Suppressing hydrogen blistering in a magnesium-rich healable laser powder bed fusion aluminum alloy analyzed by in-situ high resolution techniques

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Julie Gheysen, Ankush Kashiwar, Hosni Idrissi-, Julie Villanova & Aude Simar

Gheysen, J ; Kashiwar, A ; Idrissi, H ; Villanova, J (2023) Simar, A. Suppressing hydrogen blistering in a magnesium-rich healable laser powder bed fusion aluminum alloy analyzed by in-situ high resolution techniques. In: Materials & Design, Vol. 231, p. 112024 (2023) -- DOI : 10.1016/j.matdes.112024.


Hydrogen blistering, i.e. precipitation of supersaturated hydrogen at elevated temperatures, increases porosity during heat treatments in 4xxx series Al alloys manufactured by laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), as demonstrated by 3D X-ray nano-imaging in AlSi12. This paper proposes the design of a healable Al alloy to suppress hydrogen blistering and improve the damage management. The strategy consists of solute atoms diffusing towards nano-voids and precipitating on their surface, thereby filling the damage sites. A new healable Al alloy was thus developed and successfully manufactured by LPBF. 3D X-ray nanoimaging evidenced that the addition of Mg in 4xxx series Al alloys suppresses the hydrogen blistering. This is expectedly due to Mg in solid solution which increases the hydrogen solubility in the Al matrix and due to the healing of these hydrogen pores. Moreover, a significant healing of voids smaller than 500 nm diameter is observed. In-situ heating inside transmission electron microscopy pointed out that Al matrix diffuses inside the fractured Mg2Si particles, thereby demonstrating the healing ability of the new alloy. This has opened the doors to development of new healable Al alloys manufactured by LPBF as well as to new post-treatments to tailor mechanical properties and microstructure without hydrogen blistering.

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Materials & Design