A competition between the contour and hatching zones on the high cycle fatigue behaviour of a 316L stainless steel: Analyzed using X-ray computed tomography
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Metal powder bed fusion techniques can be used to build parts with complex internal and external geometries.Process parameters are optimized in order to obtain parts with low surface roughness and porosity, while maintaining a high productivity rate. The goal of this work is to quantify the sensitivity to internal and surface defects on the fatigue endurance of additively manufactured metallic parts. 316L Stainless Steel samples were fabricated through powder bed fusion using identical contour parameters, but three different hatching strategies were applied by varying the scanning speeds in the internal portions of the parts. Samples were subsequently mirror-polished to smooth the rough as-built surface. X-ray computed tomography analysis revealed several defect populations in samples from all three parametric sets due to lack of fusion in the bulk, with a nearly fully dense external “shell”. High cycle fatigue tests at R=0.1 were then performed on the specimens and combined with the X-ray computed tomography scans, helping to identify the largest and the critical defect size at which crack initiation occurred. Most fatigue failures initiated within the external contour zone for small (< 100 μm) defects, even when larger (> 200 μm) lack of fusion defects were widely present below the surface. It was determined that the high porosity (1% in volume or above 5% in area at some fabricated layers) observed in the bulk of parts manufactured with high scanning speeds had little impact on the fatigue limit of the material.
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