Metal Wire Additive Manufacturing
Department: Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
Advisor: Christina Viau Haden
View: UGRS Research Poster (PDF)
Additive metal manufacturing is a rapidly growing constructive process for producing large scale metal components inexpensively and with a short lead time. A specific subset of the additive industry is Layer Additive Manufacturing (LAM) using Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) which builds near net shape parts layer by layer through the use of a shielding gas and energized metal filler wire. In comparison to a powder bed approach, this manufacturing technique boasts efficient material usage and the ability to handle larger build volumes. However, a yet unresolved downside of Layer Additive is the inability to quantitatively guarantee the metal properties of output components. A new approach speculates that the variance of GMAW additive part attributes can be reduced to an acceptable deviation for widespread industry use by establishing a closed loop control system with careful monitoring of environmental conditions.
After initial prototyping and design, our research team has hand constructed an industrial scale GMAW additive printer on campus to allow for the in house printing and testing of steel components. Successfully printed materials are succumbed to tensile and hardness testing to determine material properties in contrast with their wrought steel counterparts. Based on these measurements, the printer’s control process and hardware is constantly being improved to maximize precision and consistency of builds in ways previously unexplored in the additive industry.
About Alexander Hake:
Alexander is a senior at Lehigh University graduating with a B.S. in computer engineering. He began conducting research under Professor Harlow in the spring of 2015 by helping graduate student Fred Carter with the design and operation of an industrial scale GMAW additive printer. In addition to his research at Lehigh, Alexander is also an involved shop monitor at the Wilbur prototyping lab, a previous intern at Bentley Systems and Armstrong World Industries, and a graduate of the Leadership Lehigh program. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Alexander plans to remain at Lehigh to complete an M.S. in Computer Engineering and continue his research.