In this work, the microstructure and mechanical properties of an additively manufactured X3NiCoMoTi18-9-5 maraging steel were determined. Optical and electron microscopies revealed the formation of melt pool boundaries and epitaxial grain growth with cellular dendritic structures after the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process. The cooling rate is estimated to be around 106
°C/s during solidification, which eliminates the nucleation of any precipitates. However, it allows the formation of austenite with a volume fraction of about 5% and dendritic structures with primary arm spacing of 0.41 ± 0.23 µm. The electron backscatter diffraction analysis showed the formation of elongated grains with significant low-angle grain boundaries (LAGBs). Then, a solutionizing treatment was applied to the as-printed samples to dissolve all the secondary phases, followed by aging treatment. The reverted austenite was evident after heat treatment, which transformed into martensite after tensile testing. The critical plastic stresses for this transformation were determined using the double differentiation method. The tensile strength of the alloy increased from 1214 MPa to 2106 MPa after the aging process due to the formation of eta phase. The experimental data were complemented with thermodynamic and mechanical properties simulations, which showed a discrepancy of less than 3%.
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