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Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 46, Issue 17, pp 5859–5875 | Cite as

Experimental studies on process-induced morphological characteristics of macro- and microstructures in laser consolidated alloys

  • Jianyin ChenEmail author
  • Lijue Xue
  • Sheng-Hui Wang
Article

Abstract

Laser consolidation (LC) developed by National Research Council’s Industrial Materials Institute (NRC-IMI-London) since mid-1990s, is a laser cladding based rapid manufacturing and material additive process that could fabricate a “net-shape” functional metallic shape through a “layer-upon-layer” deposition directly from a computer aided design model without using molds or dies. In order to evaluate the LC processability of different materials, some representative nickel-based superalloys (IN-625, IN-718, IN-738, and Waspaloy), stainless steels (austenitic SS316L and martensitic SS420), and lightweight alloys (Ti–6Al–4V titanium alloy and Al-4047 aluminum alloy) have been investigated. Like other laser cladding based processes, due to process-induced rapid directional solidification, the LC alloys have demonstrated certain unique morphological characteristics. Moreover, the “as-consolidated” LC alloys, in nature, are in the “as-quenched” state, and some precipitation processes from their matrices, which are sometimes critical to the development of mechanical performance of the materials, could be effectively suppressed or retarded. Post-heat treatments, therefore, could necessarily facilitate the process of achieving their required operational microstructures. In this article, a comprehensive investigation was performed including metallurgical soundness and process-induced morphological characteristics of the LC materials, and microstructure development brought by post-LC heat treatments using optical microscope, scanning electron microscope, and X-ray diffraction. The implications on the mechanical performance of the LC materials were discussed as well in order to provide essential information for potential industrial applications of the LC materials.

Keywords

Computer Numerically Control Columnar Dendrite High Solidification Rate Maximum Temperature Gradient Primary Solidification Phase 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge A. Theriault, A. Gillett, N. Santos, G. Wabersich, B. Gibson, A. Chen, and M. Meinert, NRC-IMI (London, ON), for their important contributions to the preparation of the LC specimens for metallurgical characterization and mechanical testing, and the authors are grateful to Dr. Jiaren (Jimmy) Jiang, NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (Vancouver, BC), for some useful discussion on rapid directional solidification of metals during the preparation of the manuscript as well.

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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Industrial Materials InstituteNational Research Council of CanadaLondonCanada
  2. 2.Chalk River LaboratoriesAtomic Energy of Canada LimitedChalk RiverCanada

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