TWI Ltd has ordered a TRUMPF TruLaser Cell 7040 five-axis machine with a disk laser and laser metal deposition functionality.
The LMD process uses a focussed laser beam and metal powders to add weld material onto a substrate. Through multiple layering techniques, a coating or 3D geometry can be deposited to replace damaged features or to manufacture entirely new geometries. The advantages of the process include a high integrity fusion bond between the deposited material and the substrate, and a very low heat input from the laser beam into the base material, which produces a small heat affected zone and accurate and reproducible positioning.
TWI will locate the machine at its Rotherham facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, where it will be put to work on the Open Architecture Additive Manufacturing project, for which TWI is the lead partner. The OAAM programme plans to develop directed energy deposition additive manufacturing technologies that can be scaled up to accept multi-metre component sizes for the benefit of UK Aerospace.