Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) for Aluminum-Lithium Alloys: A Review

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Out of all the metal additive manufacturing (AM) techniques, the directed energy deposition (DED) technique, and particularly the wire-based one, are of great interest due to their rapid production. In addition, they are recognized as being the fastest technique capable of producing fully functional structural parts, near-net-shape products with complex geometry and almost unlimited size. There are several wire-based systems, such as plasma arc welding and laser melting deposition, depending on the heat source. The main drawback is the lack of commercially available wire; for instance, the absence of high-strength aluminum alloy wires. Therefore, this review covers conventional and innovative processes of wire production and includes a summary of the Al-Cu-Li alloys with the most industrial interest in order to foment and promote the selection of the most suitable wire compositions. The role of each alloying element is key for specific wire design in WAAM; this review describes the role of each element (typically strengthening by age hardening, solid solution and grain size reduction) with special attention to lithium. At the same time, the defects in the WAAM part limit its applicability. For this reason, all the defects related to the WAAM process, together with those related to the chemical composition of the alloy, are mentioned. Finally, future developments are summarized, encompassing the most suitable techniques for Al-Cu-Li alloys, such as PMC (pulse multicontrol) and CMT (cold metal transfer).
Al-Li alloys, Ded (directed energy deposition), Waam, Wire production
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Rodríguez-González, P., Ruiz-Navas, E. M., & Gordo, E. (2023). Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) for Aluminum-Lithium Alloys: A Review. Materials, 16(4), 1375.