One of the versatile additive manufacturing processes is laser based Selective Laser Melting (SLM) which allows to build complex intricate shapes directly from its three dimensional digital images. Layer by layer deposition and depending upon build orientations, SLM parts tends to be anisotropic in nature. Also non-uniformity in thermal loading across the part leads to inhomogeneous microstructure which may have detrimental effect on various mechanical properties. Heat treatment of as-built SLM parts could be used as a post processing technique to reduce the anisotropy and produce homogenous microstructure to ensure reproducible mechanical properties. Application oriented mechanical properties can be obtained for precipitation hardened stainless steel by suitable heat treatment process. Present study is based on effect of heat treatments namely solution annealing, ageing and overaging on impact toughness of SLM 15-5 PH stainless steel. In order to support experimental observations, various metallurgical techniques have been applied. Effect of notch orientations causes anisotropy in impact toughness but this anisotropy is reduced with application of suitable heat treatment. In case of ageing, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analysis shows formation of fine spherical Cu precipitates which solution strengthens but makes the specimen brittle. As a result relatively lower impact toughness is obtained as compared to overaged condition where combined effect of coarsening of Cu precipitates and increased retained austenite makes the specimen ductile. Increased ageing temperature and soaking time does not have significant effect on impact toughness. However, solution annealing before ageing is recommended for homogenous precipitation throughout the specimen and statistically less scattered data. In all the cases SLM specimens have lower impact toughness to that of cold rolled 15-5 PH stainless steel. Present study could be used as a guideline to get application oriented mechanical properties mainly impact toughness.

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