The selective laser melting (SLM) process was used to fabricate an Alloy718 specimen. The microstructure and creep properties were characterized in both the as-built and post-processed SLM materials. Post-processing involved several heat treatments and a combination of hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and solution treatment and aging (STA) to homogenize the microstructure. The experimental results showed that the originally recommended heat treatment process, STA-980 °C, for cast and wrought materials was not effective for SLM-processed specimens. Obvious grain growth structures were obtained in the STA-1180 °C/1 h and STA-1180 °C/4 h specimens. However, the grain size was uneven since heavy distortion or high-density dislocation formed during the SLM process, which would be harmful for the mechanical properties of SLM-fabricated materials. The HIP+ direct aging process was the most effective method among the post-processes to improve the creep behavior at 650 °C. The creep rupture life of the HIP+ direct aging condition approached 800 h since the HIP process had the benefit of being free of pores, thus preventing microcrack nucleation and the formation of a serrated grain boundary.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited