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Correlation between process parameters, microstructure and properties of 316 L stainless steel processed by selective laser melting

: Kurzynowski, T.; Gruber, K.; Stopyra, W.; Kuźnicka, B.; Chlebus, E.


Materials Science and Engineering, A. Structural materials, properties, microstructure and processing 718 (2018), pp.64-73
ISSN: 0921-5093
ISSN: 1873-4936
Journal Article
Fraunhofer PCW-Polen ()

High-density 316 L specimens were fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM). Different processing parameters, including laser power (100, 200 W) and scanning strategies (alternating stripes without and with re-melting after every layer) were employed to evaluate their impact on microstructure and texture of the specimens. Microstructures of the specimens in as-built condition were characterised by columnar grains of austenite with intercellular segregation of Mo, Cr and Si, resulting in creation of non-equilibrium eutectic ferrite. It was found that laser energy density and scanning strategy strongly affect cellular substructure of austenite and amount of ferrite, as well as kind and degree of texture. Specific microstructure of austenite in as-built condition is the cause of almost double increase of yield strength accompanied by much smaller improvement of ultimate tensile strength and 1.4 times reduction of elongation at fracture in comparison of properties of hot-rolled SS316L sheet. Moreover, features of this substructure determine kind of the changes occurring during stress relieving at 800 °C for 5 h (among others, precipitation of sigma-phase strongly activated by presence of ferrite and residual stresses), demonstrated by decreased yield strength value with no significant changes of ultimate tensile strength and elongation. At the same time, an attempt was made to explain some unclearly interpreted observations in the literature related to a correlation between process parameters, microstructure and properties of SLM-processed steel 316 L.