“Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the industrial production name for 3D printing, a computer controlled process that creates three dimensional objects by depositing materials, usually in layers.” – The Welding Institute.
Additive Manufacturing allows for the creation of bespoke parts, design flexibility, rapid product development and very little wastage. Parts and products can be made directly from design data by adding layers of material to achieve the final shape.
There are many types of Additive Manufacturing. Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) uses arc welding power sources and manipulators to build 3D shapes through arc deposition. This method of Additive Manufacturing is usually performed using five axes computer numerical control or robots.
Many industries are now involved with AM and WAAM. The Aerospace Industry uses WAAM to produce parts for aircrafts and aircraft engines.
The Healthcare Industry manufactures equipment using Additive Manufacturing.
The Automotive Industry has also reported success in AM technologies.
Oxygen Contamination during WAAM:
During WAAM, reactive alloys such as titanium and stainless steels must be protected using an inert gas environment.
The use of Flexible Welding Enclosures has helped to keep an inert gas shield around the titanium and other reactive alloy components. Our Standard Enclosures were quickly found to be too small for the tooling and size of component being manufactured so we started to manufacture Special Enclosures. Since then, we have built a large number of all shapes and sizes, each one having it’s own identity with the varied numbers of glove ports and dimensions right up to a complete robot system being placed inside of a 27 cubic ft model.
To accurately measure the oxygen level inside the Welding Enclose, The revolutionary PurgEye® Desk monitors oxygen levels from 1,000 ppm, right down to levels as low as 1 ppm (accurate to 10 ppm).
One huge addition to the PurgEye® Desk is PurgeNet™, for the in-line connection of additional accessories that allows the Weld Purge Monitor® to control welding systems based upon oxygen level as well as to provide indications of high and low oxygen levels and even give dew point measurements.
References: The Welding Institute (TWI), Cambridge UK