Sara Munktell

Additive-manufactured stainless steel components will replace conventional stainless steel in demanding environments

8 November, 2019

Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) is a familiar problem in applications involving stainless steel in demanding environments. To reduce lead times and lower costs for special components, in some sectors there is a move towards replacing conventional stainless steel with AM-applicable stainless steel.

This means that additive-manufactured stainless steel must withstand the same type of demanding environments as conventional stainless steel. The phenomenon of stress corrosion cracking in conventional stainless steel has been well investigated and can be controlled, but is largely unexplored where additive-manufactured stainless steel is concerned.

In the strategic innovation programme Metallic Material's new project, "Effect of stress on additive-manufactured metals and their corrosion properties – SAMCO", by promoting the safe usage of additive-manufactured (AM) stainless steel components, the aim is to open up a new market in end-user applications where there is risk a for stress corrosion cracking (SCC).

Among other things, SAMCO will produce recommendations for product improvements in the additive manufacturing value chain, with an emphasis on residual stress in AM materials, the effects of this on stress corrosion cracking and how post-processing methods can eliminate or reduce residual stress from post-processing treatments.

"SAMCO was instigated by the need to improve understanding of how additive-manufactured stainless steel performs in environments in which there is a risk of stress corrosion cracking. The subject area is largely unexplored and requests have been received from various directions, resulting in the formation of a consortium that includes participants from powder manufacturers to end users. We are really looking forward to investigating this issue in close collaboration with our knowledgeable project partners," says Sara Munktell, research engineer at metals research institute Swerim and project manager for SAMCO.

SAMCO has a total project budget of 8.7 million kronor, of which 3.9 million kronor is funding from Vinnova. In addition to Swerim, project participants include Forsmark, Ringhals, OKG, Alfa Laval, Quintus Technologies, CURTISS-WRIGHT Surface Tenchnologies and Höganäs.

Within the strategic innovation programme Metallic Material more than 44 million kronor is being invested in new projects in the call for proposals "Metallic materials - high and secured product performance in a value chain perspective". SAMCO is one of six new projects for which funding has been allocated by Vinnova, the Swedish Innovation Agency.

Sara Munktell, sara.munktell [at], +46 72 223 08 01