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Large Scale Component Fabrication Using a Novel Laser Metal Deposition with Wire and Powder Process

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Although additive manufacturing (AM) usage is rapidly developing, industrial sectors demand manufacturing of large-scale components that most powder-bed fusion processes, such as Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) or Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) are not capable of. Therefore, Meltio LLC. developed a novel AM process, Laser Metal Deposition – Wire Powder (LMD-WP), that can produce large scale components with low Buy-to-Fly (B:F) ratios at high deposition rates, low costs, and with reductions in lead times. LMD-WP, a process within Directed Energy Deposition (DED) process, leverages the advantages of both wire-DED and powder-DED.

The LMD-WP system consists of multiple fiber-coupled diode laser sources that are distributed evenly around the central axis of the laser head, two or more wire feeders capable of feeding similar or dissimilar wires, and options for multiple powder feeders. The laser head contains a single central nozzle, and it is designed with two openings: a thin hole in the middle used for wire deposition and, around that, a ring that is used for a powder blown feed. The ability to feed both wire and powder from a single nozzle at the same time to create new alloys makes this process unique compared to other DED systems. The system also features “active process control” that automatically sets the nozzle to part distance for each layer and manages process parameters throughout the fabrication process on sensor feedback.

This presentation addresses the applicability of LMD-WP technology as an alternative to traditional metallic preforms manufacturing processes, such as casting or forging. Increased affordability will be presented with a special focus on improved B:F ratio and deposition rates. In addition, an over-view of the metallurgical and mechanical properties of the deposited components will be provided.

Learning Objectives:

  • Be introduced to a novel metal AM process that is capable of printing large scale components with lower costs
  • Learn the advantages of applying wire-DED and powder-DED simultaneously and independently inside a single machine
  • Learn about the in-process control features that help to fabricate components without defects