In the field of additive manufacturing of metallic components, inspire deals with both powder bed (selective laser melting) and powder nozzle (direct metal deposition) processes. Our research considers the entire process chain. Our core competencies include:
- Powder development and qualification (for the SLM and DMD process)
- Process windows, -management and monitoring
- Machine concepts and optimization of components
- Material qualification and component characterization
Direct Metal Deposition (DMD)
For the additive manufacturing of large metallic components, a powder jet process is used (Direct Metal Deposition, DMD). This allows components such as turbine blades, dough hooks, excavator teeth etc. to be partially or completely coated with a wear protection layer made of, for example, cobalt- or nickel-based materials. The aim is to apply the thinnest possible protective layers with the least possible mixing with the base material.
While the classic laser cladding process is a two-dimensional coating process, laser DMD is a three-dimensional process that can be used to apply a large amount of material within a short period of time. Depending on the type of laser used, build-up rates of approx. 2 kg/h are achieved on the institute's own machine.
In the field of laser cladding, experience is available in process modelling with which the build-up behaviour of the protective layer can be calculated in advance as a function of various machine and laser parameters. The aim is to find a more fundamental understanding of the process and to reduce the time-consuming search for suitable process windows. This is to be transferred to the DMD process in the next few years.