Thanks of welding and AM technology. Also, WAAM

Thanks to a
development of modern industries, there is always a continuous need for
investigating and developing new technologies. One of the examples is aerospace industry, which will need
about 20 million tonnes of billet
material in next 20 years 1. Due to high safety standards and considering the
fact that this industry requires distinctive materials like titanium and other
special alloys, which are expensive to produce and often not so suitable for
machining 2, it is clear production
solutions needs to assure minimum failures. Additive Manufacturing (AM)
technologies are increasingly applied. Basic AM system consists of a
combination of a motion system, heat source
and feedstock. Unfortunately, most of conventional AM technologies use only
polymer materials or metal in powder form, resulting usually in porous
structures 3, which is often not good enough to make fully functional
products 4. On the other hand, Wire plus arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) offers
a solution for solving structural
functionality issues related to most
other AM technologies.

WAAM has been investigated since the 1990s, although the first patent dates from
1925 5. WAAM uses electric arc as a heat
source and metal wire as feedstock, which makes it a combination of welding and
AM technology. Also, WAAM uses ordinary welding equipment (power source, torch
and wire feeding systems), but combines it with robotic systems or CNC machines
which move the torch and wire feeder. It is considered to be a promising
technology for producing fully functional metal products (especially aerospace
components), which can be very big by size. High deposition rate (usually
50-130 g/min, depends on method), low cost and safer operation makes it
desirable 6. However, there are still challenges to be resolved, like the
residual stresses and distortion due to excessive heat input, relatively poor
part accuracy and rough surface
(post-processing is needed) 7. Some of these problems are already reduced. Yet,
there are still some challenges that need to be further investigated. In this
paper we present a possibility to apply in-process Non-destructive Testing
(NDT) within the WAAM in order to inspect the quality of the part while it is
being produced and to enable eventual repairs in-situ. 

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