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Grain refinement in laser powder bed fusion: The influence of dynamic recrystallization and recovery

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number109181
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Materials and Design
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/09/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


During laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) the powder bed undergoes several thermal cycles incorporating complex thermo-mechanical processing. Different restoration mechanisms such as dynamic recovery, dynamic recrystallization and grain growth can be activated at different thermal cycles, leading to a very fine average grain size. This is modelled via classical and thermostatistical approaches for an austenitic stainless steel. Four subsequent thermal cycles in each layer induce various microstructural transitions for each individual grain. The high cooling rate solidification in the first two thermal cycles leads to the formation of a highly deformed cellular microstructure. Discontinuous and continuous dynamic recrystallization are activated in the third thermal cycle to induce grain refinement. The fourth thermal cycle undergoes dynamic recovery and grain growth. The as-built alloys exhibit an excellent combination of high yield and ultimate tensile strength. The high strength is attributed to the activation of the various dynamic recrystallization mechanisms, as well as to the development of the cellular structures resulting from a high cooling rate upon solidification. A methodology to design alloys with tailored microstructures is presented.