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Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Low-Carbon High-Strength Steel Fabricated by Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing

Authors: L Sun, F Jiang, R Huang, D Yuan, C Guo, J Wang
Publisher: mdpi.com
Wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is a novel technique for fabricating large and complex components applied in the manufacturing industry. In this study, a low-carbon high-strength steel component deposited by WAAM for use in ship building was obtained. Its microstructure and mechanical properties as well as fracture mechanisms were investigated. The results showed that the microstructure consisted of an equiaxed zone, columnar zone, and inter-layer zone, while the phases formed in different parts of the deposited component were different due to various thermal cycles and cooling rates. The microhardness of the bottom and top varied from 290 HV to 260 HV, caused by temperature gradients and an inhomogeneous microstructure. Additionally, the tensile properties in transversal and longitudinal orientations show anisotropy characteristics, which was further investigated using a digital image correlation (DIC) method. This experimental fact indicated that the longitudinal tensile property has an inferior performance and tends to cause stress concentrations in the inter-layer areas due to the inclusion of more inter-layer zones. Furthermore, electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) was applied to analyze the difference in Taylor factor between the inter-layer area and deposited area. The standard deviation of the Taylor factor in the inter-layer area was determined to be 0.907, which was larger than that in the deposited area (0.865), indicating nonuniform deformation and local stress concentration occurred in inter-layer area. Finally, as observed from the fracture morphology on the fractured surface of the sample, anisotropy was also approved by the comparison of the transversal and longitudinal tensile specimens
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