Design and system identification for a plasma transferred arc additive manufacturing technology

  • Author / Creator
    Mercado Rojas, Jose
  • The increase in the pace of development of additive manufacturing technology opens new markets and expands the scope of research and knowledge. Additive manufacturing, previously known as rapid prototyping, can employ advanced state-of-the-art materials, such as metal composites, in metal 3D printing, which brings about new concerns and challenges addressable through the scientific method. Recent additive manufacturing research focuses on the benefits of these materials, including printing components with enhanced mechanical properties. For example, the application of nickel alloys with tungsten carbide particles to print units for the oil and gas industry improves wear resistance and reduces corrosion in harsh environments. Better components lead to reduced failures and fewer unexpected shutdown costs. In this context, this research proposes a research methodology to extend the capabilities for a plasma transferred arc welding system to function as additive manufacturing equipment and improve the 3D printing quality to fulfill the requirements of heavy-duty industries. The following three objectives guide the activities of this research: 1) Develop a systematic design methodology for additive manufacturing systems, with the intent to produce different design layers for the mechanical, the electronic, and the software design to achieve a functional metal additive manufacturing system for metal matrix composites with particular mechanical properties. The framework is applied in the case study of a plasma transferred arc welding system. 2) Validate and characterize the system for metal 3D printing of nickel-metal matrix composites to demonstrate that the printed parts have geometric stability and microstructure characteristics similar to those presented in the overlay industry. The objective also understands the contribution of process parameters to the improvement of geometrical outcomes. 3) Research and develop in-situ measuring strategies to quantitatively understand the physics of the plasma transferred arc additive manufacturing process by examining the time, spatial, electrical, thermal, and geometrical domains for the deposition performance, and by establishing geometric benchmark test artifacts to assess the performance and limitations of the sensing mechanisms. The assessment indicates how the voltage sensor is employed to predict bead height and deviations perpendicular to deposition in multilayer components. The outcome of this research is expected to make significant contributions to the domain of additive manufacturing research by proposing an integrated function modelling-based design methodology that serves as a framework for the development, characterization, validation, and testing of metal additive manufacturing systems for metal matrix composites with particular mechanical properties.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.