Influence of heat treatment under hot isostatic pressing (HIP) on microstructure of intermetallic-reinforced tool steel manufactured by laser powder bed fusion
Journal article, 2020
Microstructure and properties of as-built laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) steels differ from the conventional ones, and they may contain some porosity and lack of fusion. Therefore, post-treatments, including hot isostatic pressing (HIP), are used to density the material, and tailor the properties of the final product. Usually, HIP is performed as an operation separate from heat treatment. In the present investigation a new approach was used, in which the whole cycle of the heat treatment was carried out in HIP under pressure, and the influence of HIP on microstructure of an advanced stainless maraging tool steel manufactured by LPBF was investigated. For a comparison, a conventional steel grade of the same chemical composition, after a heat treatment at the same temperature-time conditions, was also characterized. The microstructure of the steel was investigated by means of advanced microscopy and atom probe tomography. The influence of the manufacturing route, heat treatment and HIP on microstructure, austenitic phase fraction and size distribution of precipitates was investigated, and the role of high pressure in stabilization of austenite in the microstructure was discussed. It was concluded that since HIP influences phase transformations, a fundamental understanding of the influence of HIP on microstructure is nececcary, and development of new post processing regimes guaranteeing the best performance of the material is required.
Transmission electron microscopy
Atom probe tomography
Laser powder bed fusion
Hot isostatic pressing (HIP)