28. August 2019

LKR: 3D-Printing in the New Additive Manufacturing Laboratory

In the newly established additive manufacturing laboratory at LKR, complex 3D components are manufactured using the modern WAAM (wire-arc additive manufacturing) production method. Scientists at LKR have been conducting research into the welding rods needed for this, which are made of aluminium and magnesium materials and must be suitable for WAAM, for several years now. In LKR’s own smart production routing these special rods are developed, pressed and spooled. A welding robot fashions them into a component by placing the welding rods over each other in several layers. At the AM laboratory, complex 3D components can be produced using processes tailored to the materials, a multi-axis robotics system and cutting-edge welding torch technologies.

“LKR is a pioneer of research and continuing development of the WAAM technique as a future key technology for industry,” says Martin Schnall, WAAM expert at LKR. “Its advantage is that complicated geometries can be realized using fewer material resources and with less waste.” The LKR scientists are pursuing an integral research and development approach in order to improve the rod materials used for each particular process and to achieve improved mechanical properties for aluminium and magnesium rods. The development process covers the entire value creation chain, from defining and producing the alloy, then manufacturing the rods with special alloys and adapting the welding and WAAM processes, and finishing with final prototypes and their characterization according to material science and their mechanical properties.

Dr. Stephan Ucsnik, Thematic Coordinator Material Based Design, adds: “In addition to the experimental welding and WAAM developments at LKR, research is conducted into the related topics of FEM-based material and process simulation, online monitoring, data management, CAD-CAM interfaces and inline process control.”

Video: https://youtu.be/Ay_ojJXYgyo
More details: www.ait.ac.at/waam

Where to find LKR at SCHWEISSEN 2019:
LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen GmbH
hall DC, stand 107 (Science meets Industry)

Photos: (c) LKR Ranshofen