Materials Science, Metallurgy; Tensile Strength; Hardness; Microstructure; Grain Morphology; Epitaxial Grain Growth; Scan Strategy; Directional Dependencies
The thorough description of the peculiarities of additively manufactured structures represents a current challenge for aspiring freeform fabrication methods, such as the selective laser melting (SLM). All of which have an immense advantage in the fast fabrication (no special tooling or moulds required), the geometrical flexibility in the design of components, and their efficiency when only low quantities are required. However, designs demand the precise knowledge of the material properties, which in case of additively manufactured structures are anisotropic and, under certain circumstances, in addition of an inhomogeneous nature. Furthermore, these characteristics are highly dependent on the fabrication settings. Within this study, the anisotropic tensile properties of selective laser melted stainless steel (1.4404, 316L) are investigated: The Young’s modulus ranged from 148 GPa to 227 GPa, the ultimate tensile strength from 512 MPa to 699 MPa and the breaking elongation ranged, respectively, from 12% to 43%. The results were compared to related studies, in order to classify the influence of the fabrication settings. Furthermore, the influence of the chosen raw material was addressed by comparing deviations on the directional dependencies reasoned by differing microstructural developments during manufacture. Stainless steel was found to possess its maximum strength at a 45° layer versus loading offset, which is precisely where AlSi10Mg was previously reported to be at its weakest.