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Metal Big Area Additive Manufacturing: Process Modeling and Validation...

by Srdjan Simunovic, Andrzej Nycz, Mark W Noakes, Charlie Chin, Victor Oancea
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Publication Date
Conference Name
NAFEMS World Congress 2017
Conference Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Conference Date

Metal Big Area Additive Manufacturing (mBAAM) is a new additive manufacturing (AM) technology for printing large-scale 3D objects. mBAAM is based on the gas metal arc welding process and uses a continuous feed of welding wire to manufacture an object. An electric arc forms between the wire and the substrate, which melts the wire and deposits a bead of molten metal along the predetermined path. In general, the welding process parameters and local conditions determine the shape of the deposited bead. The sequence of the bead deposition and the corresponding thermal history of the manufactured object determine the long range effects, such as thermal-induced distortions and residual stresses. Therefore, the resulting performance or final properties of the manufactured object are dependent on its geometry and the deposition path, in addition to depending on the basic welding process parameters. Physical testing is critical for gaining the necessary knowledge for quality prints, but traversing the process parameter space in order to develop an optimized build strategy for each new design is impractical by pure experimental means. Computational modeling and optimization may accelerate development of a build process strategy and saves time and resources. Because computational modeling provides these opportunities, we have developed a physics-based Finite Element Method (FEM) simulation framework and numerical models to support the mBAAM process’s development and design. In this paper, we performed a sequentially coupled heat transfer and stress analysis for predicting the final deformation of a small rectangular structure printed using the mild steel welding wire. Using the new simulation technologies, material was progressively added into the FEM simulation as the arc weld traversed the build path. In the sequentially coupled heat transfer and stress analysis, the heat transfer was performed to calculate the temperature evolution, which was used in a stress analysis to evaluate the residual stresses and distortions. In this formulation, we assume that physics is directionally coupled, i.e. the effect of stress of the component on the temperatures is negligible. The experiment instrumentation (measurement types, sensor types, sensor locations, sensor placements, measurement intervals) and the measurements are presented. The temperatures and distortions from the simulations show good correlation with experimental measurements. Ongoing modeling work is also briefly discussed.