Effect of heat treatment on microstructure and mechanical properties of 316L steel synthesized by selective laser melting

O. O. Salman, Christoph Gammer, Jürgen Eckert, Anil K. Chaubey, Sergio Scudino

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59 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of annealing at different temperatures (573, 873, 1273, 1373 and 1673 K) on the stability of phases, composition and microstructure of 316L stainless steel fabricated by SLM has been investigated and the changes induced by the heat treatment have been used to understand the corresponding variations of the mechanical properties of the specimens under tensile loading. Annealing has no effect on phase formation: a single-phase austenite is observed in all specimens investigated here. In addition, annealing does not change the random crystallographic orientation observed in the as-synthesized material. The complex cellular microstructure with fine subgrain structures characteristic of the as-SLM specimens is stable up to 873 K. The cell size increases with increasing annealing temperature until the cellular microstructure can no longer be observed at high temperatures (T ≥ 1273 K). The strength of the specimens decreases with increasing annealing temperature as a result of the microstructural coarsening. The excellent combination of strength and ductility exhibited by the as-synthesized material can be ascribed to the complex cellular microstructure and subgrains along with the misorientation between grains, cells, cell walls and subgrains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials science and engineering C (Biomimetic and supramolecular systems)
Issue number4 March
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019

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