PM vs. As-Cast SM-100 Microstructure

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We’ve gotten a few questions recently regarding the unique microstructure people are seeing in our SM-100 material so we thought it might be nice to show a picture comparing a cast and a powder metallurgy (Hot Isostatically Pressed) microstructure.

As you can see in the as-cast micro – grain sizes are on the order of 50-microns, while the as-HIP sample is more like 10-microns.

So what does this (practically) mean?

Well, it depends on what your application is.  Entire books are written on just this subject, but in general, and in a nut shell, a finer microstructure improves mechanical properties.  All those grain boundaries help arrest any cracks that might be trying to propagate their way through your part.  Whereas in a large grain structure the cracks run freely along the grain boundary superhighway that make up the microstructure and failures are more likely to occur.

For the aerospace guys, it also means that non-destructive testing is also much easier – in fact you’ll find that most x-ray and NDT samples are HIP specimens.

 

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