Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

Tiny Flaws in 3-D Printed Titanium Can Lead to Breakage Over Time


Tiny Flaws in 3-D Printed Titanium Can Lead to Breakage Over TimeTitanium is strong but light — a desirable property among metals. In the twentieth century, titanium was used in military aircraft and equipment and commercial jets. Today, we find this tough and flexible metal all around us — in sports gear, tools, surgical and dental implants, prosthetics, eyeglasses and jewelry.

One of the manufacturing revolutions making this explosion of titanium parts possible is additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing. Printing titanium alloys, or other metal alloys for that matter, reduces waste and cost and enables a much wider range of designs. However, the powder-based printing methods used for titanium alloys also increase porosity — the quantity and size of pores—in the final product. Porosity can decrease the material's resistance to fatigue, or cyclic strain, leading to breakage.

To understand the cause of porosity in 3-D printed titanium alloys, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) came to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Argonne National Laboratory for the intense synchrotron X-rays and a rapid imaging tool known as microtomography at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at Argonne.

The complete Argonne science highlight by By Katie Elyce Jones can be read here.

This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

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