Nanoparticles to improve the strength of 3D printed Inconel 625 superalloys

(HY-industry technical centre)

Researchers at the A*STAR Institute of Manufacturing Technology and the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering used titanium diboride nanoparticles to improve the physical, thermal, and mechanical properties of 3D printed superalloys.

Superalloys, alloys that withstand high temperatures and stresses have proven to be very useful to scientists. Materials such as Hastelloy, Inconel and Waspaloy are often used to build turbine engines because of their high heat resistance, and these materials may be used more and more in the future.

Scientists at the science and technology research institute A*STAR have recently conducted research to make superalloy applications better. By adding special nanoparticles to 3D printed superalloys, researchers (from the Institute of Manufacturing Technology and the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering) have managed to make materials stronger while reducing the likelihood of material breakage.Inconel 625 is a superalloy favored by A* STAR researchers. Inconel 625 is a solid solution-strengthened nickel-based deformed superalloy with molybdenum and niobium as main strengthening elements. It has excellent corrosion resistance and oxidation performance, from low temperature to 980. °C has good tensile properties and fatigue properties, and is resistant to stress corrosion under a salt spray atmosphere. Therefore, it can be widely used in the manufacture of aero-engine components, aerospace structural components and chemical equipment. The alloys are well processed and welded to supply a wide range of sheets, rods, tubes, wires, strips and forgings.

By adding titanium diboride nanoparticles, the researchers believe that Inconel 625 will be even more powerful. Using laser-assisted additive manufacturing technology (LAAM) to add these nanoparticles, the scientists grind and mix Inconel 625 alloy powder and titanium diboride powder with a particle size of about 58 nm.The 3D printer used in this process is a new six-axis robotic arm 3D printer equipped with a high power fiber laser. Using this advanced metal 3D printer, scientists were able to fabricate a one-millimeter thick reinforced superalloy on a carbon steel substrate to form a 120 x 70 x 10 mm rectangular block.Guijun Bi, a researcher at the research project, stated: “The addition of nanoparticles to metal-based materials is an effective way to customize materials with significant improvements in physical, thermal, mechanical, abrasion and corrosion resistance. “.

power-nickelAfter the researchers performed 3D printing on the material, the superalloy was analyzed and it was found that the titanium diboride nanoparticles were mainly concentrated at the boundary between the Inconel 625 grains. Therefore, it is concluded that titanium diboride can be used to strengthen the grain boundary (the grain boundary is the same structure and the interface between different grains is oriented. At the crystal interface, the atomic arrangement transitions from one orientation to another, so the grain boundary The atomic arrangement is in a transitional state. The interface between the grain and the grain is called the grain boundary.).

Researchers will place superalloys on the microscope for more rigorous evaluation. Test the mechanical samples to see if there are any signs of increased material strength, high microhardness and good wear resistance.

Guijun Bi added: “We hope to develop this method and explore new composites made with nano-particle reinforced additives.”

A* STAR launched a 3D printing program with a total investment of $15 million in 2013. The program includes the development of laser-assisted additive manufacturing 3D printing technology for superalloy research.

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