This paper addresses the effect of the post-process heat treatments on the microstructure and fatigue crack growth behaviour of the functionally graded (FG) laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) Inconel 718 (IN718) superalloy. Sets of samples were additively manufactured (AM) altering the process parameters, namely the laser power, the laser scanning speed, layer thickness, hatch distance, and beam distribution function, resulting in distinctly different microstructures. Two categories of samples underwent heat treatment (HT) and hot isostatic pressing followed by HT (HIP+HT), while one category was kept in the as-processed (AP) condition to reveal the effects of the post-treatments. Additionally, to study the effect of microstructural anisotropy, samples were printed in horizontal (H) and vertical (V) building directions. To better understand the behaviour of the FG materials, non-graded (NG) L-PBF samples and wrought material were investigated as references. Significant variations in terms of porosity, grain size and elongation, crystallographic texture, and content of the strengthening precipitates or detrimental phases were found in different AM groups. The fatigue behaviour of the NG and FG materials was also studied by conducting three-point bending tests. Findings in terms of the role of different microstructures on the fatigue-crack initiation and fatigue crack growth rate are presented and discussed for all samples. The study demonstrated that heat treatments can enhance the damage tolerance of L-PBF IN718 to the level of wrought material. Interestingly, the effect of the roughness induced crack closure was found to be a function of build orientation, especially in the low stress ratio regime.
- Fatigue crack growth behaviour
- Functional grading
- Heat treatment
- Inconel 718
- Laser powder bed fusion