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Development of a fiber laser system for metal surface treatment and recovery

Abstract

This project proposes the development of a laser material deposition (LMD) system for processing and recovery of metal surfaces. The metal in powder form is sprayed toward the focus of a laser-beam incident on the surface of the substrate under treatment simultaneously. As a result, there is the fusion of the material particles with the substrate creating a firmly adhering layer. Surface treatments are a step or process of great interest to many branches of industry in order to prevent wears or repair damaged surfaces, especially of mechanical components with high value, generally designed to operate in extreme working conditions and / or meet essential safety requirements. Traditional methods for performing such procedures are usually expensive and have significant disadvantages. The laser metal deposition, on the other hand, is an innovative process technology that enables the addition of metal on the surfaces of interest with higher precision and quality. This process provides a method of lower cost operating to obtain the specialized coated and rebuilding surface material, which enables to lengthen the useful life of these materials. An extremely important factor concerning this technique is to control the process. A usual LMD system usually includes preset parameters control, but does not perform automatic adjustments on the process. The disadvantage of this approach is that the occurrences of disturbances during the process or surface irregularities may impact the final result. The innovative idea in this project is the proposal of an intelligent system to control on real-time the deposition process and automatically adjust the parameters as needed. It will be developed algorithms based on sensing imaging, CNC control and CAD to carry out such control. The company BR Labs has years of experience in laser systems, combined with the knowledge obtained by the researcher in his nine years of experience in electronic automation systems and programming software, the project being proposed is highly feasible. In this work we intend to use a high power fiber laser, due to its good characteristics: robustness, reliability and relative low-cost, and its fundamental competitive parameters to industry. The purpose of this project is to develop an automation system capable of performing the controlled deposition of metallic material in the form of powder sprayed toward the metallic surfaces. The results of this project will make the company much more competitive and the country will have another company that will have available a product with nationalized technology, but with an innovation that differs from existing products on the market. This project aims to contribute significantly to the scientific, technological and innovation in the country. The introduction of laser technology provides benefits that involves productivity gains and cost reductions. Investigations on the production lines show that it is possible to increase productivity and reduce operating costs, resulting directly in improving competitiveness. Besides the economic benefits, the technology also integrates social and environmental benefits. A single system can provide increased productivity, reduced costs, increased system operating safety and reduced environmental impact. With the mastery of this technology BR Labs company can meet the various sectors of Brazilian industry, such as automotive, medical hospital, aviation, white goods, metallurgy, among others. (AU)

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