Analysis of Favorable Process Conditions for the Manufacturing of Thin-Wall Pieces of Mild Steel Obtained by Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM)

Materials (Basel). 2018 Aug 16;11(8):1449. doi: 10.3390/ma11081449.


One of the challenges in additive manufacturing (AM) of metallic materials is to obtain workpieces free of defects with excellent physical, mechanical, and metallurgical properties. In wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) the influences of process conditions on thermal history, microstructure and resultant mechanical and surface properties of parts must be analyzed. In this work, 3D metallic parts of mild steel wire (American Welding Society-AWS ER70S-6) are built with a WAAM process by depositing layers of material on a substrate of a S235 JR steel sheet of 3 mm thickness under different process conditions, using as welding process the gas metal arc welding (GMAW) with cold metal transfer (CMT) technology, combined with a positioning system such as a computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling machine. Considering the hardness profiles, the estimated ultimate tensile strengths (UTS) derived from the hardness measurements and the microstructure findings, it can be concluded that the most favorable process conditions are the ones provided by CMT, with homogeneous hardness profiles, good mechanical strengths in accordance to conditions defined by standard, and without formation of a decohesionated external layer; CMT Continuous is the optimal option as the mechanical properties are better than single CMT.

Keywords: GMAW; WAAM; additive manufacturing; cold metal transfer; hardness; mechanical properties; microstructure; thermal input.