Project Info

Development of consumables for high deposition rate additive manufacturing

Jonah Klemm-Toole

Project Goals and Description:

Of the many fusion-based metal additive manufacturing processes, wire-arc additive manufacturing by far exhibits the highest deposition rate. Several companies use wire arc additive manufacturing to directly print large rocket engine components and fuel tanks. Currently, the majority of the consumables for wire-arc additive manufacturing are welding wires designed to join other structural alloys. The next generation of consumables for wire-arc additive manufacturing will designed specifically for this purpose and will have optimized compositions, microstructures, and mechanical properties. In this project, the student will be able to select an alloy class, e.g. steels, aluminum alloys, high temperature nickel alloys, etc., design a new composition, make the wire, and perform wire arc additive manufacturing trials. This project will give the interested student experience with alloy design practices, wire manufacturing (which is unique to Mines), and wire-arc additive manufacturing parameter development.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Make solar energy economical.
Related work on the use of wire arc additive manufacturing can be found here: An article about Relativity Space 3D printing rockets can be found here

Primary Contacts:

Jonah Klemm-Toole

Student Preparation


The student should be interested in welding or additive manufacturing. Experience with at least one of the following areas would be helpful: gas metal arc welding (GMAW), metallographic preparation, mechanical testing, finite element modeling or other computational simulations.




Depending on interest, the student can gain experience in a broad range of very useful skills for graduate school or industry. The student can work with a graduate student on thermodynamic modeling for alloy design, wire consumable manufacturing, wire-arc AM process development, metallographic preparation, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), state-of-the-art multi-physics welding simulations, X-ray computed tomography (XCT), and mechanical testing. The student will be given flexibility to work on areas of interest.


The student will regularly meet with a graduate student in the project. Additionally, the student will participate in weekly meetings with graduate students and professors. Realistic goals will be set at the beginning of the project, and they will be continuously updated as needed. The frequent interaction with professors and graduate students will ensure all resources are being provided to ensure the student gets the most out of the project.


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