Laser Powder Bed Fusion of 30CrNiMo8 Steel

Lecture by Livia Zumofen at the "virtual" Fraunhofer Direct Digital Manufacturing Conference DDMC 2020 - Laser Powder Bed Fusion of 30CrNiMo8 Steel for Quenching and Tempering – Examination of the Processability and Mechanical Properties.


The layer-by-layer principle of additive manufacturing technology laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) opens up completely new possibilities in the design and manufacturing of lightweight and efficient gear components. For example, integration of contour conform cooling and lubrication channels into gear components can increase their service life and reduce lubricant consumption. Steels for quenching and tempering and case hardening steels are commonly used materials for gear components.

However, availability of these alloys for LPBF processing is still limited. In particular, the 30CrNiMo8 steel for quenching and tempering is frequently used for gear wheels. This specific alloy is largely unknown regarding LPBF processing and remains challenging, because of its susceptibility to cracking and the high temperature gradients that occur during the LPBF process.

Therefore, this study focuses on the LPBF processing of 30CrNiMo8 powder material including process parameter evaluation and material characterization. Additionally, effects of the heat treatment on the resulting microstructure and mechanical properties were investigated. Within this study the 30CrNiMo8 has been processed successfully with a density of well above 99.5 % leading to promising mechanical properties. A more homogenous microstructure has been achieved with quenching and tempering, compared to the as-build state.