Laser Direct Metal Deposition of 2024 Al Alloy
Trace Geometry Prediction via Machine Learning
Laser direct metal deposition is an advanced additive manufacturing technology suitably applicable in maintenance, repair, and overhaul of high-cost products, allowing for minimal distortion of the workpiece, reduced heat affected zones, and superior surface quality. Special interest is growing for the repair and coating of 2024 aluminum alloy parts, extensively utilized for a wide range of applications in the automotive, military, and aerospace sectors due to its excellent plasticity, corrosion resistance, electric conductivity, and strength-to-weight ratio. A critical issue in the laser direct metal deposition process is related to the geometrical parameters of the cross-section of the deposited metal trace that should be controlled to meet the part specifications. In this research, a machine learning approach based on artificial neural networks is developed to find the correlation between the laser metal deposition process parameters and the output geometrical parameters of the deposited metal trace produced by laser direct metal deposition on 5-mm-thick 2024 aluminum alloy plates. The results show that the neural network-based machine learning paradigm is able to accurately estimate the appropriate process parameters required to obtain a specified geometry for the deposited metal trace.