Feasibility study in combined direct metal deposition (DMD) and plasma transfer arc welding (PTA) additive manufacturing

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Direct metal deposition (DMD) and plasma transfer arc welding (PTA) are two metal deposition techniques, which are well-known for high-quality and high-productivity level of fabrication, respectively. In the field of additive manufacturing (AM) of large-scale metallic parts, combined technologies of these methods can offer advantageous solutions to manufacture complex parts with the industry’s economical requirements of productivity and energy efficiency. To study the feasibility of a combined DMD–PTA technique, a preliminary analysis in the specification of both techniques is conducted. Hybrid layers are fabricated using stainless steel EN X3CrNiMo13-4. Joining strategy of dissimilar layers, as well as microstructure and tensile strength of the hybrid layers, are examined. A comparison of the PTA and DMD process specifications shows both PTA and DMD processes are capable of being integrated into one operating system to enhance productivity. Layer-wise deposition of both processes presents a dense microstructure between dissimilar layers. However, side-by-side deposition of PTA and DMD layers requires proper joint-strategy due to higher heat input and wider and thicker deposited track in the regular current PTA compared to the DMD. The DMD layers exhibit higher hardness values compared to the PTA layer (300–315 HV and 320–350 HV, respectively) due to the smaller grain size. The tensile properties of the hybrid PTA-DMD layers are more comparable with PTA layer. The mean yield strengths of samples fabricated with the hybrid PTA-DMD layers are 800–850 MPa, while these properties are 794 MPa, and 984 MPa in samples made with PTA and DMD, respectively.

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The authors would like to sincerely acknowledge Mr. Philipp Jutzi from Stellba AG for the generous support in providing the machines to carry out part of the experimental test in Stellba AG as well as Mr. Andreas Gisler and Milos Radujkov for their help in performing the experiment. We would also like to extend thanks to Mr. Matthias Pfister from Burckhardt Compression AG for materials supplied and Mr. Knut Krieger from inspire AG for the metallography of required samples.

Funding information

This work was financially sponsored by the Swiss innovation agency Innosuisse (Grant No. 27436.1 PFNM–NM), which is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to M. Dalaee.

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Dalaee, M., Cheaitani, F., Arabi-Hashemi, A. et al. Feasibility study in combined direct metal deposition (DMD) and plasma transfer arc welding (PTA) additive manufacturing. Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2020).

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  • Direct metal deposition
  • Hybrid additive manufacturing
  • Plasma transfer arc welding
  • High deposition rate additive manufacturing