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Process Setup and Boundaries of Wire Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing of High-Strength Aluminum Bronze

2023-08-08 , Raute, Maximilian Julius , Biegler, Max , Rethmeier, Michael

In recent years, in addition to the commonly known wire-based processes of Directed Energy Deposition using lasers, a process variant using the electron beam has also developed to industrial market maturity. The process variant offers particular potential for processing highly conductive, reflective or oxidation-prone materials. However, for industrial usage, there is a lack of comprehensive data on performance, limitations and possible applications. The present study bridges the gap using the example of the high-strength aluminum bronze CuAl8Ni6. Multi-stage test welds are used to determine the limitations of the process and to draw conclusions about the suitability of the parameters for additive manufacturing. For this purpose, optimal ranges for energy input, possible welding speeds and the scalability of the process were investigated. Finally, additive test specimens in the form of cylinders and walls are produced, and the hardness profile, microstructure and mechanical properties are investigated. It is found that the material CuAl8Ni6 can be well processed using wire electron beam additive manufacturing. The microstructure is similar to a cast structure, the hardness profile over the height of the specimens is constant, and the tensile strength and elongation at fracture values achieved the specification of the raw material.