Author ORCID Identifier

http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8665-5259

Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Haluk E. Karaca

Abstract

Selective Laser Melting (SLM) of Additive Manufacturing is an attractive fabrication method that employs CAD data to selectively melt the metal powder layer by layer via a laser beam and produce a 3D part. This method not only opens a new window in overcoming traditional NiTi fabrication problems but also for producing porous or complex shaped structures. The combination of SLM fabrication advantages with the unique properties of NiTi alloys, such as shape memory effect, superelasticity, high ductility, work output, corrosion, biocompatibility, etc. makes SLM NiTi alloys extremely promising for numerous applications.

The SLM process parameters such as laser power, scanning speed, spacing, and strategy used during the fabrication are determinant factors in composition, microstructural features and functional properties of the SLM NiTi alloy. Therefore, a comprehensive and systematic study has been conducted over Ni50.8 Ti49.2 (at%) alloy to understand the influence of each parameter individually. It was found that a sharp [001] texture is formed as a result of SLM fabrication which leads to improvements in the superelastic response of the alloy. It was perceived that transformation temperatures, microstructure, hardness, the intensity of formed texture and the correlated thermo-mechanical response are changed substantially with alteration of each parameter. The provided knowledge will allow choosing optimized parameters for tailoring the functional features of SLM fabricated NiTi alloys. Without going through any heat treatments, 5.77% superelasticity with more than 95% recovery ratio was obtained in as-fabricated condition only with the selection of right process parameters.

Additionally, thermal treatments can be utilized to form precipitates in Ni-rich SLM NiTi alloys fabricated by low energy density. Precipitation could significantly alter the matrix composition, transformation temperatures and strain, critical stress for transformation, and shape memory response of the alloy. Therefore, a systematic aging study has been performed to reveal the effects of aging time and temperature. It was found that although SLM fabricated samples show lower strength than the initial ingot, heat treatments can be employed to make significant improvements in shape memory response of SLM NiTi. Up to 5.5% superelastic response and perfect shape memory effect at stress levels up to 500 MPa was observed in solutionized Ni-rich SLM NiTi after 18h aging at 350ºC. For practical application, transformation temperatures were even adjusted without solution annealing and superelastic response of 5.5% was achieved at room temperature for 600C-1.5hr aged Ni-rich SLM NiTi.

The effect of porosity on strength and cyclic response of porous SLM Ni50.1 Ti49.9 (at%) were investigated for potential bone implant applications. It is shown that mechanical properties of samples such as elastic modulus, yield strength, and ductility of samples are highly porosity level and pore structure dependent. It is shown that it is feasible to decrease Young’s modulus of the SLM NiTi up to 86% by adding porosity to reduce the mismatch with that of a bone and still retain the shape memory response of SLM fabricated NiTi. The shape memory effect, as well as superelastic response of porous SLM Ni50.8Ti49.2,were also investigated at body temperature. 32 and 45% porous samples with similar behaviors, recovered 3.5% of 4% deformation at first cycle. The stabilized superelastic response was obtained after clicking experiments.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.173

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