Post heat treatment of additive manufactured AlSi10Mg: On silicon morphology, texture and small-scale properties


Post-fabrication heat treatment, including solution treatment (at 520 °C for 1 h) followed by water quenching (WQ), air cooling (AC) and furnace cooling (FC), was performed on a selective laser melted AlSi10Mg alloy. The objective is to assess the effect of various cooling rates on the microstructure (specifically eutectic-Si morphology) and small-scale mechanical properties, measured by employing a depth-sensing nanoindentation platform, of the selective laser melted AlSi10Mg alloy. Results show extensive evolutions in the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the heat-treated materials relative to the as-fabricated sample. Upon solutionizing treatment, the eutectic Si is first fragmented, then spheroidized, and finally coarsened when cooled with slow rates. The microstructural evolution directly affects the mechanical properties, where the as-fabricated and the FC are the hardest and the softest structures, respectively. This is directly attributed to the size and morphology of the eutectic-Si within the microstructure. The findings of this study could help to adjust the optimized heat-treatment process to fabricate SLM AlSi10Mg parts with desirable microstructure and mechanical properties.

Publication Title

Materials Science and Engineering A