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Innovative Aluminium filler Wires for Aircraft Structures

Project description

Innovative aluminium wires will enhance the joining of metal sheets for aircraft components

Manufacturing of large aerospace parts has received help from additive manufacturing (AM) techniques. Wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) is widely used to produce layered sheets of metal and weld them together using an electric arc. Laser beam welding (LBW) is a complementary technique to join metal layers produced with AM techniques. Filler wire is used during the welding processes to secure the metal joints, making their processability integral to the integrity of the finished component. The EU-funded IAWAS project is developing innovative aluminium filler wires for WAAM and LBW processes and optimising the WAAM process targeting the manufacturing of airframe components for green transport.


The project aims at: (1) developing new Al filler wires for WAAM and LBW of the new Al-Li alloys, (2) optimising the WAAM process and implementing suitable post-treatments, (3) characterising the microstructure, mechanical and corrosion properties of the optimised post-treated WAAM material, (4) manufacturing by WAAM two demonstrators of the targeted part and inspecting their quality.
New Al wire compositions will be defined after a literature review of the different processes involved and WAAM and LBW tests on existing extrudable Al alloys.
The new Al wires will be manufactured via casting and extrusion of bar-shaped semi-products that will be drawn. A parameter study will be performed for each of these processes. The new wires will be tested in the LBW and WAAM processes that will allow to select the most suitable new wire per process and to identify ways of improvement in their manufacturing route and composition. A 2nd loop of manufacturing and testing will be performed until achieving the best possible quality.
In parallel, the WAAM process will be developed, optimised and completed with post-treatments. The development will be performed with the existing Al alloys until the production of the new wires.
The optimised post-treated WAAM material issued from the final new wire will be characterised for analysing its microstructure and evaluating its mechanical and corrosion properties.
Two demonstrators of the targeted part will be manufactured using the final new wire and the optimum WAAM conditions. A structural and geometry analysis will be performed prior to their manufacturing. Their quality will be inspected and a cost analysis will be done.


Net EU contribution
€ 143 165,00
6041 Gosselies

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Région wallonne Prov. Hainaut Arr. Charleroi
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 143 165,00

Participants (3)