Boundary characterization using 3D mapping of geometrically necessary dislocations in AM Ta microstructure

Wyatt A. Witzen, Andrew T. Polonsky, Paul F. Rottmann, Kira M. Pusch, McLean L.P. Echlin, Tresa M. Pollock, Irene J. Beyerlein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Additive manufacturing (AM) of high strength metallic materials produces microstructures and defects that deviate substantially from those created through conventional manufacturing methods. It has recently been demonstrated that with application of extreme energy densities, a high-temperature refractory metal, tantalum (Ta), can be printed to a fully dense state with exceptionally low porosity. Here we employ a combination of three-dimensional electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) TriBeam technology and crystallographic geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) theory to characterize the microstructure and defect boundaries of this unusual AM product. Two-dimensional (2D) EBSD and these three-dimensional (3D) measurements indicate that the microstructure of AM Ta is highly oriented ⟨ 111 ⟩ along the build direction, yet at the same time contains large crystallographic orientation gradients that span mm’s across the build. Crystallographic GND density analysis of the 3D microstructure reveals that highly misoriented subboundaries exist within this strongly textured microstructure that have large dislocation densities of 1 × 10 16m - 2, just as large as those comprising the high-angle grain boundaries (HAGBs) in the same material. The 3D crystallographic GND density mapping reveals these subboundaries are part of a complex, finely spaced network that extends throughout the entire microstructure. Furthermore, the orientation of these boundaries can be related to the scan strategy used during printing. TEM measurements corroborate an extremely high dislocation density at the microscale and indicate a cell-like dislocation network structure existing in the AM Ta at the sub-μm scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9885-9902
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Materials Science
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Boundary characterization using 3D mapping of geometrically necessary dislocations in AM Ta microstructure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this