Abstract

The growing need for new materials and material combinations with superior properties for severe service applications has led to the development of near net-shape forming techniques for certain materials, such as superalloys, refractory metals (Ta, W, and Mo) and highly reactive metals (Ti and its alloys). Vacuum plasma spray (VPS) was used to produce dense Ti-6Al-4V deposits for mechanical properties evaluation. Spherical Ti-6Al-4V powder, produced by Plasma Atomization (PA), a novel patented powder fabrication technique, was used as the starting powder. Plasma atomized Ti-6Al-4V powder characteristics include: high purity, tight particle size range, highly spherical with no attached satellites, and excellent flowability. The resulting as-sprayed Ti-6Al-4V deposits were dense and low in oxygen content. Thermal treatment was conducted after spraying in order to improve the structure and the properties of the spray formed material. The mechanical properties of the material, including tensile strength, elongation and hardness, in both the as-sprayed and the heat treated conditions were compared. The mechanical properties of these preliminary VPS Ti-6Al-4V specimens indicate that the combination of high purity starting powder and controlled environment deposition can be used to produce dense spray formed Ti-6Al-4V structures with properties comparable to those of cast or sintered powder metallurgy parts.

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