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Publication - Dr Harry Coules

    Wire + Arc Additively Manufactured Inconel 718

    Effect of post-deposition heat treatments on microstructure and tensile properties


    Seow, CE, Coules, HE, Wu, G, Khan, RH, Xu, X & Williams, S, 2019, ‘Wire + Arc Additively Manufactured Inconel 718: Effect of post-deposition heat treatments on microstructure and tensile properties’. Materials and Design, vol 183.


    Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) can be used to create large free-form components out of specialist materials such as nickel-base superalloys. Inconel (IN) 718 is well suited for the WAAM process due to its excellent weldability. However, during deposition, WAAM IN718 is susceptible to micro-segregation, leading to undesirable Laves phase formation in the interdendritic regions. Further, the WAAM process encourages columnar grain growth and the development of a strong fibre texture, leading to anisotropy in grain structure. This unfavourable microstructure can be addressed through specialised post-deposition homogenisation heat treatments. A new modified heat treatment was found to be effective in dissolving Laves phase, whereas a standard treatment precipitated δ phase. Tensile test results revealed that Laves and δ phases lead to low ductility when present in a precipitation-hardened matrix. The modified heat treatment also reduced the anisotropy in grain structure, leading to almost isotropic elevated temperature tensile properties, which meet minimum specifications for conventional cast but not for wrought material. Specialised post-deposition heat treatments, which address the unique microstructure of WAAM IN718, are crucial to achieving optimal mechanical properties.

    Full details in the University publications repository