Additive manufacturing: a solution for your aluminium parts?

Can additive manufacturing revolutionise the production of large metallic parts? Combining metal additive manufacturing (AM) techniques with welding techniques is one of the possible options… provided you can produce a quality junction. Discover this year’s WeldALAM project: a Sirris initiative aimed at exploiting welding techniques, in order to meet this challenge.

As yet underdeveloped, metal additive manufacturing (AM) offers a number of advantages: geometric complexity, multifunctionality, improved ecological impact, to name but a few.

Additive manufacturing and assembly

The same applies to large aluminium parts: combined with assembly techniques, the latest in machine models are now making this possible. Yet one question remains: is assembly quality sufficient?

Junction porosity: a genuine risk

Several additive part assembly projects conducted in house have revealed porosity problems on the junction: excessively high humidity levels in the powder could be the root cause. A risk not to be neglected for the assembly’s correct mechanical solidity. This year, in partnership with Wallonian and German experts in the field, Sirris is taking on this challenge via the launch of the WeldALAM project.

Progress in welding techniques

The aim of the project is to develop a solution that can guarantee perfect assembled structure quality, in particular in junction zones. With this aim in mind, we believe the FSW (Friction Stir Welding) technique to offer the best performance. The project will also be considering LBW (Laser Beam Welding).

The aim of this initiative is to offer businesses:

  • a reliable assembly solution, validated through at least two real case studies
  • a guide for good practice in design and manufacturing, taking into account the specificities of metal AM and FSW/LBW.

To take on this challenge, Sirris has called upon a consortium of several international specialists in the fields of AM, FSW and LBW.

Have you already been faced with this challenge? Contact Sirris!

We afford particular attention to feedback on company experiences: they can greatly contribute towards our reflection on this project. To take part in the project, submit your own application case by the 5th of September 2019!

Contact our expert, Thierry Dormal, to find out more about this project and to submit your own potential realisation projects in the field of additive manufacturing.