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Mark Norfolk, Matt Short, Karl Graff Edison Welding Institute Columbus, Ohio

ABSTRACT Ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) has found several applications in the field of metal-based additive manufacturing, such as injection molding dies and sensors. In order to expand the range of uses, it is important to increase the range of materials, part volumes, and production speeds that can be dealt with by the technology. EWI, cooperating with Solidica, several industry, agency, and academic partners, and with the support of the State of Ohios Wright Program, is developing a Very High-Power Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing System (VHP UAM) intended to address certain limits of the present technology. A key part of the development is the design of a 9.0-kW Push-Pull ultrasonic system able to produce sound welds in advanced materials. This aspect has already been demonstrated on a VHP Test Bed, where welding of materials such as Ti 6-4, 316SS, 1100 Cu, and Al7075 has been demonstrated. The higher ultrasonic power levels are expected to permit welding thicker, wider metal tapes at higher production speeds and for larger parts. The VHP system that is being installed will be capable of fabricating metal parts having lineal dimensions of up to 1.5 1.5 0.6 m, and will be described. Accompanying process and software developments enable the new system to deal with contoured surfaces. Several applications of the current technology will be reviewed including solid metal parts with embedded channels for thermal management, metal matrix composites (MMC) for structural materials, embedded shape memory alloys (SMA) for active stiffness control, composite-to-metal transition parts, and solid-state cladding for petro-chemical applications. Acknowledgements: The support of Ohios Third Frontier Wright Project and team partners Boeing, General Electric, Lockheed-Martin, Army Research Laboratory, Solidica, and The Ohio State University in carrying out this development is acknowledged.


Ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) has found several applications in the field of metal-based additive manufacturing, such as injection molding dies and sensors (Gibson, 2010). In order to expand the range of uses, it is important to increase the range of materials, part volumes, and production speeds that can be dealt with by the technology. EWI, cooperating with Solidica, several industry, agency, and academic partners, and with the support of the State of Ohios Wright Program, is developing a Very High-Power Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing System (VHP UAM) intended to address limitations of the present technology (Graff, 2008). The key features of the VHP UAM system will be described, including a 9.0-kW Push-Pull ultrasonic system, a VHP Test Bed that has demonstrated system feasibility and the full-scale VHP system that will have been recently installed. A number of applications, demonstrated on both UAM and VHP UAM systems will be reviewed, including those involving bonding of advanced materials. 2 UAM TECHNOLOGY

The UAM process consists of building up solid metal objects through ultrasonically welding successive layers of metal tape into a three-dimensional shape, with periodic machining operations to create the detailed features of the resultant object (White, 2002). The key features of the process are shown in Figure 1. Thus, Figure 1(a) shows a rolling ultrasonic welding system, consisting of an ultrasonic transducer, a booster, the (welding) horn, and a second dummy booster. The vibrations of the transducer are transmitted to the disk-shaped welding horn (which is also referred to as the sonotrode, a term used in ultrasonic metal welding) rolling in the x-direction, and from there to the tape-metal base, which creates an ultrasonic solid-state weld between the thin metal tape (shown as Al in the figure) and a base plate. The continuous rolling of the horn over the tape welds the entire tape to the plate. By welding a succession of tapes, first side by side, then one on top of the other (but staggered so that seams do not overlap), it becomes possible to build a solid metal part, as shown in Figure 1(b). Through the course of the build, there will be periodic machining operations, using an integrated CNC system, to add features to the part, as suggested by the slot in Figure 1(b), to remove excess tape material and to true up the topmost surface of the part. Thus, the process also involves subtractive as well as additive steps. Examples of UAM fabricated parts and some of the unusual capabilities of the process are shown in Figure 2, with Figure 2(a) showing the mold (or cavity) component of an injection molding die, made from 3003 Al, and approximately 100mm W 150-mm L 20-mm T the associated plastic part is also shown. Figures 2(b,c) show another UAM capability, that of creating embedded channels. As a part build progresses, open channels are machined at one stage and then covered by the next welding stage(s). The apparently solid Al block (100-mm W 100-mm L 13mm T) of Figure 2(b) is shown by X-ray in Figure 2(c) to consist of a complex,

multilevel, interconnected network of channels. Channel sizes can range from 2 mm, down to 10-20 m. Yet another UAM capability is that of embedding materials within a metal matrix. This can take the form of tapes, wires, meshes or fibers, and is illustrated for embedded Mo tapes in Figure 2(d). The approach is to build the part to a desired height, then lay down individual or multiple wires or tapes and then weld the next tape layer which covers and embeds the underlying wires/tapes. 3 VHP UAM SYSTEM

