Tag Archives: laser

SLM-XL project: Printing large-scaled parts with Laser Powder Bed Fusion process

LISBON, 31-May-2019 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — Additive manufacturing technologies are increasingly used, as they allow the manufacturing of parts with geometries not achievable by traditional processes, leading to increasingly more efficient parts for the intended applications, but mostly for smaller build envelopes and rapid prototyping. In the case of Laser Powder Bed Fusion technology, the SLM-XL project has taken the parts size shortcoming head-on and it has managed to produce large stainless steel parts of over one meter compliant with the 316L specification (image 1). To achieve this milestone, the project included the development of a prototype machine for larger parts using LPBF technology with a new, breakthrough technology, tiled laser melting, that is paving the way for the seamless production of small to large parts for the most demanding usage scenarios. Printing large-scaled parts with laser powder bed fusion process provides a fast and efficient way to create low volume parts of any length and height, allowing flexibility in design and overcoming disadvantages of traditional manufacturing technologies.

The project experiment has produced samples on the customized LPBF machine with relative densities above 99%, with the best result at 99,655%. This is a positive indicator towards the ultimate goal of zero-defect manufacturing in producing large components with LPBF. The SLM-XL projectwas led by an equipment manufacturer (Adira Metal Forming Solutions) with the collaboration of research organizations (Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade Nova de Lisboa – Faculdade de Ciência e Tecnologia, INEGI – Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering) and one end user (MCG – Manuel Conceição Graça).

There is a growing market demand for this type of machines and this specific prototype includes a unique TLM (Tiled Laser Melting) printing process technology developed by Adira. By being able to produce larger parts, the project has brought the broad utilization of Laser Powder Bed Fusion into the mainstream, with clear benefits in efficient resources utilization, cost effectiveness for customized smaller production runs and overall flexibility on the production. The project’s outcomes included a methodology for selection of parameters to fabricate large metal parts in stainless steel 316L, as well as contributing for the development of the final prototype machine.

Empowering industry with large parts production capabilities

Laser powder bed fusion is one of the metal additive manufacturing technologies available. It is a layer by layer process in which a defined powder thickness is melted by the laser allowing the manufacture of functional complex-shaped objects, with high structural integrity for low volume and affordable costs in different materials. Being able to deliver parts produced through this technology is not a novelty, and has already been used, among other, for biomedical devices. But ensuring the production of larger parts, retaining the expected features of materials made from traditional subtractive manufacturing, has proven elusive so far. The consortium tested the ultimate ability to reach the highest possible density for a larger part, which in turn would reveal the type of potential applications.

By showing the capability of producing large build envelopes of 316L stainless steel samples, the project has paved the way for other materials to follow in the near future. To achieve the results of 99% plus density in all the part, it was required to adjust the parameters at the outer zones, and a methodology to perform this adjustment has also been proposed as an outcome of this project.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Prometheus project to bridge the existing gap between niche and mainstream applications for high power ultra-short pulse laser surface processing

PORTO SALVO, 4-Apr-2019 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — Prometheus’ project will bridge the existing gap between niche and mainstream applications for high power ultra-short pulse laser surface processing. This advanced technology enables the production of materials with advanced properties such as non-stick, low wear/friction, oleophobic or hydrophobic, but through this unique project will deliver a broad range of surface functionalities onto metals, polymers and ceramics by way of high throughput, high spatial resolution Direct Laser Interference Patterning (DLIP) surface processing. It is expected to deliver unprecedented surface texturing speeds of up to 5 m2/min and enable high resolution features down to 1 μm to be produced with minimal heat impact on work pieces. This ambitious project represents a pan-European EU consortium of world leading organizations, from industrial and research partners to four manufacturers – Maier, Johnson and Johnson, Fiat Chrysler Automobile group and Arcelik – that will be able to assess the project’s outputs against current industrial processes. Wrapping up the thee-year project, and through breakthrough developments in laser sources, optics, process setup, control and monitoring, the consortium will deliver an integrated laser processing demonstrator system to showcase its capabilities according to the established goals.

Beyond the expected improvement on accuracy, the Prometheus project qualitative objectives include better resources utilization from raw materials to energy and waste. It is also expected a quantum leap on the speed of materials’ processing, as mentioned, by reaching 2-5 m2/min, while also minimizing heat impact on sensitive materials. The project aims to achieve improved flexibility and allow for a simpler product customization – all of this at a fraction of existing solutions’ cost. The case studies being developed include a dishwasher, a tumble dryer, a cylinder piston liner, and high strength aluminium pressing for automotive.

