Fatigue fracture morphology of AISI H13 steel obtained by additive manufacturing

Wojciech Macek, Rui F. Martins, Ricardo Branco, Zbigniew Marciniak, Mirosław Szala, Sebastian Wroński

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The paper focuses on researching the effect of fatigue loading on metallic structure, lifetime, and fracture surface topographies in AISI H13 steel specimens obtained by selective laser melting (SLM). The topography of the fracture surfaces was measured over their entire area, according to the entire total area method, with an optical three-dimensional surface measurement system. The fatigue results of the SLM 3D printed steel specimens were compared with those reported for conventionally manufactured 13H steel. The investigation also considers the roughness of the specimens’ side surface. Moreover, the fractographic evaluation conducted using scanning electron microscopy confirms that the predominant fracture mechanism is transgranular fracture. Microtomography done after mechanical loading also showed the influence of the stress level on the porosity distribution. Both fractographic and Micro-CT investigations confirm that higher stresses result in coarser and much more uniform porosity observed in fractured samples. These comprehensive quantitative and qualitative fracture analyses are beneficial to predict the failure conditions of SLM steel parts, especially in the case of fatigue damage. From the quantitative analysis of the H13 SLM-manufactured fracture surface topography, it was possible to conclude that the larger the loadings acting on the specimen, the rougher the fracture surface because the ductile fracture mode dominates. It has also been proven that the porosity degree changes along the length of the sample for the most stressed specimens.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Fracture
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jan 2022


  • Fractography
  • H13 steel
  • Mechanical properties
  • Micro-CT
  • Selective laser melting (SLM)
  • Surface metrology


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