Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing (Wire-AM)
Wire-AM aluminium body and schematic illustration of possible positions for the extraction of tensile samples
AM variant, layer by layer deposition welding is used to produce a near net shape geometry. Local melting of the wire feedstock and re-melting of the already deposited material thereby occurs through the electric arc of a welding torch. By contrast with other AM technologies, Wire-AM allows for comparatively high deposition rates and theoretically unlimited part size. LKR is experienced in processing both, commercially available welding wires on aluminium and magnesium basis as well as purpose-made in-house material. The available equipment ranges from alloy development and preparation, in house horizontally and vertical casting machines, direct and indirect extrusion presses, wire drag – rig, CMT and plasma torch modules to latest WIG welding systems. Twin welding torches allow for the investigation of various double wire supply concepts.
Numerical simulation of the temperature distribution while creating the layer structure of a Wire-AM wall
methods for online monitoring and controlling the Wire-AM process
Besides enhancing the suitability of the CMT and WIG welding systems for aluminium and magnesium materials, LKR has put the strategic focus of its research activities on the development of methods for online monitoring and controlling the Wire-AM process. The goal is to create autonomous Wire-AM deposition systems that can automatically adapt relevant process parameters in the case of quality deviations and thus take an optimizing and corrective action on part fabrication. Numerical methods to simulate the temperature distribution within Wire-AM parts help to ameliorate process understanding at an early stage. In turn, this eventually supports the achievement of process stability on experimental level.
- Feasibility studies and concept development
- Fabrication of Wire-AM prototypes and Wire-AM demonstrator parts
- Process and materials characterisation
- Optimisation of existing Wire-AM processes
- Development of purpose-made Wire-AM wires
- Analysis of Wire-AM processes with numerical methods