Revisiting fundamental welding concepts to improve additive manufacturing: From theory to practice

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Additive manufacturing technologies based on melting and solidification have considerable similarities with fusion-based welding technologies, either by electric arc or high-power beams. However, several concepts are being introduced in additive manufacturing which have been extensively used in multipass arc welding with filler material. Therefore, clarification of fundamental definitions is important to establish a common background between welding and additive manufacturing research communities. This paper aims to review these concepts, highlighting the distinctive characteristics of fusion welding that can be embraced by additive manufacturing, namely the nature of rapid thermal cycles associated to small size and localized heat sources, the non-equilibrium nature of rapid solidification and its effects on: internal defects formation, phase transformations, residual stresses and distortions. Concerning process optimization, distinct criteria are proposed based on geometric, energetic and thermal considerations, allowing to determine an upper bound limit for the optimum hatch distance during additive manufacturing. Finally, a unified equation to compute the energy density is proposed. This equation enables to compare works performed with distinct equipment and experimental conditions, covering the major process parameters: power, travel speed, heat source dimension, hatch distance, deposited layer thickness and material grain size.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100590
JournalProgress in Materials Science
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Arc welding
  • Electron beam additive manufacturing
  • Energy density
  • Laser additive manufacturing
  • Microstructure


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