- Identify critical deposition parameters and control methods for wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) to ensure consistent bead cross sections and feature geometries under complex and varying thermal fields, through the generation of physical samples and their associated measurement data.
- Identify relationships between weld metal alloying additions and reheated microstructure in order to develop optimised feedstock compositions for WAAM applications.
- Identify and monitor the WAAM process parameters during deposition.
- Assess inspection techniques and factors which influence the inspectability of the part build as it takes place (i.e. online), with a view to providing an inspection capability envelope for the WAAM process.
The aim for any additive manufacturing (AM) route is for it to be a digital process with (semi-) automated design, modelling and simulation, and manufacturing procedure generation all taking place to define an optimised process. Operation of the AM process should result in a part with known properties, and in-process monitoring should then ensure the physical part meets that expectation, without the need for further inspection. This multidisciplinary project will support this for WAAM and move AM for large structures closer to the vision of high quality design, simulation and right first time every time digital manufacturing.
TWI’s expertise in processing, metallurgy, numerical simulation and inspection will be combined to develop the deposition process in order to:
- Make thermal history more regular.
- Understand microstructure as a function of feedstock composition and thermal history.
- Enable the build of complex parts with more consistent geometry and mechanical properties than is currently possible.
- Include on-line non-destructive evaluation to further understand and quantify the process and correlate this with the microstructures generated.
Relevant Industry Sectors
Benefits to Industry
The project will provide industry with a clear direction as to the most promising chromium-free conversion coating methods, in order to avoid the increasingly restrictive and costly Cr(VI) based approaches.
A decision support tool will be available online to recommend the most appropriate coating technologies as replacements for chromating and chromic acid anodising in different use cases.
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