In situ TiC reinforced Ti6Al4V matrix composites manufactured via selective laser melting

İdris Tuğrul Gülenç, Mingwen Bai, Ria L. Mitchell, Iain Todd, Beverley J. Inkson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Current methods for the preparation of composite powder feedstock for selective laser melting (SLM) rely on costly nanoparticles or yield inconsistent powder morphology. This study aims to develop a cost-effective Ti6Al4V-carbon feedstock, which preserves the parent Ti6Al4V particle’s flowability, and produces in situ TiC-reinforced Ti6Al4V composites with superior traits. Design/methodology/approach: Ti6Al4V particles were directly mixed with graphite flakes in a planetary ball mill. This composite powder feedstock was used to manufacture in situ TiC-Ti6Al4V composites using various energy densities. Relative porosity, microstructure and hardness of the composites were evaluated for different SLM processing parameters. Findings: Homogeneously carbon-coated Ti6Al4V particles were produced by direct mixing. After SLM processing, in situ grown 100–500 nm size TiC nanoparticles were distributed within the α-martensite Ti6Al4V matrix. The formation of TiC particles refines the Ti6Al4V β grain size. Relative density varied between 96.4% and 99.5% depending on the processing parameters. Hatch distance, exposure time and point distance were all effective on relative porosity change, whereas only exposure time and point distance were effective on hardness change. Originality/value: This work introduces a novel, cost-effective powder feedstock preparation method for SLM manufacture of Ti6Al4V-TiC composites. The in situ SLM composites achieved in this study have high relative density values, well-dispersed TiC nanoparticles and increased hardness. In addition, the feedstock preparation method can be readily adapted for various matrix and reinforcement materials in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-392
Number of pages15
JournalRapid Prototyping Journal
Issue number2
Early online date20 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2024


  • Selective laser melting
  • TiC
  • Ti6Al4V
  • In Situ
  • TMCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'In situ TiC reinforced Ti6Al4V matrix composites manufactured via selective laser melting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this