Electric arc-welding can be a 3D printing technique for making metal parts for industries such as aerospace. In this technology, wire is often the original material. A near-net-shaped part is formed welding layer by layer. After 3D printing, the part can be machined by conventional milling. For larger parts, this technology is fast and cost-effective.
The result of the arc welding process, though, depends on various parameters. One in particular ist the gas used in the welding. GEFERTEC GmbH and Linde AG started a joint research project to investigate the influence of the process gas and the oxygen percentage on this 3D-printing process. Another partner in the research project is MT Aerospace AG, which will perform the mechanical tests of the produced parts. The actual 3D-printing will take place at the additive manufacturing laboratory of Fraunhofer IGCV – the fourth co-operation partner, where GEFERTEC installed the 3D-printing system.
The influence of welding parameters and process gas on the parts will be examined. The final goal of the project is the production of large parts at high production speed made of the titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, which meets the quality requirements of the aerospace industry.