Laser cladding now four times faster - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden at LAM in Houston (Texas, USA) and LASYS in Stuttgart
Hybrid technology makes laser powder cladding even faster and more reliable. At the LAM in Houston (Texas, USA) and the LASYS in Stuttgart (Germany), Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Laserline are presenting a highly productive, compact coaxial head for laser assisted cladding. The induction module is arranged coaxially around the nozzle so that it’s fully omnidirectional. This arrangement of the hybrid cladding head offers increased performance, high ease of use, easy automation and high robustness.
Combining a solid-state laser (4 kW) with a locally integrated additional induction module (14 kW), the patented COAXpowerline head by Fraunhofer IWS enables deposition rates of 8 kg metallic powder per hour. Up to four times higher rates can be provided compared with a single 4 kW solid-state laser. Thus, even small lasers can reach deposition rates in the range of plasma transferred arc (PTA) surfacing, without undercuts and at mixing degrees below 8 %.
If one dares a view into the near future, technically and economically meaningful upper limits are to be expected at 10 kW diode laser power and 40 kW induction power. With this combination, deposition rates of up to 30 kg metallic powder per hour could be realized. The researchers of Fraunhofer IWS are looking forward to take on this challenging task.
With the COAXpowerline head the energetic overall efficiency can already be increased by more a factor of two. Where otherwise a 10 KW laser would be necessary, now a
4 kW laser will be sufficient! Thus, the investment costs per kW of total power can be reduced by at least 50%.
A further effect that characterizes the new system is the wider range of materials that can be processed. Simultaneous base material preheating enables the crack-free deposition of especially hard and wear resistant materials. Coatings with a hardness of up to 64 HRC can be reached precisely.
Like all COAXn systems, COAXpowerline provides omnidirectional energy and weld deposit feeding. Yet equipped with the additional induction module the cladding head remains very compact and can be applied regardless the geometry and size of the component. Furthermore, the camera based temperature control system »E-MAqS« by Fraunhofer IWS can be coaxially integrated in the beam path. This on-line process control represents another unique feature in the market.
For more than twenty years, the Fraunhofer IWS has been developing processing heads for continuous powder and wire feeding. With these components, users are provided with advanced tools for laser cladding applications. During the last ten years, more than 80 systems have found their way into industrial production or research worldwide.