Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of a 6-hour direct aging heat treatment at 490°C on the mechanical, tribological, and microstructure characteristics of laser powder bed fused maraging 300 steels, which is produced at various laser energy densities. After direct aging heat treatment, the grain boundaries become irregular and vague due to the residual stress releasing, squeezing of precipitates into the grain boundaries, and phase transformations. The XRD analysis reveals the reverted austenite (γ') phase forms during age treatment due to the inevitable reversion of metastable martensite to the stable reverted γ' phase. The heat-treated samples microhardness rises with rising the Laser Energy Density (LED) from 61.33 to 92.10 J/mm3 due to a decrease in the reversed austenite phase and a further rise in LED decreases the microhardness due to a rise in the reversed austenite phase. The heat-treated sample produced at LED of 92.10 J/mm3 shows maximum yield, ultimate tensile strengths, and minimum elongation percentage due to its high microhardness, and the fractography results show the failure mode as a mixed brittle and ductile fracture. The wear rate of the heat-treated additively manufactured maraging 300 steel decreases as the LED increases from 61.41 to 92.1 J/mm3 and a further rise in LED increases the wear rate. The wear rate rises with a rise in sliding velocity from 1.5-3.5 m/s. The dominant wear mechanism was observed as abrasion with small grooves and saplings.

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