In the aircraft engine market, TWI has been working closely with a leading engine manufacturer to develop direct metal laser deposition (DMLD) for repair of blades and seal segments.
In the DMLD process, a laser beam is used to form a melt pool on a metallic substrate, into which powder is fed.
The powder melts to form a deposit that is fusion bonded to the substrate. Both the laser and nozzle from which the powder is delivered are manipulated using a CNC robot or gantry system.
The process is also known as laser cladding, laser deposition, laser engineering net shape (LENS) and laser additive manufacture (LAM).
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