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Laser Surface Treatment Cell
Laser additive manufacturing (LAM) includes a number of processes which use lasers to create structures through the addition of new materials on a substrate or bed. The advances in LAM are attributed to its unique advantages, such as: economical repairs, high productivity, automation, re-manufacturing, controllable directed source of energy, chemical cleanliness, non-contact processing, low heat input resulting in minimal heat affected zone, minimal internal stress and distortion, strong metallurgical bonding, rapid cooling rate, very fast processing, improved wear and corrosion resistance, and improved functionality.
Laser surface melting (LSM), a fascinating surface engineering technique, has drawn growing interest in recent years for its ability to improve corrosion resistance of aluminum alloys. Laser surface melting comprises a family of processes that includes alloying and particle injection, in which the materials surface is melted, but not intentionally vaporized, by a scanning distributed laser beam. The versatile LAM technique can be used to modify properties of a material without seriously affecting its bulk properties.
A CDRH class I workstation, the laser surface treatment cell utilized by AEM is a custom unit built by Innovative Laser Technologies, Inc.
|Laser:||IPG model YLR-1000-IC 1 KW Fiber Laser|
|Movement:||5 Axis - X, Y, Z, Tilt, and Rotary Assembly|
|Control:||Computer Numerical Control|
|Motion stage:||X-axis (600 mm), Y-axis (600 mm), Z-axis (450 mm) Tilt and Rotation Control|
System Control (interface to laser, motion control)
Advanced Data Management
|Nozzle Assembly:||Welding Nozzle, Cutting Nozzle, Coating Nozzle with Powder and Wire Feeding|
|Powder Feeder:||Sulzer Metco System™|
|Wire Feeder||Alabama Wire™ Feeding System|
|Shield Gases:||Flow Rate Controlled|
|Vision Image Control:||Cognex System|
• Precitec Laser Cladding Nozzle
• Precitec Welding Head
• Precitec Cutting Head
• Alabama Wire™ Feed Head
The CNC 5-axis control provides precise (± µm) movement of the sample relative to the laser beam. The X and Z axes motions occur in the laser head mount, while the Y, tilt and rotation axes move via a rotatable table beneath the laser head.
Components of the Laser Cell
IPG Diode Laser
A diode laser is particularly good for heat treatment, cladding and welding applications. It is widely used in the repair and improvement of heavy machinery, automotive, aerospace and power generation components and in the oil industry. Diode laser also offers several other advantages including reduced capital cost, lower operating cost, enhanced thermal and energy efficiency and exhibits a material absorption rate of 3-5 times higher than a CO2 laser. The power, cooling and control of AEM's laser are provided by peripheral units, which also allow the laser power to be monitored. The laser beam focuses on the surface of the sample through a 200 mm focal length objective lens. The beam and the powder foci are both aligned vertically on one XY coordinate. With a powder transport gas flow speed of 20 L/min, the laser beam comes in focus 1 mm above the powder focus.
IPG Fiber Assisted Diode
Laser Unit (1kW)
|Twin Chamber Powder Feeder|
The cladding material for laser cladding is delivered in many ways, i.e. in powder form, as wires or strips, or as a pre-placed coat. Each of these applications has unique merits and deficiencies.
Wire feed laser cladding is similar to laser welding, but incorporates a continuously fed metal wire as the clad material. Wire feeding is useful in cladding symmetrically round objects that can be rotated, so that a continuous track of clad can be placed on the surface.
The pre-placed coat method is good in certain complex designs. It can produce a thin uniform coating since it is a relatively simple process, as the complexity associated with the instantaneous delivery of clad material (powder, wire or strip) with the laser is averted.
Powder feeding for metal deposition is the most common method to achieve either a thin or thick uniform clad, since it allows better control and automation than other techniques.
This is a state-of-the-art cladding head from Precitec (YC50 cladding head - processing head for laser beam deposit welding) with cooling capabilities. Click here for Precitec product brochure.
|Laser Treatment||Coaxial Cladding Head|