Process response of Inconel 718 to wire + arc additive manufacturing with cold metal transfer

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Wire + arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) with cold metal transfer (CMT) process can reduce cost and lead time during the production of large-scale Ni-based components used in the transportation and energy sector. This paper investigates the effects of processing parameters and heat treatments employed on CMT-WAAM of a precipitation hardenable Ni-based alloy – Inconel 718. The process stability was analysed by electrical transients and melt pool imaging, showing an opposite trend to the measured heat inputs. A 1.2 mm diameter wire permitted deposition widths of 5.92–13.15 mm, but widths larger than ~10 mm decreased the arc stability considerably. Laves length and carbide diameter decreased with travel speed, while the as-deposited hardness increased. These observations permitted a linear wall to be fabricated with a minimal heat input per layer of 181–185 J/mm. An increase in the solution treatment temperature from 980 to 1040 °C reduced microsegregation, Laves and δ phase precipitation. Localised regions with high microhardness were found near interlayer regions due to a local dissolution of Nb-rich eutectic phases. Compared to powder-based additive manufacturing, CMT-WAAM IN718 exhibits a larger melt pool size and lower as-deposited hardness, but has been found to show satisfactory ageing response and similar Laves phase area fraction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109031
JournalMaterials & Design
Early online date6 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2020


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Hardness
  • Heat treatment
  • Microstructure
  • Nickel alloys
  • Process stability


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