Supersonic spray coating on wire arc additive manufactured parts

January 31, 2024
A welder using a torch

Tam Nguyen, PhD (PI) and Jim Galloway (PI), School of Engineering & Technology 

Wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is a 3D printing method that builds metal structures layer by layer, using an electric arc to melt and deposit wire feedstock. It's cost-effective and efficient, commonly employed in aerospace and automotive industries for large-scale metal components. With WAAM, net shape products can be swiftly and economically produced from CAD designs.  

Centreline Ltd., based in Windsor, Ontario, specializes in crafting custom automated welding and assembly lines, along with standard brand products for various metal applications like fastener welding, resistance welding, metal joining, forming, and coating. To explore the potential of enhancing the surface appearance and corrosion resistance of WAAM parts, Centreline collaborated with Conestoga on an eight-month project focusing on supersonic spray technology (SST). 

The research team aimed to assess the feasibility of SST application on WAAM parts by comparing the surface quality of WAAM components produced conventionally with those treated with SST. They also evaluated the adhesion of SST on WAAM components and compared the corrosion resistance of treated and untreated parts in an accelerated corrosive environment. These tests enabled Centreline to consider integrating SST as a value-added post-production process for their WAAM equipment. 

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

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