Processability of Laser Powder Bed Fusion of Alloy 247LC : Influence of process parameters on microstructure and defects

Abstract: This thesis is about laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) of the nickel-based superalloy: Alloy 247LC. Alloy 247LC is used mainly in gas turbine blades and processing the blades with L-PBF confers performance advantage over the blades manufactured with conventional methods. This is mainly because L-PBF is more suitable, than conventional methods, for manufacturing the complex cooling holes in the blades. The research was motivated by the need for academia and industry to gain knowledge about the processability of the alloy using L-PBF. The knowledge is essential in order to eventually solve the problem of cracking which is a major problem when manufacturing the alloy. In addition, dense parts with low void content should be manufactured and the parts should meet the required performance. Thus, the thesis answered some of the important questions related to process parameter-microstructure-defect relationships.The thesis presented an introduction in chapter 1. A literature review was made in chapter 2 to 4. In chapter 2, the topic of additive manufacturing was introduced followed by an overview of laser powder bed fusion. Chapter 3 focused on superalloys. Here, a review was made from the broader perspective of superalloys but was eventually narrowed down to the characteristics of nickelbased superalloys and finally Alloy 247LC. Chapter 4 reviewed the main research on L-PBF of Alloy 247LC. The methodology applied in the thesis was discussed in chapter 5. The thesis applied statistical design of experiments to show the influence of process parameters on the defects and microstructure, so a detail description of the method was warranted. This was given at the beginning of chapter 5 and followed by the description of the L-PBF manufacturing and the characterization methods. The main results and discussions, in chapter 6, included a preliminary investigation on how the process parameters influenced the amount of discontinuity in single track samples. This was followed by the results and discussions on the investigation of voids, cracks and microhardness in cube samples (detail presentation was given in the attached paper B). Finally, the thesis presented results of the microstructure obtainable in L-PBF manufactured Alloy 247LC. The initial results of the microstructure investigation were presented in paper A.