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Additive manufacturing of CMSX-4 Ni-base superalloy by selective laser melting: influence of processing parameters and heat treatment
Selective laser melting (SLM) provides an economic approach to manufacturing Ni-base superalloy components for high-pressure gas turbines as well as repairing damaged blade sections during operation. In this study, two advanced processing routes are combined: SLM, to fabricate small specimens of the nonweldable CMSX-4, and hot isostatic pressing (HIP) with a rapid cooling rate as post-processing to heal defects while the target γ/γ' microstructure is developed. An initial parametric study is carried out to investigate the influence of the SLM process parameters on the microstructure and defects occurring during SLM. Special emphasis is placed on understanding and characterizing the as-built SLM microstructures by means of high-resolution characterization techniques. The post-processing heat treatment is then optimized with respect to segregation and the γ/γ' microstructure.