Purdue University Graduate School


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Modeling the Fatigue Response of Additively Manufactured Ti-6Al-4V with Prior BETA Boundaries Using Crystal Plasticity Finite Element Methods

posted on 2022-07-25, 12:33 authored by Sidharth Gowtham KrishnamoorthiSidharth Gowtham Krishnamoorthi

With the emergence of additive manufacturing (AM), there is a need to understand the role of microstructures resulting from AM on the mechanical performance of the material. Ti-6Al-4V alloys are widely used within the aerospace industry as well as other industries to achieve high strength, low weight premium performance parts. There is a desire to utilize AM to produce Ti-6Al-4V, although these materials need to be qualified prior to their use in safety critical applications. Within the qualification of AM Ti-6Al-4V in aeronautics, fatigue loading is a crucial aspect to. It has been seen that within AM Ti-6Al-4V, prior β boundaries can be locations of microscopic localization of plastic strain which often lead to fatigue crack initiation. This thesis aims to further understand and predict the role of AM Ti-6Al-4V microstructures in dictating fatigue behavior. Specifically, the goal was to gauge the contributions of two microstructural features resulting from AM, prior β boundaries and α lathe-shaped grains, to the localization behavior. With the need to understand and predict the emergent behavior of the material system, crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) methods were used in this thesis as the main method. 

Within the context of CPFE, there is an existing gap in the current literature of realistic synthetic microstructures of Ti-6Al-4V that capture both the prior β boundaries and α lathes. With the ability to generate realistic FE models, the effects of the microstructural features can be better studied and characterized. The first portion of this thesis focuses on the generation of such synthetic microstructures which are simulated within the CPFE framework. An emphasis is placed on modeling the prior β boundaries and α grains. As these generated models are statistically equivalent to actual microstructures, material characterization via EBSD was performed on specimen that were used in the experimental fatigue testing. With the framework’s ability to generate synthetic microstructures that consider one prior β grain or multiple β grains (and thus prior β boundaries), simulations were conducted on both conditions of microstructures. 

In the second portion of this thesis, simulations are conducted on two conditions of synthetic microstructures: models which contain 𝛼 lathes associated with one prior 𝛽 grain and models which contain multiple prior 𝛽 boundaries and the respective 𝛼 lathes. The goals of the simulations included: (1) lifing the different synthetic microstructures using a fatigue lifing model by way of the accumulated plastic strain energy density (APSED), (2) analyzing the microscopic localization of APSED at the prior β boundaries, and (3) analyzing the effects of the α lathes on the microscopic localization. This investigation aimed to further shed light on the effects of the additive manufacturing process and the implications of the resulting microstructure on the fatigue properties of AM Ti-6Al-4V. Furthermore, physics-based prognosis strategies similar to what is employed here will enable the rapid qualification of materials/structures and the ability to tailor component design on fatigue performance. 


NASA ESI19 (Grant Number 80NSSC20K0296)


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Michael D. Sangid

Additional Committee Member 2

Weinong Chen

Additional Committee Member 3

Xinghang Zhang