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Investigating Magnesium Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing

Thu, 25 April, 2024

Experts from TWI have been investigating the potential to use additive manufacturing to create parts from magnesium for a range of industries.

Magnesium has found a position as a key material for light-weighting for the aerospace, automotive and medical industries. Its use in high value applications is due to the desirable mechanical properties, low density, and corrosion resistance it offers.

Conventionally, magnesium components have been made using casting, which not only limits the possible features but also requires time-consuming post processing, like machining, that creates costly material wastage.

To improve sustainability and reduce waste, additive manufacturing (AM) or direct energy deposit (DED) are being investigated with different materials, including magnesium, to improve net shape capability and reduce manufacturing complexity.

TWI has developed an approach to evaluate the additive manufacturing (AM) of magnesium for industrial end-users.

TWI Project leaders, Nicolas Pembrey and Lei Xu assessed both thick and thin AM components of varying shapes made from magnesium. The parts were designed to represent common industry applications and were found to show no visible porosity, lack of fusion or other defects.

Having provided this initial demonstration of process feasibility, future work will now focus on further process development and the creation of parts with more complicated geometries.

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