LaserBond invests in new laser

Australian surface engineering company LaserBond has formed a research collaboration with the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute and is establishing a new ‘laser cell’ in Adelaide.
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LaserBond has been using thermal coating techniques to produce hard-wearing components and products for the mining, power-generation, manufacturing and agriculture industries since 1992.

Products are typically made from steel and then applied with materials such as nickel alloys, tungsten, titanium carbides and ceramics. Manufactured items include mining picks, furnace doors and down-the-hole hammers.

Chairman Allan Morton said the company's laser-applied coatings have typically tripled the life of a product.

He added: "This is effectively 3-D printing using industrial robots and industrial lasers to add material to existing substrates to create better performing products.

"The economic benefit is not so much that the components are lasting longer; it's that you don't have to shut the system down to change components so they're getting longer cycles out and that has ramifications in the workplace health-and-safety area as well."

Commenting on the new laser cell, Morton stated: "We know that we make a 60% energy saving, we get higher efficiency and we get less waste with these new lasers. We currently have the three most powerful lasers in Australia in this industry and the one we're buying will be twice as big again - it will be the highest power laser beam used for laser cladding in the southern hemisphere."

The company said it hopes to have the 16kW laser up and running in September and expects it to allow it to double production.



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