SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 05 June 2020

Fatigue and Fracture Behavior of Additively Manufactured Austenitic Stainless Steel


Additive manufacturing (AM) includes a diverse suite of innovative manufacturing processes for producing near-net shape components, typically from powder or wire feedstock. Reported mechanical properties of AM materials vary significantly depending on the details of the manufacturing process and the characteristics of the processing defects (namely, lack of fusion defects). However, an excellent combination of strength, ductility, and fracture resistance can be achieved in AM-type 304L and 316L austenitic stainless steels by minimizing processing defects. It is important to recognize that localized solidification processing during AM produces microstructures more analogous to weld microstructures than wrought microstructures. Consequently, the mechanical behavior of AM austenitic stainless steels in harsh environments can diverge from the performance of wrought materials. This report provides an overview of the fracture and fatigue response of type 304L materials from both directed energy deposition and powder bed fusion techniques. In particular, the mechanical performance of these materials is considered for high-pressure hydrogen applications by evaluating fatigue and fracture resistance after thermally precharging test specimens in high-pressure gaseous hydrogen. The mechanical behaviors are considered with respect to previous reports on hydrogen-assisted fracture of austenitic stainless steel welds and the unique characteristics of the AM microstructures. Fatigue crack growth can be relatively insensitive to processing defects, displaying similar behavior as wrought materials. In contrast, fracture resistance of dense AM austenitic stainless steel is more consistent with weld metal than with compositionally similar wrought materials. Hydrogen effects in the AM materials generally are more severe than in wrought materials but are comparable to measurements on welded austenitic stainless steels in hydrogen environments. Although hydrogen-assisted fracture manifests differently in welded and AM austenitic stainless steel, the fracture process appears to have a common origin in the compositional microsegregation intrinsic to solidification processes.

Author Information

Marchi, Chris, San
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA, US
Smith, Thale, R.
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA, US
Sugar, Joshua, D.
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA, US
Balch, Dorian, K.
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA, US
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Developed by Committee: F42
Pages: 381–398
DOI: 10.1520/STP162020180113
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7687-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7686-7