With a well-controlled laser melt injection (LMI) process, for the first time the feasibility is demonstrated to produce SiC particles (SiCp) reinforced Ti6Al4V functionally graded materials (FGMs). SiCp are injected just behind the laser beam into the extended part of the laser melt pool that is formed at relatively high beam scanning velocities. The process allows for the minimization of the decomposition reaction between SiCp and Ti6Al4V melt, and also leads to FGMs of SiCp/Ti6Al4V instead of a homogeneous composite layer on Ti6Al4V substrates. An injection model is designed based on the temperature/viscosity field of the laser pool for a deeper understanding the mechanism of formation of the FGMs with LMI. The model is based on finite element calculations of the temperature field in the melt pool, physical considerations of the LMI process and it is supported by experimental observations.
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