Effects of Build Orientation and Heat Treatment on Neutron Irradiation Hardening in Inconel 625 Fabricated via Laser Powder Bed Fusion

Andurkar, Mohanish
O-Donnell, Valentina
Gahl, John
Prorok, Bart
Keya, Tahmina
Harvill, Greyson
Thompson, Scott
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University of Texas at Austin

Various Inconel 625 coupons fabricated via Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) were neutron irradiated using the inside reflector of the reactor at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). Effects of build orientation and heat treatment on neutron-induced hardening were investigated by inspecting L-PBF samples built vertically or at a 45º angle in the following heat-treated conditions: as-built (no heat treatment), 700 ºC for 1 hour, 900 ºC for 1 hour, and 1050 ºC for 1 hour. The microhardness results of L-PBF samples before and after neutron irradiation were compared with traditional wrought Inconel 625. All samples underwent an irradiation flux of 6.61 x 1013 neutrons/cm²/s for 310 hours for an estimated damage of 0.012 dpa. Results indicate that as-built L-PBF specimens are less prone to radiation hardening relative to their wrought counterparts. As-printed diagonal specimens were shown to harden by 8% as compared to 1.2% hardening in as-printed vertical specimens.