samples were not known when the measurements were performed. Water immersion ultrasonic techniques, including pulse-echo and through transmission with 10 MHz focused transducers, were used to explore the material integrity of as-built plates. Subsequent destructive mechanical tests of specimens extracted from the plates provided fracture locations indicating critical flaws. To further understand the effect of surface-roughness, an evaluation of ultrasonic response in the presence of as-built surfaces and with the surface removed was performed. The assessment of additive manufactured EBM Ti-6Al-4V panels with ultrasonic techniques indicated that ultrasonic energy was attenuated by the as-built surface roughness. In addition, feature detection was shown to be sensitive to experimental ultrasonic parameters and flaw morphology.



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AIP Conference Proceedings



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