The Effect of Build Orientation on the Corrosion Behavior of Selective Laser Melted UNS 30403

Austenitic 304L stainless steel (UNS S30403) is a favorable candidate for additive manufacturing due to its extensive commercial applications. Prior research has found that selective laser melted (SLM) UNS S30403 alloys exhibit higher resistance to pitting corrosion in chloride containing environments due to the absence of inclusion sites (i.e., manganese sulfides), which act as initiation sites for localized attack. In this research, the corrosion behavior of SLM UNS S30403 with three different build orientations (vertical, horizontal, and 45° inclined) was studied. To provide insights on the pitting and uniform corrosion behavior, cyclic potentiodynamic polarization and linear polarization resistance coupled with Tafel tests were performed in accordance with ASTM standards. These electrochemical tests were performed in 3.5 wt% sodium chloride solution at room temperature. A saturated calomel electrode was used as the reference electrode and a platinum mesh served as the counter electrode. In addition, scanning electrochemical techniques were utilized to obtain deeper insights into corrosion behavior. The microstructures of these materials were characterized using optical microscopy and; canning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy.


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