High-Temperature Properties and Microstructural Stability of the AISI H13 Hot-Work Tool Steel Processed by Selective Laser Melting
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The microstructural stabilities, softening resistance, and high-temperature tensile properties of the H13 hot-work tool steel by selective laser melting (SLM) were systematically studied. A series of tempering procedures were performed on the as-SLMed specimens. Afterwards, the mechanism of softening resistance behavior was discussed based on the XRD, SEM, EBSD observations, hardness measurements, and high-temperature tensile tests. It was found that the as-SLMed H13 consisted of α-iron and γ-iron. The carbide-stabilizing elements aggregated as the cell-like substructures for the rapid solidification of the SLM process. After the softening resistance treatment, the retained austenite transformed to ferrite and carbide mixtures. The cell-like substructures dissolved slowly into the matrix when the temperature was below 550 °C. These factors increased the hardness and retarded the softening of the material. When the temperature was 600 °C, the microstructural constituents transformed to soft ferrite and globular carbides, which lead to a considerable decrease of the hardness. Due to the grain refinement, solid solution strengthening, and residual stress, the as-SLMed H13 exhibited better mechanical properties than that of the wrought counterparts.
This work was supported by Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2015ZDTD028), Hubei Science and Technology Innovation Project (No. 2014AAA020), Wuhan Key Technology Project (No. 2015010202010088), and the Academic Frontier Youth Team of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Science and Technology Major Project of Guangdong Province (No. 2017B090911007), and Science and Technology Major Project of Foshan City (No. 2016AG101253). The authors would also like to thank the State key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Die and Mould Technology, and the Analysis and Testing Center of HUST.
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