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22.05.2020 | ORIGINAL ARTICLE | Ausgabe 5-6/2020

The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology 5-6/2020

An experimental investigation of the effectiveness of Ar-CO2 shielding gas mixture for the wire arc additive process

Zeitschrift:
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology > Ausgabe 5-6/2020
Autoren:
Bishal Silwal, Andrzej Nycz, Christopher J. Masuo, Mark W. Noakes, David Marsh, Derek Vaughan
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Wire arc additive manufacturing (AM) is the process by which a large, metallic structure is built layer-by-layer using a welding arc to melt a wire feedstock. A novel opportunity exists to alter the shielding gas composition to fabricate distinct geometrical features without altering the other AM parameters. In the following study, shielding gases with varied concentrations of Argon (Ar) and CO2 was used to deposit three distinct geometric shapes (walls, infill, and overhang) using a wire-based additive manufacturing system utilizing the gas metal arc welding (GMAW) surface tension transfer (STT) process. Computer-aided design (CAD) models were sliced with a custom-built slicer, and the sliced algorithm was converted into optimal robotic toolpaths. A custom virtual instrument (VI) was built in LabVIEW to compare the temperature profiles on the surface during each deposition process. After each deposition, the geometric features were scanned, and the surface waviness value was evaluated. Tensile and Charpy impact coupons were extracted from the wall geometries in the longitudinal and transverse directions and tested. The results indicated that a higher CO2 content produced higher melt pool temperatures to an extent, while lower contents of CO2 resulted in a dimensionally accurate geometry. The data also indicated that the 2%/98% CO2/Ar blend produced scatter in tensile strength and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) shows significant difference. However, the intermediate range of CO2 (5–10%) resulted in uniform tensile properties. Altogether, these results indicate that a 5%/95% CO2/Ar blend is the ideal shielding gas for lowering process temperatures and improving mechanical properties in wire arc additive manufacturing using the gas metal arc welding surface tension transfer process. Additionally, varying concentrations of Ar/CO2 can be used within the same part in order to modify the local properties or process parameters such as strength, toughness, temperature, or dimensional features. This may improve overall manufacturing quality without sacrificing specific properties.

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