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Wide Reaching Solid-State Structural Repairs Enabled by MELD

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Additive Friction Stir Deposition (commercially known as MELD manufacturing) is an emerging solid-state additive manufacturing process. The solid-state nature of AFSD has been leveraged for use in structural repair where fusion-based techniques have shown poor interface quality due to porosity and hot cracking. Utilizing the solid-state process, repairs were performed on two different alloy systems; 1) the Al-7050 system was repaired to replicate corroded fastener holes in the aerospace and defense industries; 2) Aermet 100 was used to repair AISI 1080 rail sections. Process optimization in both scenarios allowed for fully dense repairs, increasing the strength of the parts, and extending part lifetime. The Al-7050 system was optimized to improve the fatigue life of the as-repaired part, whereas the Aermet 100 was manufactured to increase stiffness and bending strength of corroded rail sections. Further optimization of both processes will be conducted to increase the repair quality, however the current repair properties have wide-reaching applications in a multitude of industries. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the novel additive manufacturing technique AFSD and its benefits as opposed to laser based techniques.
  • Select possible applications suitable for repair utilizing MELD.
  • Categorize the cost and benefits of using AFSD in repair of structural components.