Processing of AISI H11 Tool Steel Powder Modified with Carbon Black Nanoparticles for the Additive Manufacturing of Forging Tools with Tailored Mechanical Properties by Means of Laser Metal Deposition (LMD)
Within the scope of the presented work the processing of AISI H11 (1.2343 or X37CrMoV5-1) tool steel powder modified by adding carbon black nanoparticles in varying concentrations by means of Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) is extensively investigated. On the basis of single weld track experiments, multi-layered cuboid-shaped samples made out of pure AISI H11 tool steel powder as well as modified tool steel powder mixtures were manufactured by applying various process parameters. The main scientific aim of the investigations was to achieve a basic understanding of the influence of the added carbon black nanoparticles on the resulting sample properties. For that purpose, the generated specimens were first analyzed with respect to relative density, inner defects, microstructure, Vickers hardness and chemical composition. Subsequently, the mechanical properties of post-heat-treated specimens were investigated, with the focus on the yield strength (Y0.2%), by means of compression tests. We prove that by adding carbon black nanoparticles to the initial AISI H11 powder, the formation of martensitic and bainitic phases, as well as the precipitation of carbides at the grain boundaries, are enhanced. As a result, a significant increase of Vickers hardness and of the compression yield strength by up to 11% can be achieved in comparison to samples made out of the unmodified AISI H11 powder. Furthermore, it can be fundamentally demonstrated that the fabrication of parts with layer-specific variable hardness can be realized by the controlled changing of the powder mixtures used during the layer-by-layer manufacturing approach.