Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Aerospace, Transport & Manufact

Abstract

Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture (WAAM) is a process for building large scale metallic engineering components of medium complexity in a layer-by-layer manner. The process is of significant interest to aerospace and other industry sectors due to its potential to reduce cost and lead-time for high value and critical components when compared to conventional manufacturing methods such as machining from solid billet or forgings. Cranfield University has successfully built many WAAM parts for industrial partners
Control of the layer height constant is one of the main challenges of the WAAM process when building complex structures. The local thermal cycles have a direct impact on the deposited bead geometry, where a faster cooling rate results in a higher and narrower bead. Another building error comes from the motion limits of the robots/ CNC machines where travel velocities are slowed down when approaching corners.
Cranfield University has an exciting collaborative research opportunity with Airbus, which aims to develop a geometrical based method to predict and compensate both the thermal and motion related process variations, and integrate it into the WAAM path planning software.
The overall project objectives are to:
Study the influence of process parameters, feature geometries and building strategies on the thermal cycles during deposition.
Develop an analytical method to predict the thermal cycles along the deposition path which include the influence of the local geometry, building strategy, as well as process parameters.
Develop a process compensation method based on localised geometry to achieve constant thermal cycles along the deposition path.
Study the motion related building errors and develop compensation method.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509127/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2020
1818642 Studentship EP/N509127/1 04/10/2016 03/10/2019 Philippe James Bridgeman