Review of Aluminum Alloy Development for Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMaterials. 2021, 14 (18), 1-26. 10.3390/ma14185370
Processing of aluminum alloys by wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) gained significant attention from industry and academia in the last decade. With the possibility to create large and relatively complex parts at low investment and operational expenses, WAAM is well suited for implementation in a range of industries. The process nature involves fusion melting of a feedstock wire by an electric arc where metal droplets are strategically deposited in a layer-by-layer fashion to create the final shape. The inherent fusion and solidification characteristics in WAAM are governing several aspects of the final material, herein process-related defects such as porosity and cracking, microstructure, properties, and performance. Coupled to all mentioned aspects is the alloy composition, which at present is highly restricted for WAAM of aluminum but received considerable attention in later years. This review article describes common quality issues related to WAAM of aluminum, i.e., porosity, residual stresses, and cracking. Measures to combat these challenges are further outlined, with special attention to the alloy composition. The state-of-the-art of aluminum alloy selection and measures to further enhance the performance of aluminum WAAM materials are presented. Strategies for further development of new alloys are discussed, with attention on the importance of reducing crack susceptibility and grain refinement.