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ABD®-1000AM: A Highly Processible Superalloy for Additive Manufacturing, Computationally Designed for 1000°C Applications

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Conference Abstract: The evolution of additive manufacturing (AM) technology has sparked a growing interest in manufacturing components from nickel-based superalloys for progressively more demanding applications at ever increasing temperatures. A critical challenge has been the development of high volume fraction gamma prime (γ') strengthened alloys for AM, suitable for applications at temperature of 1000°C or higher, as these are generally considered 'non-weldable'. Due to the nature of the AM process with high heating and cooling rates and multiple melting and solidification cycles, legacy compositions designed with the intent for casting or wrought processes are difficult and often uneconomic to process by AM. This leads to compromises in material performance or part design freedom, limiting AM’s potential to replace traditional manufacturing in the most demanding environments.

In response to these challenges, this study introduces ABD®-1000AM, a novel high gamma prime Ni-based superalloy, specifically designed using the Alloys-by-Design computational approach to excel in high-temperature applications within the AM framework. Tailored for AM through using this innovative alloy design approach, and applied to powder bed fusion the newly designed alloy exhibits world leading performance in terms of both processing capability as-well-as high temperature mechanical and environmental performance at 1000°C.

In this study the alloy design approach will be discussed highlighting critical trade-offs between key performance parameters which were optimised during ABD®-1000AM's development. Alongside composition optimisation and alloy selection, the authors will focus on the complex process-microstructure-performance optimisation applied to achieve ABD®-1000AM's unique combination of high processibility and creep resistance. This will include an in-depth review of the microstructural factors which drive this exceptional mechanical performance. Based on the insights gained from the ABD®-1000AM development programme the authors will then comment upon the future direction of alloy development of superalloys for complex AM components.