Process study for directed energy deposition of 316L stainless steel with TiB2 metal matrix composites

Yao Ting Ang, Swee Leong Sing, Joel Choon Wee Lim

Article ID: 13
Vol 1, Issue 2, 2022, Article identifier:13


In addition to laser powder bed fusion, directed energy deposition (DED) is also gaining interest as an effective metal additive manufacturing technique. Due to its system configuration, it is more efficient and flexible for materials development. Therefore, it can be used for processing of metal matrix composites (MMCs) through the use of powder mixture as feedstock. 316L stainless steel has high corrosion resistance, biocompatibility, and ductility. Several studies have shown the feasibility of using DED to process 316L stainless steel. The material properties of 316L stainless steel can be improved using reinforcement particles such as TiB2 to form MMCs. In this study, the effects of process parameters on microstructure and mechanical properties of 316L stainless steel reinforced with TiB2 (316L/TiB2) MMC were studied. The process parameters, including laser power, scanning speed, and hopper speed, were varied and analyzed using Taguchi L9 array. It was found that the process parameters have insignificant effect on the bulk density of the samples produced. Through this study, it is also found that tumble mixing was not suitable for the powder feedstock preparation for MMCs to be processed by DED. The microstructure of DED 316L/TiB2 MMC samples consists of columnar and equiaxed grains. Columnar grains were located within the layers while equiaxed grains were located at the interlayer zones. Fine sub-grains were also observed within these grains and their boundaries were enriched with molybdenum and chromium segregations. Precipitates containing titanium were also observed to segregate at the sub-grain boundaries. Finally, the Vickers microhardness of the DED 316L/TiB2 MMC was found to be similar to pure 316L stainless steel produced by DED.


Additive manufacturing; 3D printing; Directed energy deposition; Metal matrix composites; Steels

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