Graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) have many outstanding properties, such as high mechanical strengths, light weight, and high electric conductivity. These unique properties make it an ideal filler material for various composites. On the other hand, the development MMNCs (metal matrix nanocomposites) through additive manufacturing (AM) processes has become a major innovation in the field of advanced structural materials, owing to shorter production lead time, less material waste, high production flexibility. It is of great innovativeness to have the attractive features combined to produce GNPs reinforced MMNCs using AM techniques. In addition, metal components produced by laser assisted additive manufacturing (LAAM) methods usually have inferior mechanical properties, as compared to the counterparts by the traditional metal forming processes. To achieve optimized mechanical properties, the obtained MMNCs are subjected to various post treatment routines and the effect of post heat treatment on material properties is investigated. In this study, pure Inconel 718 and GNPs reinforced IN718 with 1.1 vol.% and 4.4 vol.% filler material are fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM). Room temperature tensile tests are conducted to evaluate the tensile properties. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations are conducted to analyze the microstructure of materials and to understand the reinforcing mechanism. It is found that fabrication of GNPs reinforced MMC using SLM is a viable approach. The obtained composites possess dense microstructure and enhanced tensile strength. The strengthening effect and mechanisms involved in the composites are discussed. Solution treatments at three levels of temperature (940, 980, and 1020°C) for 1 hour period are carried out to evaluate the effect of the heat treatment on the material microstructure and therefore the resulted mechanical properties of the composite material. The results of samples with and without heat treatment are also compared. The experiments results indicate that that addition of GNPs into Inconel 718 results in significant strength improvement. Moreover, at any volume content of reinforcement, higher solution treatment leads to lower strength, mainly due to coarsened microstructure. The addition of GNPs effectively inhibits the grain growth during the post heat process and the average grain size is significantly refined compared to unreinforced samples. Moreover, through the investigation of various strengthening mechanisms, it is found that Orowan strengthening effect is small and can be neglected for both as-built and heat treated conditions. Load transfer effect is the dominating strengthening effect among all contributors and solution treatment significantly reduces thermal mismatch strengthening.

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