UAM systems typically operate at 1.5-3.0 kW and encounter some issues in seeking to bond advanced materials, such as Ti alloys, stainless steels, Cu alloys, advanced Al, and Ni-based alloys. Limits are also encountered in bonding thicker tapes and in increasing production speeds, which also tends to place limits on overall part sizes that can be considered. To a significant extent, all of these issues can be related to the need to apply greater ultrasonic power to the bonding process. Since making the ultrasonic bond depends on being able to shear and plastically deform opposing asperities at the tape interfaces, with increasing alloy strengths greater interface shearing forces are required to bring about the necessary interface deformations which directly require increased ultrasonic power (de Vries, 2004). Likewise, the mass associated with increased tape thicknesses and/or widths requires increased power to be able to drive it in ultrasonic vibrations. 3.1 Approach for VHP The technique for achieving higher levels of ultrasonic power is shown in Figure 3. Current UAM technology, shown in Figure 3(a), is powered by a single ultrasonic transducer of 1.5 to 2.0 kW, resulting in sharp limitations in materials and parts that can be fabricated. It was determined that it would be possible to make a significant jump in ultrasonic power by combining two transducers, each of 4.5-kW power, in a so-called push-pull configuration to arrive at 9.0-kW capacity as shown in Figure 3(b) (Short, 2008). Subsequent development of yet higher power transducers, configured for the UAM system, will permit yet higher powers, and hence greater performance, to be achieved. 3.2 VHP module and test bed It was felt critical, before proceeding to design/construction of the full VHP UAM system to prove out the operation of the push-pull ultrasonic system. This was done by designing the 9.0-kW module and incorporating it into a test bed to test its welding capabilities. These developments are shown in Figures 4 and 5. Thus, a drawing of the 9.0-kW push-pull module is shown in Figure 4(a), and consists of the two high-power ultrasonic transducers and the welding sonotrode. Referring to the previous Figure 3(b), it is seen that the transmission components located between the transducer and the sonotrode (typically known as a boosters) have been eliminated in this design, greatly reducing the length of the push-pull

system. A complete module assembly is shown in Figure 4(b) in the inverted position. In order to prove out the basic performance of the 9.0-kW welding system, it was important to construct a simplified test bed to evaluate the high power and welding characteristics of the 9.0-kW design, with this being shown in Figure 5 with the location of the VHP module highlighted. This unit has only limited functionality, being able to lay down single tapes on flat plates, and does not have tape feed or machining capability. 3.3 VHP UAM system There was a two-fold purpose in going to the VHP system, the first of which was bonding advanced materials. The second purpose was increased productivity, meaning the ability to produce parts more rapidly, and in so doing, to make the production of larger parts feasible, both from a size and production time standpoint (thus, higher ultrasonic power permits better bonding of materials, but also faster speed of travel, and welding of thicker tapes). The initial concept for the system having these features is shown in the upper left corner of Figure 6. Once the sponsorship of the Wright Project was obtained, a detailed set of performance specifications were set and the design finalized, as shown in the lower left of Figure 6. At the time of submission of this paper, the machine was in the final construction phase at the machine builder, as shown in the right of Figure 6. Key performance features: Materials to be used for Ti, Cu, advanced Al alloys, stainless steels, and Nibased alloys Feed Stock 0.15-mm up to 0.5-mm thick, depending on material; 25-mm wide up to 250-mm wide tape (or sheet) Part Size working envelope of 1.8 m 1.8 m 0.9 m Speed welding speeds up to 900 cm/minute with integrated CNC machining It is anticipated that at the time of the conference, the machine will be installed and operational at EWI. 4. VHP UAM PERFORMANCE AND APPLICATIONS

