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Qualification of a Ni-Cu alloy for the laser powder bed fusion process (LPBF): Its microstructure and mechanical properties

: Raffeis, Iris; Adjei-Kyeremeh, Frank; Vroomen, Uwe; Westhoff, Elmar; Bremen, Sebastian Wilhelm; Hohoi, Alexandru; Bührig-Polaczek, Andreas

Volltext ()

Applied Sciences 10 (2020), Nr.10, Art. 3401, 15 S.
ISSN: 2076-3417
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ILT ()
additive manufacturing; Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF); microstructure; microhardness; tensiletest

As researchers continue to seek the expansion of the material base for additive manufacturing, there is a need to focus attention on the Ni–Cu group of alloys which conventionally has wide industrial applications. In this work, the G-NiCu30Nb casting alloy, a variant of the Monel family of alloys with Nb and high Si content is, for the first time, processed via the laser powder bed fusion process (LPBF). Being novel to the LPBF processes, optimum LPBF parameters were determined, and hardness and tensile tests were performed in as-built conditions and after heat treatment at 1000 °C. Microstructures of the as-cast and the as-built condition were compared. Highly dense samples (99.8% density) were achieved after varying hatch distance (80 µm and 140 µm) with scanning speed (550 mm/s–1500 mm/s). There was no significant difference in microhardness between varied hatch distance print sets. Microhardness of the as-built condition (247 HV0.2) exceeded the as-cast microhardness (179 HV0.2.). Tensile specimens built in vertical (V) and horizontal (H) orientations revealed degrees of anisotropy and were superior to conventionally reported figures. Post heat treatment increased ductility from 20% to 31% (V), as well as from 16% to 25% (H), while ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and yield strength (YS) were considerably reduced.