February 7, 2014
Lincoln Electric, Cleveland, and Case Western Reserve University have been awarded funding by America Makes to benchmark metal-layering technology using a Lincoln Electric-developed, laser-assisted, wire-based additive process.
The $700,000 project, called High Throughput Functional Material Deposition Using a Laser Hot Wire Process, is funded by America Makes, a recently rebranded name for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute founded in August 2012. This public-private partnership, based in Youngstown, Ohio, is tasked with developing and accelerating additive manufacturing and 3-D printing.
This project marks the second round of funding for the Case Western Reserve University and Lincoln Electric team by America Makes. It builds upon initial research by the team that yielded evidence that a wire-based, laser-assisted process is an effective metal cladding and layering method for repairs made to molds used in aluminum casting for the automotive industry. In this second round, the process will be tested and benchmarked for generating structural parts with titanium alloys and functional surfaces with nickel-based alloys.
Lincoln Electric serves as co-investigator and the university is administrative controller. Partnering companies are AZZ/WSI Inc., rp+m Inc., and RTI Intl. Metals. The roster of project participants includes material/consumable suppliers, machine manufacturers, process optimizers, workforce trainers, and product validators and testers.
“The ultimate goal is to make a deposition process that is economical to use, can produce a competitive product by building up a structure or coating a surface, and achieves better performance for the customer,” explained Badri K. Narayanan, materials research group manager at Lincoln Electric.