High-Resolution Microstructure Characterization of Additively Manufactured X5CrNiCuNb17-4 Maraging Steel during Ex and In Situ Thermal Treatment

Mihaela Albu*, B. Panzirsch, Hartmuth Schröttner, Stefan Mitsche, Klaus Reichmann, Maria Cecilia Poletti, Gerald Kothleitner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Powder and selective laser melting (SLM) additively manufactured parts of X5CrNiCuNb17-4 maraging steel were systematically investigated by electron microscopy to understand the relationship between the properties of the powder grains and the microstructure of the printed parts. We prove that satellites, irregularities and superficial oxidation of powder particles can be transformed into an advantage through the formation of nanoscale (AlMnSiTiCr) oxides in the matrix during the printing process. The nano-oxides showed extensive stability in terms of size, spherical morphology, chemical composition and crystallographic disorder upon in situ heating in the scanning transmission electron microscope up to 950 °C. Their presence thus indicates a potential for oxide-dispersive strengthening of this steel, which may be beneficial for creep resistance at elevated temperatures. The nucleation of copper clusters and their evolution into nanoparticles, and the precipitation of Ni and Cr particles upon in situ heating, have been systematically documented as well
Original languageEnglish
Article number7784
Number of pages16
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Microstructure
  • Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) in situ heating experiments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

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