Direct metal laser-sintered stainless steel: comparison of microstructure and hardness between different planes
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Microstructural analysis and micro-hardness measurements were performed on different planes of 316L stainless steel fabricated by direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technique. A fine cellular network was observed within the steel microstructure, where morphology of most cells changed from columnar on XZ-plane (vertical section) to equiaxed on XY-plane (horizontal section). Correspondingly, morphology of most grains was found to alter from columnar for the XZ-plane to equiaxed in the case of the XY-plane. Moreover, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed a fully austenitic structure for both the planes. The average micro-hardness value for the XZ-plane and XY-plane was insignificantly (≈ 3%) different, which was attributed to the random grain orientation observed on both the planes. However, the average micro-hardness of the DMLS-fabricated 316L stainless steel in this contribution was approximately 25% higher than that of the as-cast one.
KeywordsAdditive manufacturing Stainless steel Microstructure Hardness DMLS
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This effort was performed through the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining under the America Makes Program entitled “Parametric Design of Functional Support Structures for Metal Alloy Feedstocks (Project 4047)” and is based on research sponsored by Air Force Research Laboratory under agreement number FA8650-12-2-7230. The US Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Government.
Distribution authorized to US Government Agencies and America Makes Members; Critical Technology. Other request for this document shall be referred to AFRL/RXMS, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433–7750.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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