Additive Manufacturing Letters (Jul 2023)

Exploring Alloy Design Pathway Through Directed Energy Deposition of Powder Mixtures: A Study of Stainless Steel 316L and Inconel 718

  • Noah Sargent,
  • Yuankang Wang,
  • Daozheng Li,
  • Yunhao Zhao,
  • Xin Wang,
  • Wei Xiong

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6
p. 100133


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Additive manufacturing (AM) is a tool for rapid prototyping with complex geometry. However, the cyclic heating and cooling in laser melting processes often cause large columnar grains that dominate the as-printed microstructure, resulting in a strong texture and anisotropic properties that limit the application of AM. In this work, we apply powder-based directed energy deposition to discover new alloys using mixtures of Inconel 718 (IN718) and Stainless Steel 316L (SS316L). We discovered that the 77 wt.% IN718 alloy mixture, with the highest configurational entropy, demonstrated an intriguingly fine grain structure in the as-built condition and after homogenization at 1180°C. Residual stress from the laser melting process was identified as the primary cause of the observed grain refinement phenomenon. Although, a quantitative analysis of the changes in grain size after homogenization in the alloy mixtures of IN718 and SS316L requires further research. The discovery of this unique microstructural behavior shows how in-situ mixing of commercially available powders can be used to develop next-generation feedstock materials for AM and improve the understanding of fundamental process-microstructure-property relationships.