The unique ability of this technology to deliver precise periodic arrays of surface features at an unprecedented processing rate will contribute to its entrance into mainstream manufacturing processes, from its current usage in niche ultra-high value applications. The DLIP (Direct Laser Interference Patterning) technology enables the full utilisation of the high-power laser systems delivering profound productivity gains versus current technologies. Also, by being digital by default, the system enables rapid reconfiguration to deliver customised surface functionalities and patterns on a component by component basis.

Keeping Europe at the core of innovation and environmental leadership

This unique project will bring to light a high potential high power ultra-short pulse laser processing system. Prometheus will address some of the key European 2020 societal challenges, both by ensuring that European companies and research organizations stay at the leading edge of the new
manufacturing technologies and by creating new jobs opportunities. At the same time, the project will minimize environmental impacts.

Prometheus will also contribute to support the goal of increasing investment in innovation up to 3% of the EU’s GDP. The new approaches to surface engineering made possible by this technology will have an impact on the increase in R&D spending, both in photonic component development
necessary to control the increased power densities and in widespread application development.

The exceptionally high processing rate enables cost-effective processing to price-sensitive industrial sectors such as the consortium partners, spanning automotive, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), white goods and consumer durables. The effect will also be felt on the overall value chain, given the expected technology transfer and training across manufacturing sectors, as it becomes mainstream.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

LSP Technologies Procudo® Laser Peening System can deliver 20 pulses per second – the fastest laser peening system ever built

Dublin, Ohio, USA, Jun-14-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — LSP Technologies announces the sale of its state-of-the-art Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System to the ZAL Zentrum für Angewandte Luftfahrtforschung in Hamburg, Germany. The equipment is being delivered to the ZAL TechCenter in Hamburg during the 3rd quarter of 2017, and being used to study metal fatigue enhancement applications for the civil aviation industry.

“We are very excited to introduce the first production-quality commercial laser peening system into Europe,” said Dr. Jeff Dulaney, President and CEO of LSP Technologies, Inc. “Laser peening is becoming the aviation industry standard for increasing fatigue strength in titanium and steels, and LSPT’s Procudo® Laser Peening System is the most powerful and versatile machine available for component service life extension.”

Laser peening is a proven method for significantly increasing the fatigue life and fatigue strength of metals. The mechanical surface enhancement process utilizes a high-energy pulsed laser beam to impart compressive residual stresses up to twenty times deeper than shot peening. The compressive stresses introduced by laser peening add strength and robustness to metal parts by improving their resistance to damage, fatigue, crack initiation and crack propagation. Benefits of the process include: extended component service life, reduced maintenance and repair costs, improved part performance, and enhanced resistance to failure. The process has been employed for years by major aerospace OEMs including GE Aviation and Rolls Royce.

LSP Technologies’ Procudo® 200 Laser Peening System is the only commercially available laser designed exclusively for laser peening. It employs a diode-pumped, pulsed YLF laser that produces a flat-top beam for smooth energy distribution and consistent processing. The flexible system offers selectable laser parameters, along with custom controls and diagnostics developed from LSPT’s 20 years of laser peening experience. Engineered for high-volume production processing, the Procudo® Laser Peening System can deliver 20 pulses per second, making it the fastest laser peening system ever built.

The Hamburg Center of Applied Aeronautical Research was established in 2009 as a technological research and development hub for the Hamburg Aviation Network. It is a public-private partnership that not only includes collaboration from some of the aviation industry’s largest organizations, such as Lufthansa and Airbus, but also from suppliers, SME, universities, research institutions, start-ups and many more. The ZAL TechCenter opened in Hamburg in 2016, and the 95-million-euro facility immediately became one of the largest and most advanced aeronautical research facilities in the world.

LSP Technologies is the world’s premier laser peening services, technology and equipment provider. It is the only company in the world selling, installing, and integrating state-of-the-art laser peening systems into manufacturing and research facilities. The company has been providing laser peening production services for clients in the aviation and power generation industries for over twenty years, and has been awarded more than fifty patents for innovations in laser peening equipment and technology.

SOURCE: EuropaWire