Date of this Version
Materials and Design 197 (2021)
In this work, we accomplished the crack-free directed energy deposition (DED) of a multi-layer Cobalt- Chromium alloy coating (Stellite 21) on Inconel 718 substrate. Stellite alloys are used as coating materials given their resistance to wear, corrosion, and high temperature. The main challenge in DED of Stellite coatings is the proclivity for crack formation during printing. The objective of this work is to characterize the effect of the input energy density and localized laser-based preheating on the characteristics of the deposited coating, namely, crack formation, microstructural evolution, dilution of the coating composition due to diffusion of iron and nickel from the substrate, and microhardness. It is observed that cracking is alleviated on preheating the sub- strate and depositing the coating at a moderate energy density (~200 J·mm−3). The main finding is that cracking of DED-processed Stellite 21 coating at higher levels of energy density is linked to the elemental segregation of chromium and molybdenum, which form hard and brittle phases in the inter-dendritic regions. Cracking in the inter-dendritic regions is caused by residual stresses resulting from the steep thermal gradients at higher input energy. Localized laser-based preheating and moderate energy density mitigate steep temperature gradients and thereby avoid thermally induced cracking of the Stellite coating along the inter-dendritic regions.