Rapid Manufacturing/Repair of Aluminum Alloy Parts


 Variable Polarity Plasma Arc Welding Machine incorporated with a multi-axis CNC positioning system

Rapid manufacturing/repair techniques have been under development at SMU’s RCAM using Variable Polarity Plasma Arc Welding (VPGPAW) for depositing layer by layer of aluminum alloys. The controllable shape and duration of the current pulse guarantees low dilution and high quality buildup formation. The system components consist of a precision five-axis CNC, the VPGTAW power source, sensing control units, wire feeder and a host computer with a custom software interface to coordinate communications.


Rapid manufacturing of high-quality functional parts made of aluminum alloys.
Repair of aluminum parts (e.g. undersized cast and machined parts) with low dilution.



Rapid Manufacturing of functional aluminum parts.
Cladding on wrought and cast aluminum alloys with excellent metallurgical bonding, low depth of penetration, and good mechanical properties.
Characterization of material properties.
In-line sensing and monitoring of the process by spectroscopy, acoustic emission, and machine vision.
Numerical simulations of material flow, heat transfer, and residual stress. 


H. Wang and R. Kovacevic, “Rapid Prototyping Based on Variable Polarity Gas Tungsten Arc Welding for Aluminum Alloys”, Proc. Inst. Mech. Engrs., Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, Vol.215, 2001, pp.1519-1527
J. Ouyang, H.Wang, R. Kovacevic, “Rapid Prototyping of 5356-Aluminum Alloy Based on Variable Polarity Gas Tungsten Arc Welding”, Journal of Materials and Manufacturing processes, 17(1), 2002, pp. 103-124