Zidong Lin, Constantinos Goulas, Wei Ya, Marcel J.M. Hermans
Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Medium Carbon Steel Deposits Obtained via Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing Using Metal-Cored Wire
Wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is a 3D metal printing technique based on the arc welding process. WAAM is considered to be suitable to produce large-scale metallic components by combining high deposition rate and low cost. WAAM uses conventional welding consumable wires as feedstock. In some applications of steel components, one-off spare parts need to be made on demand from steel grades that do not exist as commercial welding wire. In this research, a specifically produced medium carbon steel (Grade XC-45), metal-cored wire, equivalent to a composition of XC-45 forged material, was deposited with WAAM to produce a thin wall. The specific composition was chosen because it is of particular interest for the on-demand production of heavily loaded aerospace components. The microstructure, hardness, and tensile strength of the deposited part were studied. Fractography studies were conducted on the tested specimens. Due to the multiple thermal cycles during the building process, local variations in microstructural features were evident. Nevertheless, the hardness of the part was relatively uniform from the top to the bottom of the construct. The mean yield/ultimate tensile strength was 620 MPa/817 MPa in the horizontal (deposition) direction and 580 MPa/615 MPa in the vertical (build) direction, respectively. The elongation in both directions showed a significant difference, i.e., 6.4% in the horizontal direction and 11% in the vertical direction. Finally, from the dimple-like structures observed in the fractography study, a ductile fracture mode was determined. Furthermore, a comparison of mechanical properties between WAAM and traditionally processed XC-45, such as casting, forging, and cold rolling was conducted. The results show a more uniform hardness distribution and higher tensile strength of the WAAM deposit using the designed metal-cored wires.