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Rapid Alloy Development of Extremely High-Alloyed Metals Using Powder Blends in Laser Powder Bed Fusion

1
Chair of Digital Additive Production, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
2
Steel Institute, RWTH Aachen University, 52072 Aachen, Germany
3
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, 52074 Aachen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1706; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101706
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 26 May 2019
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Abstract

The design of new alloys by and for metal additive manufacturing (AM) is an emerging field of research. Currently, pre-alloyed powders are used in metal AM, which are expensive and inflexible in terms of varying chemical composition. The present study describes the adaption of rapid alloy development in laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) by using elemental powder blends. This enables an agile and resource-efficient approach to designing and screening new alloys through fast generation of alloys with varying chemical compositions. This method was evaluated on the new and chemically complex materials group of multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs), also known as high-entropy alloys (HEAs). MPEAs constitute ideal candidates for the introduced methodology due to the large space for possible alloys. First, process parameters for LPBF with powder blends containing at least five different elemental powders were developed. Secondly, the influence of processing parameters and the resulting energy density input on the homogeneity of the manufactured parts were investigated. Microstructural characterization was carried out by optical microscopy, electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), while mechanical properties were evaluated using tensile testing. Finally, the applicability of powder blends in LPBF was demonstrated through the manufacture of geometrically complex lattice structures with energy absorption functionality. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; laser powder bed fusion; high-entropy alloys; multi-principal element alloys; powder blends; rapid alloy development additive manufacturing; laser powder bed fusion; high-entropy alloys; multi-principal element alloys; powder blends; rapid alloy development
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Ewald, S.; Kies, F.; Hermsen, S.; Voshage, M.; Haase, C.; Schleifenbaum, J.H. Rapid Alloy Development of Extremely High-Alloyed Metals Using Powder Blends in Laser Powder Bed Fusion. Materials 2019, 12, 1706.

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