In this study, the processability of CuCrZr alloy with additive manufacturing (AM) technology and the performance achievable with Direct Age Hardening treatments for nuclear fusion applications were investigated. This copper alloy is one of the most interesting for the field: it is easier to manufacture through Laser-based additive manufacturing technology and mechanically superior compared to pure copper, and it ensures values of thermal conductivity high enough to be considered a valid substitute for pure copper in many applications. The investigation on CuCrZr alloy was carried out in order to examine the influence of Direct Age Hardening (DAH) treatments on physical and mechanical properties. Laser Powder Bed Fusion technology was used to produce samples with CuCrZr alloy. The additive manufacturing process involved a machine provided with a 370 W IR laser and a preliminary process optimization was carried out to find the printing parameters that assured the highest density (99.15 %), which confirmed the processability of CuCrZr alloy also with low IR laser power. Then, three different DAH treatments were tested and the performance of DAHed material was compared to that of the alloy in as-built conditions. Precipitation phenomena were investigated with DSC analyses, revealing the effectiveness of the treatment already after 1 h. A deep microstructural investigation revealed a fine cellular structure formed during solidification and the presence of nanometric precipitates starting from the as-built condition. The presence of microstructural defects was also investigated. Mechanical performance and thermal conductivity were tested, too: the as-built samples showed limited properties, while very promising results for the use of additively manufactured CuCrZr components have been obtained after the DAHs. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and yield strength (YS) doubled the as-built values after 1 h treatment at 550 °C. The thermal conductivity reached three times the initial condition (from 100 W/mK to 300 W/mK).

Influence of heat treatments on low-power-LPBFed CuCrZr for nuclear fusion applications

Candela, Valentina;Scian, Carlo;Favero, Giacomo;Corradetti, Stefano;Mancin, Simone;Sonato, Piergiorgio
2024

Abstract

In this study, the processability of CuCrZr alloy with additive manufacturing (AM) technology and the performance achievable with Direct Age Hardening treatments for nuclear fusion applications were investigated. This copper alloy is one of the most interesting for the field: it is easier to manufacture through Laser-based additive manufacturing technology and mechanically superior compared to pure copper, and it ensures values of thermal conductivity high enough to be considered a valid substitute for pure copper in many applications. The investigation on CuCrZr alloy was carried out in order to examine the influence of Direct Age Hardening (DAH) treatments on physical and mechanical properties. Laser Powder Bed Fusion technology was used to produce samples with CuCrZr alloy. The additive manufacturing process involved a machine provided with a 370 W IR laser and a preliminary process optimization was carried out to find the printing parameters that assured the highest density (99.15 %), which confirmed the processability of CuCrZr alloy also with low IR laser power. Then, three different DAH treatments were tested and the performance of DAHed material was compared to that of the alloy in as-built conditions. Precipitation phenomena were investigated with DSC analyses, revealing the effectiveness of the treatment already after 1 h. A deep microstructural investigation revealed a fine cellular structure formed during solidification and the presence of nanometric precipitates starting from the as-built condition. The presence of microstructural defects was also investigated. Mechanical performance and thermal conductivity were tested, too: the as-built samples showed limited properties, while very promising results for the use of additively manufactured CuCrZr components have been obtained after the DAHs. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and yield strength (YS) doubled the as-built values after 1 h treatment at 550 °C. The thermal conductivity reached three times the initial condition (from 100 W/mK to 300 W/mK).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3513982
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