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Additively manufactured Al-Ce-Ni-Mn alloy with improved elevated-temperature fatigue resistance

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Additive Manufacturing
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The high cycle fatigue behavior of an additively manufactured (AM) Al-10.5Ce-3.1Ni-1.2Mn wt% alloy was evaluated at 350 °C. The measured fatigue strength of 50 MPa at this temperature is comparable to the most fatigue resistant wrought Al alloys (2618-T6 and 7079-T6) at 315 °C. Refinement of pore populations through advanced AM processing in the examined alloy led to oxide inclusions becoming dominant fatigue crack initiation sites. The distribution of microstructural features that determine crack initiation was measured by X-ray computed tomography and served as input to make fatigue strength model predictions with various methodologies. A Monte-Carlo based approach that was previously applied to predict the fatigue strength of cast aluminum alloys through pore size distributions yielded accurate predictions for the fatigue strength of this AM alloy. Given the tunability of defect distributions in AM alloys, the sensitivity of the Al-Ce-Ni-Mn alloy fatigue behavior to defect distributions and outstanding elevated-temperature fatigue resistance of this alloy; the results together suggest the possibility of a new generation of fatigue-resistant alloys produced by the additive manufacturing route.