Abstract

As a novel manufacturing technology additive manufacturing (AM) has advantages such as energy saving, reduced material waste, faster design-to-build time, design optimization, reduction in manufacturing steps, and product customization compared to conventional manufacturing processes. Heat treatment is widely used to improve the properties of conventional manufactured steel parts. The response of additively manufactured steel parts to heat treatment may be different from conventionally manufactured steel parts due to variations in microstructure. An understanding of heat treatment processes for additively manufactured steel parts is necessary to develop their heat treatment process parameters. In the present work 20MnCr5 steel was selected to investigate the carburization heat treatment of additively manufactured parts. These parts were fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM) for the carburization study. It was found that the AM parts fabricated by the SLM process show the microstructure of tempered martensite while the microstructure of as-received wrought part is ferrite and pearlite. It was also experimentally found that the SLM process decarburizes the entire SLM part. Before carburizing, a normalization process was conducted on both SLM and wrought 20MnCr5 parts to reduce the effect of the pre-carburizing microstructure. The objective of this project is to determine the carburization performance of additively manufactured steel parts. The results for the SLM parts in terms of carbon concentration and microhardness profiles are compared with the results for the wrought steel. It was found that the carburized SLM part in the present work has higher carbon concentration near the surface, deeper case depth, and higher total carbon flux than the carburized wrought part.

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