Innovative Additive Manufacturing Process for Successful Production of 7000 Series Aluminum Alloy Components Using Smart Optical Monitoring System
Aircraft components are commonly produced with 7000 series aluminum alloys (AA) due to its weight, strength, and fatigue properties. Auto Industry is also choosing more and more aluminum component for weight reduction. Current additive manufacturing (AM) methods fall short of successfully producing 7000 series AA due to the reflective nature of the material along with elements with low vaporization temperature. Moreover, lacking in ideal thermal control, print inherently defective products with such issues as poor surface finish alloying element loss and porosity. All these defects contribute to reduction of mechanical strength. By monitoring plasma with spectroscopic sensors, multiple information such as line intensity, standard deviation, plasma temperature or electron density, and by using different signal processing algorithm, AM defects have been detected and classified.