Microhardness and Stress Analysis of Laser-Cladded AISI 420 Martensitic Stainless Steel


Laser cladding is a surface treatment process which is starting to be employed as a novel additive manufacturing. Rapid cooling during the non-equilibrium solidification process generates non-equilibrium microstructures and significant amounts of internal residual stresses. This paper investigates the laser cladding of 420 martensitic stainless steel of two single beads produced by different process parameters (e.g., laser power, laser speed, and powder feed rate). Metallographic sample preparation from the cross section revealed three distinct zones: the bead zone, the dilution zone, and the heat-affected zone (HAZ). The tensile residual stresses were in the range of 310–486 MPa on the surface and the upper part of the bead zone. The compressive stresses were in the range of 420–1000 MPa for the rest of the bead zone and the dilution zone. The HAZ also showed tensile residual stresses in the range of 140–320 MPa for both samples. The post-cladding heat treatment performed at 565 °C for an hour had significantly reduced the tensile stresses at the surface and in the subsurface and homogenized the compressive stress throughout the bead and dilution zones. The microstructures, residual stresses, and microhardness profiles were correlated for better understanding of the laser-cladding process.

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This research is funded by the Ontario Centre of Excellence Collaborative Research program. The authors would like to thank the industry sponsor for the time and resources they have provided for this research project. The authors would like to acknowledge special help and support offered by the Proto Manufacturing Ltd for the residual stress measurement.

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Correspondence to Afsaneh Edrisy.

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Alam, M.K., Edrisy, A., Urbanic, J. et al. Microhardness and Stress Analysis of Laser-Cladded AISI 420 Martensitic Stainless Steel. J. of Materi Eng and Perform 26, 1076–1084 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11665-017-2541-x

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  • AISI 420
  • cladding
  • heat treatment
  • laser
  • martensitic
  • microhardness
  • microstructure
  • residual stress
  • stainless steel