Evaluation of microstructure stability at the interfaces of Al-6061 welds fabricated using ultrasonic additive manufacturing

Niyanth Sridharan*, Maxim N. Gussev, Chad M. Parish, Dieter Isheim, David N. Seidman, Kurt A. Terrani, Sudarsanam S. Babu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) is a solid-state additive manufacturing process that uses fundamental principles of ultrasonic welding and sequential layering of tapes to fabricate complex three-dimensional (3-D) components. One of the factors limiting the use of this technology is the poor tensile strength along the z-axis. Recent work has demonstrated the improvement of the z-axis properties after post-processing treatments. The abnormally high stability of the grains at the interface during post-weld heat treatments is, however, not yet well understood. In this work we use multiscale characterization to understand the stability of the grains during post-weld heat treatments. Aluminum alloy (6061) builds, fabricated using ultrasonic additive manufacturing, were post-weld heat treated at 180, 330 and 580 °C. The grains close to the tape interfaces are stable during post-weld heat treatments at high temperatures (i.e., 580 °C). This is in contrast to rapid grain growth that takes place in the bulk. Transmission electron microscopy and atom-probe tomography display a significant enrichment of oxygen and magnesium near the stable interfaces. Based on the detailed characterization, two mechanisms are proposed and evaluated: nonequilibrium nano-dispersed oxides impeding the grain growth due to grain boundary pinning, or grain boundary segregation of magnesium and oxygen reducing the grain boundary energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Characterization
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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