In situ TEM helps to understand the microstructural changes in AlSi10Mg during 3D printing and post processing
Dental crown created by selective laser melting (SLM)
This work provides the first correlative in-situ heating multiscale analysis of the powder and the additive produced AlSi10Mg alloy, allowing a unique insight into material transitions at the micro-and nanoscale. The researchers showed that microstructural changes like crystallization of eventually present amorphous phases and the evolution of Si nanoparticles evenly dispersed in the Al-matrix are the most important factors that contribute to the enhancement or decrease of the mechanical properties.
Towards affordable 3D metal printing
Nowadays, selective laser melting (SLM) refers to the most common system used to create metal parts from powders as feedstock. Despite its popularity, powder based additive manufacturing is still an expensive process, and consequently, getting proof components at the first attempt is of great economic interest. Manufacturers of such parts strive for optimizing their processes, not only to improve material properties, but also to enhance the interchangeability of building platforms and thus, their economic flexibility. Controlling these production aspects and finding an adequate post-processing strategy helps to fine-tune the microstructural features, and therefore the mechanical properties, according to different application fields.
Benefits of in situ STEM
In-situ heating experiments in scanning transmission electron microscopes (STEM) enable immediate information about the structural, morphological and chemical changes and are thus helpful for the selection of various post-processing strategies.
The DENSsolutions Wildfire H +DT system enabled the fast heating and cooling that allowed us to perform nanoscale crystallographic and chemical analyses at certain temperatures that corresponded to the exothermic peaks in DSC measurements and to the in-situ XRD measurements.
Dr. Mihaela Albu
Senior Scientist | TEM at the Austrian Centre for Electron Microscopy and Nanoanalysis