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Microstructure and Corrosion Resistance of Laser Additively Manufactured 316L Stainless Steel


Additive manufacturing (AM) of metal alloys to produce complex part designs via powder bed fusion methods such as laser melting promises to be a transformative technology for advanced materials processing. However, effective implementation of AM processes requires a clear understanding of the processing–structure–properties–performance relationships in fabricated components. In this study, we report on the formation of micro and nanoscale structures in 316L stainless steel samples printed by laser AM and their implications for general corrosion resistance. A variety of techniques including x-ray diffraction, optical, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, x-ray fluorescence, and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy were employed to characterize the microstructure and chemistry of the laser additively manufactured 316L stainless steel, which are compared with wrought 316L coupons via electrochemical polarization. Apparent segregation of Mo has been found to contribute to a loss of passivity and an increased anodic current density. While porosity will also likely impact the environmental performance (e.g., facilitating crevice corrosion) of AM alloys, this work demonstrates the critical influence of microstructure and heterogeneous solute distributions on the corrosion resistance of laser additively manufactured 316L stainless steel.

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The authors would like to acknowledge support from the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM)/America Makes and the SUNY Network of Excellence for Materials and Advanced Manufacturing. J.T. and O.D. acknowledge support for this work from the National Science Foundation under Award No. CMMI-1401662. This research used resources of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, which is a U.S. DOE Office of Science Facility, at Brookhaven National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-SC0012704. J.T and O.D would also like to thank Kim Kisslinger at the CFN for his assistance in preparing the FIB TEM samples.

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Correspondence to Jason R. Trelewicz.

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Trelewicz, J.R., Halada, G.P., Donaldson, O.K. et al. Microstructure and Corrosion Resistance of Laser Additively Manufactured 316L Stainless Steel. JOM 68, 850–859 (2016).

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