Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing of Aluminum Components
An increasing demand for flexibility and product integration, combined with reduced product development cycles, leads to continuous development of new manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing. Wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) provides promising technology for the near net-shape production of large structures with complex geometry, using cost efficient production resources such as arc welding technology and wire materials. Compared to powder-based additive manufacturing processes, WAAM offers high deposition rates as well as enhanced material utilization. Because of the layer-by-layer built up approach, process conditions such as energy input, arc characteristics, and material composition result in a different processability during the additive manufacturing process. This experimental study aims to describe the effects of the welding process on buildup accuracy and material properties during wire arc additive manufacturing of aluminum structures. Following a process development using pulse cold metal transfer (CMT-P), linear wall samples were manufactured with variations of the filler metal. The samples were analyzed in terms of surface finishing, hardness, and residual stress. Furthermore, mechanical properties were determined in different building directions.