Long-Term Effects of Temperature Exposure on SLM 304L Stainless Steel


Austenitic stainless steel is extensively used in industries that operate at elevated temperatures. This work investigates the high-temperature microstructure stability as well as elevated-temperature properties of 304L stainless steel fabricated using the selective laser melting (SLM) process. Significant microstructural changes were seen after a 400°C aging process for as little as 25 h. This dramatic change in microstructure would not be expected based on the ferrite decomposition studied in conventional 304L materials. The as-built additively manufactured alloy has much faster kinetic response to heat treatment at 400°C. An investigation of the structures which occur, the kinetics of the various transformations, and the mechanical properties is presented. The impact of this on the application of SLM 304L is discussed.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Austenitic Stainless Steel; Austenitic Transformations; Microstructure; Temperature; 304L Stainless Steel; Elevated Temperature; Ferrite Decomposition; High Temperature; Long-Term Effects; Microstructural Changes; Microstructure Stability; Selective Laser Melting; Stainless Steel

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1047-4838; 1543-1851

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Nov 2017