One of the most popular additive manufacturing processes is laser-based direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process, which enables us to make complex three-dimensional (3D) parts directly from computer-aided design models. Due to layer-by-layer formation, parts built in this process tend to be anisotropic in nature. Suitable heat treatment can reduce this anisotropic behavior by changing the microstructure. Depending upon the applications, a wide range of mechanical properties can be achieved between 482 °C and 621 °C temperature for precipitation-hardened stainless steels. In the present study, effect of different heat treatment processes, namely solution annealing, aging, and overaging, on tensile strength, hardness, and wear properties has been studied in detail. Suitable metallurgical and mechanical characterization techniques have been applied wherever required, to support the experimental observations. Results show H900 condition gives highest yield strength and lowest tensile strain at break, whereas solution annealing gives lowest yield strength and as-built condition gives highest tensile strain at break. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images show that H900 and H1150 condition produces brittle and ductile morphology, respectively, which in turn gives highest and lowest hardness value, respectively. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis shows presence of austenite phases, which can increase ductility at the cost of hardness. Average wear loss for H900 condition is highest, whereas it is lowest for solution annealed condition. Further optical and SEM images have been taken to understand the basic wear mechanism involved.

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