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Open AccessArticle

Thermoelectric Cooling-Aided Bead Geometry Regulation in Wire and Arc-Based Additive Manufacturing of Thin-Walled Structures

College of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Electronics Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8020207
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Metals)
Wire and arc-based additive manufacturing (WAAM) is a rapidly developing technology which employs a welding arc to melt metal wire for additive manufacturing purposes. During WAAM of thin-walled structures, as the wall height increases, the heat dissipation to the substrate is slowed down gradually and so is the solidification of the molten pool, leading to variation of the bead geometry. Though gradually reducing the heat input via adjusting the process parameters can alleviate this issue, as suggested by previous studies, it relies on experience to a large extent and inevitably sacrifices the deposition rate because the wire feed rate is directly coupled with the heat input. This study introduces for the first time an in-process active cooling system based on thermoelectric cooling technology into WAAM, which aims to eliminate the difference in heat dissipation between upper and lower layers. The case study shows that, with the aid of thermoelectric cooling, the bead width error is reduced by 56.8%, the total fabrication time is reduced by 60.9%, and the average grain size is refined by 25%. The proposed technique provides new insight into bead geometry regulation during WAAM with various benefits in terms of geometric accuracy, productivity, and microstructure. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; wire arc additive manufacturing; 3D printing; bead geometry; heat dissipation; thin-walled structure additive manufacturing; wire arc additive manufacturing; 3D printing; bead geometry; heat dissipation; thin-walled structure
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Li, F.; Chen, S.; Shi, J.; Zhao, Y.; Tian, H. Thermoelectric Cooling-Aided Bead Geometry Regulation in Wire and Arc-Based Additive Manufacturing of Thin-Walled Structures. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 207.

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