Selective laser melting (SLM) and electron beam melting (EBM) are layer-based additive manufacturing (AM) processes that enable production of highly complex geometries without the necessity of using expensive tools or molds. Due to the freedom of design and the possibility of processing high-performance materials (e.g. Ti-Al6-V4), the AM technologies gain increasing interest in numerous fields, e.g. the aerospace and biomedical industry. With respect to the high requirements regarding reliability and durability of components in these fields, the current study focuses on the fatigue behavior of additively manufactured Ti-Al6-V4.
Specimens were tested in the high cycle fatigue (HCF) and very high cycle fatigue (VHCF) regime. In addition to the as-built condition, post-treated conditions were tested in order to evaluate the effect of subsequent heat treatments and hot-isostatic-pressing. Thorough microstructure and fracture surface analyses by scanning electron microscopy allowed for quantitative evaluation of the impact of the type, size and location of the crack initiating defect defects on the overall fatigue performance.