Two areas are fundamental to future uses of UAM technology, (1) the range of materials that can be joined by the process, and (2) the scope of potential applications and parts. Each will be addressed in the following. 4.1 VHP bonding of advanced materials The VHP test bed is being used to test the weldability of a number of advanced materials. Some of the results to date are highlighted in Figure 7. Referring to the numbered cross sections and welds of the figure: (1) shows the bonding of five layers of 0.10-mm Ti CP-2 foil to a Ti base plate, while (2) shows the welded samples before testing

(3) shows Al 6061-H18, 0.15-mm foil bonded with low-power UAM (4) shows the bonding of 12 layers of Al 6061-H18 0.18-mm foil, while (6) is the cross section of that sample (5) shows the bonding of 12 layers of Cu 1100, 0.18-mm foil, while (5a) shows the cross section of the bonded Cu. The horizontal white arrows indicate the interface locations between Cu layers (7) shows the top view of three, 2-layer bonds of 0.13-mm 316L stainless steel, as well as the metallurgical section of one of the bonds Special reference is made to comparing, in Figure 7, the appearance of the 6061 bonding achieved with low-power UAM, (3) with the results from the VHP test bed, (6). The key feature is the great reduction in voids along the bond interface in the VHP results. Likewise, the Cu bonding of (5a) shows a near absence of interface voids. Tests are continuing on additional alloys, and in further improvement in bond quality of the resulting VHP welds. Extensive work has been done, and is ongoing, on characterizing the metallurgical and mechanical properties of materials bonded by the UAM and VHP UAM systems (Janaki Ram, 2006; Schick, 2010; Johnson, 2008; Dehoff, 2010; Ramanujam, 2010). 4.2 Application space Applied usage of the UAM technology is in its infancy. However, a number of concept demonstrations have been created that show the potential of the technology. Additionally, many prototype products have been built for particular sponsors that go beyond concept to functional testing. Due to confidentiality the following describes the application space based on general categories of capability at a high level without divulging business-sensitive works: 4.2.1 Thermal management and heat transfer The ability of UAM to create conformal channels within a part has been noted in Section 2 and Figure 2. These channels may be curvilinear, multi-tiered, and interconnected, thus having forms extremely difficult to achieve by conventional machining processes. Because of the layered nature of the UAM process, it is possible to add features within the channels that will enhance the overall heat transfer process. This is brought out in Figure 8(a) which shows a cross section through a part, cutting across two channels. A close up of the channels, Figure 8(b), shows the fin details that are possible with the UAM process. The most common use of conformal channels is to provide controlled cooling (or heating) of a part. By strategically placing the channels one can design for a controlled heat flux, of importance in plastic injection molding where rapid cooling of an injected part can be greatly increased, thus increasing machine throughput. The potential of using the VHP UAM process for fabricating hot stamping dies, which have similar issues, is under review.

