TWI installs welding and arc-based AM equipment

TWI has recently installed a Kuka KR16-3 S welding robot at its headquarters in Cambridge. The robotic system has been integrated with a SBI PMI-350 AC/DC TL plasma welding power source with support from Kuka Robotics UK and SBI International, Austria.
The integrated six-axis robotic system provides flexibility in operation and unique AC plasma and TIG arc capabilities for welding and additive manufacturing (AM), and is the newest addition to TWI’s existing DED-arc equipment. The system is capable of handling a range of materials in wire form, such as Ti-6Al-4V, nickel based alloys, aluminium alloys, stainless steels, carbon steels and magnesium alloys.
The integrated system has been used for DED plasma arc additive manufacturing for a number of ongoing Innovate-UK funded collaborative projects, such as Novel material and manufacturing methods for direct energy deposition (NOMAD) and NanoTi – Grain refinement of Ti-6Al-4V wire to enable Aerospace DED AM.
TWI plans to integrate robotic CAM capability and in-process monitoring and inspection with the system, to enable fully automated welding and DED-arc AM for complex designs.

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