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Microstructure and Mechanical Behavior of an Additive Manufactured (AM) WE43-Mg alloy

This publication relates to work that WIU-QCML performed on the Army Research Lab-Ballistic Protection Program with collaborators at University of North Texas. Process development was conducted using a novel WE-43 Magnesium alloy through metal powder bed fusion 3D printing technology. WE-43 alloy is a desirable material, as it has a high strength, a low density, and good corrosion resistance. One of the challenges with fabricating WE-43 through 3D printing is the close proximity of the melting and vaporization temperatures of Magnesium.

Microstructure and densities were evaluated using various processing parameters, and hot isostatic pressing (HIP) was performed on selected samples. Process parameters were found that resulted in near-theoretical sample density. As-built porosity ranged from 0.3%-12.4%, and HIP’d porosity ranged from 0.3%-2.7%. High strain rate behavior was evaluated using a Split-Hopkinson Pressure Bar testing system. The 3D printed samples were found to have higher strength than conventional cast and T5 heat treated alloys. The HIP process reduced both porosity and ductility compared to the as-built samples. The results of this research bring 3D printed magnesium parts closer to reality, enabling weight savings in a variety of applications, including ballistic protection for soldiers.

S. Gangireddy, B. Gwalani, K. Liu, E. J. Faierson, R. S. Mishra, “Microstructure and Mechanical Behavior of an Additive Manufactured (AM) WE43-Mg alloy,” Additive Manufacturing, Vol. 26, pp 53-64, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2018.12.015.

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