One interesting application is in the area of high-power laser optics, where new fiber laser technologies have increased power densities. These high power levels tax traditionally cooled Cu optics to the point where they distort, causing focusing issues. Using UAM conformal channels can be built in Cu alloys that are within millimeters of the focusing surface to quickly wick away heat. A final application example is the creation of micro channel devices. By using very small channels in a solid, the surface area available for heat transfer is greatly increased. However, traditional machining methods are costly for drilling very small diameter holes to any useful depth. By creating the part one layer at a time, the micro channels can be machined in during manufacturing at lower costs. Micro channels are finding use in aerospace cooling applications as well as high-efficiency bioreactors for making fuels from biomass. 4.2.2 Metal matrix composites (MMC) The capability of UAM to embed materials has also been noted in Section 2 and Figure 2. It is found that ultrasonic vibratory energy will sufficiently soften and plasticize the matrix tape material such that it will flow around and embed wires and tapes. This allows two dissimilar metals to be applied in making a composite without the creation of brittle intermetallic compounds that would normally occur in a fusion operation. This has obvious structural implications such as embedding high strength wires and tapes in an Al matrix to increase strength for lightweight structural parts. One application of UAM embedding is the development of sensors and actuators. A method that has been demonstrated for building a sensor/actuator that involves embedding a shape memory alloy (SMA) such as nitinol, into an Al matrix. This SMA exhibits up to 8% no-load strain recovery when heated through its martensiteaustenite transition temperature. The phase change can also be induced using outside strain, causing a change in electrical resistivity of about 16%, thus permitting its use as both a sensor and an actuator. By heating the nitinol one can cause a change in the bulk stiffness of the material. Conversely, by straining the material one can measure the change of resistivity of the nitinol and relate it to strain. Figure 9 shows nitinol wires embedded in an Al matrix (Hahnlen, 2010). Taking this particular alloy system further, it is possible to design a MMC with a customized coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). Upon heating past the phase transformation temperature, the nitinol contracts, straining against the bulk Al matrix, which is thermally expanding. By tailoring the relative mixture of nitinol and Al, a material with a custom CTE over a specific temperature range can be designed. Figure 10(a) shows instrumented samples that have strain gages on Al/nitinol MMC test specimens. The graph in Figure 10(b) shows the measured strain on heating versus the expected strain from the base Al substrate (Hahnlen, 2010). As a final example, the embedding of wires, meshes and tapes in a metal matrix can be used to create composites having tailored, anisotropic mechanical properties. Figure 11 shows a stainless steel mesh that has been embedded in an Al 3003 substrate. Such a MMC can be used to produce high strength, light-weight material structural parts.

4.2.3 Dissimilar materials It has been noted that the UAM process is fundamentally one of solid-state welding, and thus based on the mechanisms of the ultrasonic metal welding process, which is well known to be capable of bonding a range of dissimilar materials (de Vries, 2004). As also noted, the solid-state nature of the bond avoids issues of intermetallics that arise in fusion joining of dissimilar materials, and thus opens a large range of applications. The simplest application is that of cladding. Structures such as pipelines and pressure vessels are typically clad with a high value metal, such as stainless steel, in order to achieve specific properties such as corrosion resistance. By cladding a low-cost base with a layer of a high value metal the bulk structure or part can be constructed for less cost. The most prevalent cladding methods involve the use of an arc welding process to deposit the clad layer. Due to mixing between the clad material and bulk material a significant amount of the cladding material must be deposited to assure needed properties at the surface (typically exceeding 6-7 mm). When a clad deposit is laid down with UAM, however, there is no metallurgical mixing. Thus, a much thinner clad layer can be deposited, resulting in significant cost savings of high-value material. A similar application involves the creation of transition joints. Again, in the petrochemical industry there is often a need to transition in a pipeline from one material to another. This is typically accomplished with complicated seals and gaskets that are prone to leakage. With UAM a transition flange could be made where the transition from one material to another over 10-15 cm would be possible. The resulting transition joint would then be arc welded into the pipe. As an example of the concept, Figure 12(a) shows a transition from an Al base to a Cu upper structure. A final application of dissimilar materials involves the creation of a functionally graded MMC. Figure 12(b) shows a composite that is made from alternating layers of Al and Ti. As demonstrated by the changing color of the material through the thickness, the ratio of Al to Ti is graded. This allows for the top surface of the material to have different mechanical properties than the bottom surface. This gives engineers the ability to design structural materials with engineered compliance and strength through a part. 5 SUMMARY

