Graphene is an ideal reinforcement material for metal matrix composites (MMC) owing to its high strength, high ductility, light weight, as well as good bonding with metal matrix. Additive manufacturing such as selective laser melting (SLM) brings the advantages of low material waste, high flexibility, and short production lead cycle. In this study, graphene nano-platelets (GNPs) reinforced Inconel 718 composites are fabricated by SLM technique and processed under various post heat treatment schemes. It is found that fabrication of GNPs reinforced MMC using SLM technique is a viable approach. The obtained composite possesses dense microstructure and enhanced tensile strength. Post heat treatments at two levels of solution temperature (980 and 1220°C) for 1 hour followed by two-step aging are carried out. The experiment results indicate that addition of GNPs into Inconel 718 matrix results in significant strength improvement. At as-built condition, the ultimate tensile strengths are 997 and 1447 MPa, respectively at 0 and 4.4vol.% GNP content. Moreover, under as-built and solution treated condition, high content of GNPs results in overall higher UTS value and the strengthening effect is most significant at as-built condition. Meanwhile, γ′ and γ″ precipitation hardening is suppressed in the GNPs reinforced composite under aged condition due to the formation of MC carbide and depletion of Nb. Incorporating GNPs in Inconel 718 effectively inhibits the grain growth during post heat treatment.

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