Thermal analysis of wire-based direct energy deposition of Al-Mg using different laser irradiances


The wire-based direct energy deposition of metallic lightweight materials such as titanium or aluminium alloys has recently received increasing attention in industry and academia. However, high-throughput deposition is mostly associated with process-limiting phenomena such as the development of high temperatures resulting in poor surface quality as well as coarse and unidirectional solidification microstructures. In this regard, laser systems, which are already widely used in industrial processes, allow for a great variety in the controllability of energy inputs, thereby enabling the control of process temperatures and resulting microstructures. The subject of the current study is the detailed elucidation and evaluation of important features such as the development of temperature gradients, resulting cooling rates and thermal cycles for different laser beam irradiances. Significant heat accumulation and process instabilities as well as inhomogeneous thermal profiles along the length and height of the parts were observed at a high laser beam irradiance. In contrast, lower laser beam irradiance resulted in a more stable process with increased cooling rates, which favourably influenced the refinement of the solidification microstructure.
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