The production of magnesium alloy WE43 was achieved by selective laser melting (SLM). The alloy was investigated after SLM, hot isostatic pressing (HIP), and solutionising heat treatment. The microstructure and corrosion behaviour of the specimens were carefully characterised, whilst assessed and contrast relative to the conventionally cast alloy counterpart. The SLM prepared specimens possess a unique microstructure comprising fine grains growing with a strong  texture along the building direction with a low fraction of process-induced and metallurgical defects, reaching < 0.1 %, after optimising the SLM parameters and the HIP treatment. Electrochemical measurements demonstrated that the SLM prepared WE43 is cathodically more active as compared with its cast counterpart. It is proposed that this behaviour is due to a high density of zirconium-rich oxide particles uniformly distributed throughout the alloy microstructure as well as the alterations in the chemical composition of the solid-solution matrix originating from the high cooling rates of SLM. It was also noted that the oxide particles are mainly sourced by powder. The present results suggest that the corrosion of SLM prepared Mg alloys could be greatly improved once the influence of powder characteristics is further understood and controlled.
- Magnesium alloy
- Selective laser melting
Peter Miller (Manager)Office of the Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)