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J. Eng. Mater. Technol. 2018;141(1):011001-011001-5. doi:10.1115/1.4040554.

This paper outlines a microstructure-based model relating gamma prime microstructure and grain size of Ni-base alloys to their creep behavior. The ability of the model to explain creep of multiple superalloys with a single equation and parameter set is demonstrated. The only parameters that are changed from alloy to alloy are related to the gamma prime characteristics and grain size. This model also allows prediction of creep performance as a function of heat treatment and explains some apparently contradictory data from the literature.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Mater. Technol. 2018;141(1):011002-011002-7. doi:10.1115/1.4040556.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are well known as perfect reinforcement for high strength and lightweight composites due to their high specific strength, thermal, electrical, and mechanical characteristics. One of the important challenges is to obtain a homogeneous dispersion of CNTs in metal matrix, so development technologies for producing metal matrix composites (MMCs) is of great interest. Melting followed by solidification, may be successfully utilized for synthesizing CNT-reinforced aluminum-based MMCs. In this study, Al/CNT composites have been produced by direct injection of CNTs in pure aluminum using high-pressure die casting (HPDC) method. The as-produced billets were subjected to cyclic extrusion (CE) to refine CNT agglomerates and to increase CNT dispersion in aluminum. Current investigation demonstrates that more than 50% efficiency of combined HPDC-CE production method has been achieved. The resulting composites demonstrated improved mechanical properties.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Mater. Technol. 2018;141(1):011003-011003-12. doi:10.1115/1.4040222.

Arising from long-term high temperature service, the microstructure of nickel-base (Ni-base) superalloy components undergoes thermally and deformation-induced aging characterized by isotropic coarsening and directional coarsening (rafting) of the γ precipitates. The net result of the morphological evolutions of the γ particles is a deviation of the mechanical behavior from that of the as-heat treated properties. To capture the influence of a rafted and isotropic aged microstructure states on the long-term constitutive behavior of a Ni-base superalloy undergoing thermomechanical fatigue (TMF), a temperature-dependent crystal viscoplasticity (CVP) constitutive model is extended to include the effects of aging. The influence of aging in the CVP framework is captured through the addition of internal state variables that measure the widening of the γ channels and in-turn update the material parameters of the CVP model. Through the coupling with analytical derived kinetic equations to the CVP model, the enhanced CVP model is shown to be in good agreement when compared to experimental behavior in describing the long-term aging effects on the cyclic response of a directionally solidified (DS) Ni-base superalloy used in hot section components of industrial gas turbines.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Mater. Technol. 2018;141(1):011004-011004-8. doi:10.1115/1.4040553.

Mechanical properties of additive manufactured metal components can be affected by the orientation of the layer deposition. In this investigation, Ti–6Al–4V cylindrical specimens were fabricated by electron beam melting (EBM) at four different build angles (0 deg, 30 deg, 60 deg, and 90 deg) and tested as per ASTM E8 Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials. With the layer-by-layer fabrication suggesting granting anisotropic properties to the builds, strain fields were recorded by digital image correlation (DIC) in the search for shear effects under uniaxial loads. For the validation of this measuring method, axial strains were measured with a clip extensometer and a virtual extensometer, simultaneously. Failure analysis of the specimens at different orientations was conducted to evidence the recording of shear strain fields. The failure analysis included fractography, optical micrographs of the microstructure distribution, and failure profiles displaying different failure features associated with the layering orientation. Additionally, an experimental study case of how the failure mode of components can potentially be designed from the fabrication process is presented. At the end, remarks about the shear effects found, and an insight of the possibility of designing components by failure for safer structures are discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Eng. Mater. Technol. 2018;141(1):011005-011005-11. doi:10.1115/1.4040555.

Cellular architectures are promising in a variety of engineering applications due to attractive material properties. Additive manufacturing has reduced the difficulty in the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) cellular materials. In this paper, the numerical homogenization method for 3D cellular materials is provided based on a short, self-contained matlab code. It is an educational description that shows how the homogenized constitutive matrix is computed by a voxel model with one material to be void and another material to be solid. A voxel generation algorithm is proposed to generate the voxel model easily by the wireframe scripts of unit cell topologies. The format of the wireframe script is defined so that the topology can be customized. The homogenization code is then extended to multimaterial cellular structures and thermal conductivity problems. The result of the numerical homogenization shows that different topologies exhibit anisotropic elastic properties to a different extent. It is also found that the anisotropy of cellular materials can be controlled by adjusting the combination of materials.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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