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  • Principle and Application of Arc Additive Manufacturing

    When it comes to additive manufacturing, we usually think of laser additive manufacturing technology (3D printing) firstly. In fact, there are other types of metal additive manufacturing technology, which can be divided into four categories according to the type of heat source: laser, electron beam, plasma beam and arc; and two categories according to the type of raw materials: metal powder and metal wire.
     
    Metal powder additive manufacturing technology mainly refers to the additive manufacturing technology with metal powder as raw material. For example, spherical titanium powder, iron powder, aluminum powder, tantalum powder, chromium powder and so on can be used for 3D printing. See the table below for details.
     
    Spherical Tantalum Powder
    More Powder

    Wire and arc additive manufacturing technology refers to wire and arc additive manufacturing, which takes arc as heat source and wire as raw material. Such as steel, copper alloy, aluminum alloy, nickel base alloy, magnesium alloy, titanium alloy and so on.
     
    The manufacturing technology of arc wire additive has the following advantages:
     
    1. WAAM has high deposition efficiency and high wire utilization, which can reduce the overall manufacturing cycle and cost.
    2. Compared with the additive manufacturing technology with laser and electron beam as heat source, it has the advantages of high deposition rate and low manufacturing cost;
    3. Compared with the additive manufacturing technology with laser as heat source, the formable materials are rich, because it is not sensitive to metal materials, and can form materials with high laser reflectivity, such as aluminum alloy, copper alloy, etc.; generally, WAAM can be formed for steel, copper alloy, aluminum alloy, nickel base alloy, magnesium alloy and titanium alloy.
    4. Compared with SLM technology, the open WAAM additive manufacturing system has the advantages that the size of manufacturing parts is not limited by the size of equipment forming cylinder and vacuum chamber. It can form large-scale parts and repair damaged parts. 
     
    Manufacturing and application of arc wire additive
    At present, arc wire additive manufacturing technology can be applied to shell, fuselage panel, automobile body, aerospace and other fields. For example, the net stiffened structure inside the aircraft fuselage can reduce the material utilization rate and realize lightweight through the arc additive manufacturing technology; it can also reduce the processing process, thereby reducing the manufacturing cost and reducing the impact on the ecological environment.
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