Monday, September 30, 2013

News: Reach for the lasers at TWI

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Industry experts are to gather at The Welding Institute's (TWI's) Technology Centre in Rotherham next week to discuss the impact of additive manufacturing.

TWI is one of the world's foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in solving problems in all aspects of manufacturing, fabrication and whole-life integrity management technologies.

The Cambridge organisation has a Technology Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) where experts provide technical support in joining and technologies such as material science, structural integrity, NDT, surfacing, electronic packaging and cutting.

TWI is pioneering the manufacturing freedoms offered by metal based additive manufacturing technologies in the aerospace, military and medical industries. The event on October 3 will highlight the use of Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), an additive process where a laser is used to melt metal powder onto a base material.

The process can be used to repair aero engine components or to build an object up layer by layer from 3D CAD data and is also being used in the consumer market.

When compared to subtractive manufacturing - approaches that remove material to form the shape of a work piece such as milling or turning - additive manufacturing reduces waste material, tooling costs and lead times.

Rotherham firm Hydraulic Pumps (UK) Ltd, worked with TWI to repair hydraulic pump shafts made from highly alloyed carbon steel that were previously being scrapped as they could not be repaired by conventional welding techniques.

Experts estimate that the additive manufacturing industry is expected to continue strong growth over the next few years, reaching a net worth of $3.7 billion worldwide by 2015.

The free seminar will discuss what is possible for the industrial use of the process and will include case studies from TWI members including Rolls-Royce and Smith and Nephew plus TWI development partners, LPW Ltd and Fripp Design and Research Ltd.

TWI website

Images: TWI

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