The development of a Very High-Power Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing System (VHP UAM), operating at up to 9.0 kW of ultrasonic power, has been described. The purpose of the development has been to expand the range of uses, in terms of materials, part sizes and rates of production and, ultimately, the total range of applications, of the basic ultrasonic additive manufacturing process. The technical aspects of the unique Push-Pull ultrasonic system were noted, including its first implementation in a very high power Test Bed. Using the test bed, welding of materials such as Ti 6-4, 316SS, 1100 Cu, and Al7075 has been demonstrated, with trials on other advanced materials in progress. The current status of the VHP UAM, recently installed at EWI was also described, noting that it will be capable of fabricating metal parts having lineal dimensions of up to 1.5 m 1.5 m 0.6 m. A

number of part and material applications of this new system were reviewed, including solid metal parts with embedded channels for thermal management, metal matrix composites (MMC) for structural materials, embedded shape memory alloys (SMA) for active stiffness control, composite-to-metal transition parts, and solid-state cladding for petro-chemical applications. 6 REFERENCES

Dehoff, R., Babu, S.S. (2010, in press) Characterization of Interfacial Microstructures in 3003 Aluminum Alloy Blocks Fabricated by Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing, Acta Materialia. De Vries, E. (2004) Mechanics and Mechanisms of Ultrasonic Metal Welding, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University. Gibson, I., Rosen, D.W., Stucker, B. (2010) Additive Manufacturing Technologies, Springer. Graff, K. (2008) Development of a Very High Power Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing System for Advanced Materials, Proposal to The State of Ohio Wright Projects Program. Hahnlen, R., Dapino, M. (2010) UAM Fabrication of Metal-Matrix Smart Materials Composites. Proceedings of 39th Annual UIA Symposium. Janaki Ram, J.D., Yang, Y., Stucker, B.E. (2006) Effect of Process Parameters on Bond Formation during Ultrasonic Consolidation of Aluminum Alloy 3003. Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 25:221238. . Johnson, K. (2008) Interlaminar Subgrain Refinement in Ultrasonic Consolidation, Ph.D. Dissertation, Loughborough University, Loughborough, U.K. Ramanujam, S.M., Babu, S.S., Short, M. (2010) Bonding Characteristics During Very High Power Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing of Copper. Scripta Materialia, 62, 560-563. Schick, D.E., Hahnlen, R.M., Dehoff, R., Collins, P., Babu, S., Dapino, M.J., Lippold, J.C. (2010) Microstructural Characterization of Binding Interfaces in Aluminum 3003 Blicks Fabricated by Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing. Welding Journal, 89(5), 105s-115s. Short, M., Zhang, P.H., Graff, K. (2008) Development of a VHP UAM System, The Ultrasonics Industry Association. White, D.R. (2002) Object Consolidation Employing Friction Joining, U.S. Patent 6,4457,629, October 1, 2002.

Transducer Booster


Dummy Booster

Rotating Transducer, Booster, Horn System

Al Tape Al Base Plate Anvil Y

(a) UAM welding system

(b) Machining operation

Figure 1. The UAM process

(a) IJAM die and part

(b) Plate with embedded channels

(c) X-ray of channel network of (b)

(d) Embedded Mo Tape, 2.5-mm W 0.1-mmT

Figure 2. Applications of UAM

(a) Current UAM

(b) VHP UAM push-pull setup

Figure 3. UAM, VHP UAM systems



(a) SolidWorks model of 9.0-kW module

(b) 9.0-kW push-pull module

Figure 4. VHP UAM 9.0-kW module

Figure 5. VHP UAM test bed

Figure 6. VHP UAM system from concept to (near) final system


(2 )

(3 )

300 3
(4 )

(5 ) (7 )

606 1
(5a )
Color difference result of superimposing two photos

(6 )

Figure 7. VHP welding tests on several advanced materials

(a) Cooling channels within part approximately 2.7-mm square

(b) Close up of channel cross section showing internal fins

Figure 8. Cooling channels with internal fins (courtesy of Solidica)

Figure 9. NiTi (nitinol) wires, 100-m diameter in Al matrix (Hahnlen, 2010)

(a) Instrumented samples

(b) Thermal strain in test samples

Figure 10. Nitinol/Al MMC having a designed CTE (Hahnlen, 2010)

Figure 11. Stainless steel mesh in Al matrix (courtesy of Solidica)

(a) Al to Cu transition

(b) Al-Ti layered transition composite (courtesy of Solidica)

Figure 12. UAM dissimilar material transitions