Everything under one roof: the smart Wire Production Route at LKR
In the newly established Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at the LKR, complex 3D components are manufactured using the modern WAAM (wire+arc additive manufacturing) process. The LKR scientists have been researching the necessary WAAM-compatible welding wires made of aluminum and magnesium materials for several years. These special wires are developed, pressed and wound in the company's own smart wire production route. A welding robot uses these wires to produce a component by superimposing the welding wire in several layers on top of each other. In the AM-Laboratory, complex 3D components can be assembled using material-specific process control, a multi-axis robotic system and state-of-the-art torch technologies.
"The LKR is a pioneer in the research and further development of the WAAM process as a future key technology for industry. The advantage lies in the fact that complicated geometries can be realized with reduced material input and little waste," says DI Martin Schnall, WAAM expert at LKR. LKR scientists pursue a holistic research and development approach in order to improve the wire materials used process-specifically and to achieve increased mechanical properties for aluminium and magnesium wires. The development process covers the entire value chain. Starting with alloy definition and production, through wire production with special alloys, welding and WAAM process adaptations, to final prototypes and their material and mechanical characterization.
Dr. Stephan Ucsnik, Thematic Coordinator Material Based Design adds: "In addition to the experimental welding and WAAM developments, the related topics FEM-based material and process simulation, online monitoring, data management, CAD-CAM interface and inline process control are researched at the LKR.