Seminar – Dr. Marco Simonelli: A new class of lightweight alloys enabled by laser powder bed fusion

A new class of lightweight alloys enabled by laser powder bed fusion: from alloy design to material development

Speaker: Dr. Marco Simonelli, Assistant Professor of University of Nottingham, Early Career Member of Association of Industrial Laser Users and East Midlands Materials Society

When: March 27, 2:00 PM

Location: CEME 2202 (6250 Applied Science Lane)


The most prominent metal additive manufacturing technique, known as laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF), has attracted interest in diverse industrial sectors thanks to its compatibility with generative design methods. L-PBF materials science has instead lagged behind developments owing to the numerous scientific challenges that the fast dynamics associated to the laser-material interaction pose during printing. This talk will explore how the fast solidification(s) and cooling rate(s) occurring during L-PBF present alloy design opportunities to attain novel superior materials (that, in turn, might open up new applications for L-PBF). The talk will cover our recent research on titanium alloys, which will be used an example to show how the thermal conditions inherent to L-PBF can be used to create metastable microstructures with unique properties. Firstly, I will present an alloy adaptation of the widely used Ti-6Al-4V to form desirable ultrafine α + β grain laminar microstructures to evade the strength-ductility paradigm. In a second example, the presentation will discuss the development of a novel β-titanium alloy formulated from affordable alloy constituents. The alloy design procedures discussed in the talk are supported by experimental trials using state-of-the-art L-PBF equipment, microscopy and mechanical characterization, and show how it is possible to achieve a strain-transformable alloys which combine high-strength and ductility in the as-printed condition.


Dr Marco Simonelli is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM), University of Nottingham, UK. He studied biomaterials at the University of Genoa and he gained his PhD in 2014 for his research on the metallurgy of Ti-6Al-4V produced by laser additive manufacturing. After post-doctoral research on metal additive manufacturing at CfAM, in 2018, he was awarded a research fellowship to investigate new materials for laser additive manufacturing with the goal to exploit the unique solidification conditions present in the process. His current research interests are fundamentals of cellular and dendritic growth, hot tearing of aluminium alloys, modelling of alloy solidification and development of ad-hoc testing for additive manufacturing. He is an early career member of the Association of Industrial Laser Users and East Midlands Materials Society, forums where he advocates the use of additive manufacturing for innovation in light metal manufacture.