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Processing of a newly developed nitrogen-alloyed ferritic-austenitic stainless steel by laser powder bed fusion – Microstructure and properties

Becker, L. and Röttger, A. and Boes, J. and Weber, S. and Theisen, W.

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
Volume: 46 Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/j.addma.2021.102185
Published: 2021

Abstract
In this work, a novel alloy design of a stainless steel with a ferritic-austenitic microstructure is derived for PBF-LB/M (powder bed fusion-laser beam/metal). The alloy was developed based on X2CrNiMo17-12-2 steel, for which an austenite volume content of approx. 54 vol% in the PBF-LB/M state was achieved using a reduced Ni equivalent. Partial substitution of Ni by Mn increases the N solubility of the alloy. By melting and further gas-atomizing this melt in an N2 atmosphere, an N content of 0.27 mass% was set in the produced steel powder. This leads to both high strength and high corrosion resistance of the PBF-LB/M-processed steel. However, microstructural investigations in the PBF-LB/M state confirm a microstructure consisting of ferrite, austenite, and Mo- and Cr-rich nitrides of M2N type. The nitrides were not completely eliminated by a subsequent heat treatment of the PBF-LB/M samples. As a result of the solution annealing, the microstructure approaches the thermodynamic equilibrium so that the austenite volume content increases from 54.2 vol% to 92.7 vol%. The higher Cr and N contents result in a higher corrosion resistance of the investigated steel compared to PBF-LB/M-processed X2CrNiMo17-12-2, regarded as the reference material. In addition, the measured strengths are significantly higher due to the larger amounts of austenite/ferrite interfaces and the N-induced solid-solution strengthening effect compared to X2CrNiMo17-12-2. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.

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