Product Code: PIC2008_907

Advances in Laser-Deposition Equipment and Capabilities
Richard Grylls, Optomec; Albuquerque NM USA
James Bullen, Optomec; Albuquerque NM USA
David Keicher, Optomec; Albuquerque NM USA
Presented at PICALO 2008

Laser Deposition techniques are gaining wider acceptance within manufacturing industries for both repair and rapid manufacture of metal components. The Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS®) process is one of the leading techniques in this field. Multiple LENS systems are now employed at DoD and other facilities, repairing a variety of high-performance components. In this role, LENS can be employed to shorten overhaul cycle times, and in some cases extend the useful life of the repaired component. This paper will highlight two of the recent advances in equipment capability. First, the introduction of high power fiber lasers has revolutionized the market for high-powered lasers in recent years. These lasers offer high beam quality, high efficiency, long life, and low maintenance. These advantages have enabled higher power in the LENS process, which allows a faster deposition rate, enhancing the economics of the process. This enables applications such as shaft repair and large-part manufacturing. Second, the excellent beam quality of the fiber laser offers the opportunity to design deposition heads that can access small, non-line-of-sight areas. This allows, for example, the inside of a bore to be repaired. Applications of the enhancements in industry will be highlighted.

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