A comparison of the mechanical behavior of AlSi7Mg alloy produced through additive manufacturing and subjected to different heat treatment and aging conditions

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University of Texas at Austin


The versatility and adaptability of Aluminum F357 (AlSi7Mg) make it a popular material in the aerospace and defense industries. In this study, two different laser powder bed fusion systems, EOS M290, and SLM 280HL were used to create specimens of Aluminum F357. These specimens were subjected to five different heat treatments: As-built, stress relief (SR), hot isostatic pressing (HIP), T6, and HIP+T6) as per ASTM F3318-18 standard. The printed specimens were then reduced to tensile bars through machining and tested for mechanical properties as per ASTM E28 using an MTS Landmark tensile testing system. In addition to the mechanical behavior analysis, the study used a JEOL JSM-IT500 SEM to observe and document the fracture produced by the tensile test and a Qness 30 CHD Master+ microhardness testing system to obtain hardness (HV) values of the alloy. The results showed that specimens fabricated in the Z direction had a tendency for higher yield strengths of approximately 225 MPa and although these results were similar between LPBF systems some variances can still be seen. However, these differences between the LPBF systems were observed to be partially mitigated by heat treatments. In conclusion, this study highlights the significance of heat treatment on the mechanical properties of Aluminum F357. The results provide valuable information for the aerospace and defense industries to optimize their processes and produce high-quality components. The compatibility of LPBF system fabrication and the mitigation of differences observed between LPBF machines by heat treatments, further demonstrate the potential of this method for producing high-quality Aluminum F357 components.


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