Comprehensive finite element modeling of Ti-6Al-4V cellular solids fabricated by electron beam melting

Edel Arrieta, University of Texas at El Paso


Additive manufacturing permits the fabrication of cellular metals which are materials that can be highly customizable and possess multiple and extraordinary properties such as damage tolerance, metamorphic and auxetic behaviors, and high specific stiffness. This makes them the subject of interest for innovative applications. With interest in these materials for energy absorption applications, this work presents the development of nonlinear finite element models in commercial software platforms (MSC Patran/Nastran) that permit the analysis of the deformation mechanisms of these materials under compressive loads. In the development of these models, a detailed multiscale study on the different factors affecting the response of cellular metals was conducted with the objective to understanding the physics with the objective of selecting the most appropriate experiments. In that manner, a series of experiments were conducted on Ti-6Al-4V specimens fabricated by electron beam melting at different manufacturing orientations. Digital image correlation was presented as a vital tool for the measurement of strains in specimens with complex shapes; the experiments contemplated compression and tension tests of Ti-6Al-4V solid components, as well as compression tests on cellular lattices of the same alloy. FEMs were developed from the same CAD file utilized for the fabrication of the lattices; in addition, different meshing approaches and mesh convergence analysis were discussed. The mesh density showed convergence in models with over 70,000 elements, permitting the evaluation of the stress/strain-distribution mechanisms in the lattices. However, because of the considerable variability of the experimental material properties, some numerical results showed significant errors in predicting the compressive force applied to the lattices during the experiments; thus suggesting the need to improve the quality control in the manufacturing process and develop better technologies in computational mechanics for the modeling of cellular metals.^

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Arrieta, Edel, "Comprehensive finite element modeling of Ti-6Al-4V cellular solids fabricated by electron beam melting" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10282552.