In situ fatigue monitoring investigation of additively manufactured maraging steel


This work describes an experimental validation set for assessing the real-time fatigue behavior of metallic additive manufacturing (AM) maraging steel structures. Maraging steel AM beams were fabricated with laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) and characterized with ex situ studies of porosity through X-ray computed tomography (CT), nano-indentation, and atomic force microscopy, as well as quasi-static testing to evaluate the as-printed state. Microscale evaluation showed void content of 0.34–0.36% with hardness and stiffness variation through the build direction on the order of 5.1–5.6 GPa and 139–154 GPa, respectively. The microscale inhomogeneities created an as-printed state where the compression and tension plasticity behavior at the macroscale was unequal in quasi-static loading, leading to greater yielding in tension. Specimens were subjected to cyclic loads, while the structural behavior was characterized through in situ magnetic permeability, digital image correlation (DIC) strain, and structural compliance measurements. In the range of 3 × 103 to 3 × 104 cycles to failure, magnetic permeability measurements were able to capture the mechanical state as early as 60% of life depending on failure location. Results are discussed with an emphasis on material-property-structure relationships in terms of the multi-scale material state and fatigue validation data for improving the durability of AM parts.

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    Certain commercial equipment and/or materials are identified in this report in order to adequately specify the experimental procedure. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology or the Army Research Laboratory, nor does it imply that the equipment and/or materials used are necessarily the best available for the purpose


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The authors would like to acknowledge the manufacturing of experimental specimens tested in this work by Mr. Bradley Ruprecht, Mr. Rashad Scott, and Mr. Jack Spangler of the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC). Mr. Scott Grendahl also assisted in the wire EDM of cylinder samples for X-ray CT. The raw/processed data required to reproduce these findings cannot be shared publically at this time as the data also forms part of an ongoing study but can be shared at request.

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Correspondence to T. C. Henry.

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Henry, T.C., Phillips, F.R., Cole, D.P. et al. In situ fatigue monitoring investigation of additively manufactured maraging steel. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 107, 3499–3510 (2020).

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  • Additive manufacturing
  • AM
  • Digital image correlation
  • DIC
  • Nano-indentation
  • X-ray computed tomography
  • Fatigue