Fatigue Properties of Additively Manufactured Alloy 718

Abstract: Additive Manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D Printing, is a disruptive modern manufacturing process, in which parts are manufactured in a layer-wise fashion. Among the metal AM processes, Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) technology has opened up a design space that was not formerly accessible with conventional manufacturing processes. It is, now, possible to manufacture complex geometries, such as topology-optimized structures, lattice structures and intricate internal channels, with relative ease. PBF is comprised of Electron Beam Melting (EBM) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) processes.Though AM processes offer several advantages, the suitability of these processes to replace conventional manufacturing processes must be studied in detail; for instance, the capability to produce components of consistent quality. Therefore, understanding the relationship between the AM process together with the post treatment used and the resulting microstructure and its influence on the mechanical properties is crucial, to enable manufacturing of high-performance components. In this regard, for AM built Alloy 718, only a limited amount of work has been performed compared to conventional processes such as casting and forging. The aim of this work, therefore, is to understand how the fatigue properties of EBM and SLM built Alloy 718, subjected to different thermal post-treatments, is affected by the microstructure. In addition, the effect of as-built surface roughness is also studied.Defects can have a detrimental effect on fatigue life. Numerous factors such as the defect type, size, shape, location, distribution and nature determine the effect of defects on properties. Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) improves fatigue life as it leads to closure of most defects. Presence of oxides in the defects, however, hinders complete closure by HIP. Machining the as-built surface improves fatiguelife; however, for EBM manufactured material, the extent of improvement is dependent on the amount of material removed. The as-built surface roughness, which has numerous crack initiation sites, leads to lower scatter in fatigue life. In both SLM and EBM manufactured material, fatigue crack propagation is transgranular. Crack propagation is affected by grain size and texture of the material.