A comparison on metallurgical behaviors of 316L stainless steel by selective laser melting and laser cladding deposition
Abstract Selective laser melting (SLM) and laser cladding deposition (LCD) are two typical kinds of laser additive manufacturing techniques that have been developed for many years independently. Although they are based on the same principle of laser cladding, there are little comparison on the fundamental studies for metallurgical behavior (including melting and solidification behaviors) and the mechanical properties of these two techniques up to now. In this paper, the single-track formation and the deposition of block sample from 316L stainless steel powders have been carried out by both SLM and LCD techniques. A comparison on pool shape, cooling rate, columnar grain size and mechanical properties under different processing conditions by LCD and SLM respectively has been studied. It is found that, due to the increase of energy input and the decrease of depth-to-width ratio of melting pool (MP) from SLM to LCD, the primary cellular arm spacing (PCAS) of the sample increases from less than 1.0μm to more than 15.0μm, and thus the cooling rate of MP decreases from about 10 6 K/s in SLM to about 10 2 K/s in LCD. Furthermore, due to the decrease of cooling rate from SLM to LCD, the columnar grains of the as forming alloy are getting coarser. Especially, the relationship between gain size (λ) and the reciprocal of square root of cooling rate ( T ̇ ) in LCD significantly meets the classical linear function of λ = a + b / T ̇ ( a and b are constants), while a new relationship of a cubic function is found in SLM, showing the different solidification characteristics between LCD and SLM. Lastly, the samples of 316L stainless steel by SLM have much stronger tensile strength but lower elongation than those by LCD, and the main reason is due to that the solidification behavior of the MPs by SLM can form much finer columnar grains than those by LCD.
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