Joint solutions for laser material deposition
Transfer of the EHLA technology to industry
How can I increase my productivity in laser material deposition? What are the best materials for my process? And how fast can I coat with them? These are typical questions that Dr Thomas Schopphoven, head of the laser material deposition competence area at Fraunhofer ILT, and his team are asked by interested customers from industry. “Our core business is developing application-adapted processes and system technology components. The basis for this is our thirty years of experience in laser material deposition – in applications we have developed for a wide variety of industries”, says Schopphoven.
During this period, the Aachen scientists have decisively influenced the development of the technology and set numerous trends. Innovations such as extreme high-speed laser material deposition EHLA have won a number of prizes and been successfully implemented industrially many times over.
“When we transfer our technologies to industrial applications, our customers are increasingly focusing on the questions of systems engineering implementation, especially with regard to the availability, stability and suitability of the components.”, Schopphoven is sure.
This is where ILT’s partner Trumpf comes in with more than twenty years of experience. As the world’s leading manufacturer of laser systems and components for laser material deposition, Trumpf has the necessary know-how in manufacturing robust, reliable and highly productive machines for laser material processing in industrial series production.
For Marco Göbel, industry manager at Trumpf in Ditzingen, the cooperation with the ILT is a win-win situation for customers: “Thanks to the close cooperation, we can offer solutions for the entire production chain from a single source. By combining our system technology – optimized for industrial use – with processes adapted or specially developed for this purpose, we help customers all over the world benefit from these innovations.”
Research and development on the latest Trumpf system technology
For process and application development in Aachen, Trumpf provides the team at the ILT with state-of-the-art laser systems that have various optical systems and powder feed nozzles. “In this way, we analyze our processes directly on industrially relevant systems. This enables us to transfer our research into customer applications particularly efficiently”, says Schopphoven.
The systems will be installed at the beginning of this year and available for the first tests in the spring. Numerous promising applications are already in sight, such as the economical coating of passenger car brake discs or the wear and corrosion protection of hydraulic cylinders.
For the two partners, this is another important step in their long-standing collaboration. Plans are already underway to expand the cooperation between Trumpf and Fraunhofer ILT in other areas of laser materials processing. (Source: Fh. ILT)
Further reading: B. Müller (Rolls Royce): New Developments for the Repair of Structural Engine Components with Laser Material Deposition – In-situ repair by combining LMD and endoscopic devices, PhotonicsViews 17(2), April/May 2020, 48–51; DOI: 10.1002/phvs.202000014 • T. Schopphoven (Fh. ILT), J. H. Schleifenbaum (RWTH), S. Tharmakulasingam (HD Sonderoptiken), O. Schulte (Ponticon): Setting Sights on a 3D Process – Extreme high-speed laser material deposition, or EHLA, is now being developed into an additive manufacturing process, PhotonicsViews 16(5), October/November 2019, 64–68; DOI: 10.1002/phvs.201900041 and references therein
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Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
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