Arc-welding based additive manufacturing is a cost-efficient, productive technology which has been shown to be capable of producing high-integrity components. It is suggested that in automotive engineering, this manufacturing process can be used to reinforce body components by generating stiffening elements. Benefits of this method could be more flexural rigidity with comparatively lower material volume.
In the current study, wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) with an advanced short arc welding process with low heat input was chosen. The first objective of the work was to check possibility of generating a gusset plate on zinc-coated car body parts by additive manufacturing, for reinforcing of formed thin steel sheets. The second aim was to increase flexural rigidity of the sheets by depositing weld metal as a grid. Bending tests of the sheets indicated an increased flexural rigidity compared with the parent material. This production method and the results of this study are related to automotive engineering but could be employed for other applications. The aim is to demonstrate how these goals could be approached, what difficulties and limitations exist and where further research work could be initiated.