Microstructure, mechanical, and tribological properties of M3:2 high-speed steel processed by selective laser melting, hot-isostatic pressing, and casting

Geenen, K. and Röttger, A. and Feld, F. and Theisen, W.

Volume: 28 Pages: 585-599
DOI: 10.1016/j.addma.2019.05.028
Published: 2019

In this work, the influence of different manufacturing techniques of M3:2 high-speed steel on the resulting microstructure and the associated material properties was investigated. Therefore, microstructure as well as the mechanical and tribological properties of cast steel (with subsequent hot-forming) and steel powder processed by two techniques: hot-isostatic pressing (HIP) and selective laser melting (SLM) were compared. A detailed SLM parameter analysis revealed that the porosity of SLM specimens can be decreased towards a smaller point distance and a longer exposure time (high energy input). A rise in preheating temperature is associated with a reduction in the crack density or the complete avoidance of cracks. In this context, the high-speed steel showed outstanding densification behavior by SLM, even though this steel is considered to be hardly processable by SLM due to its high content of carbon and hard phase-forming elements. In addition, the reusability of steel powder for SLM processing was investigated. The results indicated that multiple reuse is possible, but only in combination with powder processing (mechanical sieving) after each SLM cycle. The microstructure of SLM-densified high-speed steel consists of a cellular, fine dendritic subgrain segregation structure (submicro level) that is not significantly affected by preheating the base plate. The mechanical and tribological properties were examined in relation to the manufacturing technique and the subsequent heat treatment. Our investigations revealed promising behavior with respect to hardness tempering (position of the secondary hardness peak) and tribology of the M3:2 steel processed by SLM compared to the HIP and cast conditions. © 2019

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