Express Wire Coil Cladding as an Advanced Technology to Accelerate Additive Manufacturing and Coating
Metal shafts are indispensable components in mobility, energy and mechanical engineering. In such applications, the shafts need to withstand severe mechanical loads, friction, high temperature or corrosive media. This is why shafts are often completely made of high-performance alloys. From a technical point of view, coating an inexpensive base shaft with a thin layer of high-performance material is mostly sufficient to ensure its functionality. Adding functional parts such as bearing seats by Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an advantageous approach to increase flexibility and material efficiency. Reliable and economic AM processes need to be developed further, and laser-based processes such as wire-based Laser Metal Deposition (LMD-w) offer high potential to accomplish this. Due to their low deposition rate, however, LMD processes are not economically competitive with high-speed subtractive technologies. Motivated by this challenge, we present an alternative approach for laser-based shaft cladding. Instead of adding the filler wire continuously, wire coils are wound and preplaced on the shaft. In a second step, laser processing while rotating the part generates a metallurgical bond between the wire and the substrate. In this study, several solid and flux-cored wires were analyzed regarding their suitability for this two-step coil winding and LMD process. The resulting surface state and the welded joint quality are evaulated. Metallographic cross sections show low porosity and small heat-affected zones. Thanks to its good scalability, this innovative process can help strongly increase the build-up rate compared to classic LMD-w.