TWI Ltd has ordered a Trumpf TruLaser Cell 7040 five-axis machine with a disk laser and laser metal deposition (LMD) 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 manufacture entirely new geometries.
As one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, 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 (OAAM) project, for which TWI is the lead partner. The OAAM programme plans to develop directed energy deposition (DED) additive manufacturing (AM) technologies that can be scaled up to accept multi-metre component sizes for the benefit of UK aerospace. These new platforms will enable aerospace manufacturers and their supply chains to develop advanced AM concepts.
“Being part of the OAAM project allowed us to consider our options and specify a new high precision system to meet the growing needs of the aerospace industry and of TWI member companies,” says Carl Hauser, section manager, laser additive manufacturing at TWI. “After an assessment, the decision was made to invest in a new large scale five-axis gantry facility for laser additive manufacturing.”
Following a public tender, an order was duly placed for a Trumpf TruLaser Cell 7040 with LMD capability. The machine, which features several important modifications that make it unique in the marketplace, is due to arrive at TWI’s Sheffield facility in the summer.
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