To exploit the whole potential of Additive Manufacturing, it is essential to investigate the complex relationships between Additive Manufacturing processes, the resulting microstructure, and mechanical properties of the materials and components. In the present work, Selective Laser Melted (SLM) (process category: powder bed fusion), Laser Deposition Welded (LDW) (process category: direct energy deposition) and, for comparison, Continuous Casted and then hot and cold drawn (CC) austenitic stainless steel AISI 316L blanks were investigated with regard to their microstructure and mechanical properties. To exclude the influence of surface topography and focus the investigation on the volume microstructure, the blanks were turned into final geometry of specimens. The additively manufactured (AM-) blanks were manufactured in both the horizontal and vertical building directions. In the horizontally built specimens, the layer planes are perpendicular and in vertical building direction, they are parallel to the load axis of the specimens. The materials from different manufacturing processes exhibit different chemical composition and hence, austenite stability. Additionally, all types of blanks were heat treated (2 h, 1070 °C, H2
O) and the influence of the heat treatment on the properties of differently manufactured materials were investigated. From the cyclic deformation curves obtained in the load increase tests, the anisotropic fatigue behavior of the AM-specimens could be detected with only one specimen in each building direction for the different Additive Manufacturing processes, which could be confirmed by constant amplitude tests. The results showed higher fatigue strength for horizontally built specimens compared to the vertical building direction. Furthermore, the constant amplitude tests show that the austenite stability influences the fatigue behavior of differently manufactured 316L. Using load increase tests as an efficient rating method of the anisotropic fatigue behavior, the influence of the heat treatment on anisotropy could be determined with a small number of specimens. These investigations showed no significant influence of the heat treatment on the anisotropic behavior of the AM-specimens.
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