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Selective laser melting of in-situ TiC/Ti5Si3 composites with novel reinforcement architecture and elevated performance

: Gu, D.; Hagedorn, Y.-C.; Meiners, W.; Wissenbach, K.; Poprawe, R.


Surface and coatings technology 205 (2011), Nr.10, S.3285-3292
ISSN: 0257-8972
Fraunhofer ILT ()

A novel Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process was applied to prepare bulk-form TiC/Ti5Si3 in-situ composites starting from Ti/SiC powder system. The influence of the applied laser energy density on densification, microstructure, and mechanical performance of SLM-processed composite parts was studied. It showed that the uniformly dispersed TiC reinforcing phase having a unique network distribution and a submicron-scale dendritic morphology was formed as a laser energy density of 0.4 kJ/m was properly settled. The 96.9% dense SLM-processed TiC/Ti5Si3 composites had a high microhardness of 980.3HV0.2, showing more than a 3-fold increase upon that of the unreinforced Ti part. The dry sliding wear tests revealed that the TiC/Ti5Si3 composites possessed a considerably low friction coefficient of 0.2 and a reduced wear rate of 1.42 × 10- 4 mm3/Nm. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) characterization of the worn surface morphology indicated that the high wear resistance was due to the formation of adherent and strain-hardened tribolayer. The densification rate, microhardness, and wear performance generally decreased at a higher laser energy density of 0.8 kJ/m, due to the formation of thermal cracks and the significant coarsening of TiC dendritic reinforcing phase.