Titanova was just awarded the patent, Titled Puddle Forming and Shaping with Primary and Secondary Lasers. This Patent is available for licensing.
Description or Summary of Invention
So for one skilled in the art of welding one can appreciate the advantage of being able to shape the puddle such that the bead of the final solidified bead is improved on flat areas, on edges and inside corners and is amenable to tie-in to subsequent laser cladding tracks. The shape control is achieved by an additional laser beams that are strategically place in location to pull the weld puddle by either affecting surface tension or keeping it molten longer in strategic locations. The shape control can also be used to steer the weld puddle around hole or to repair holes or blow outs during cladding. The puddle steering is achieved by changing the surface tension on the surface of the puddle in strategic locations thus affecting the puddle shape and subsequent thickness.
This patent intends to solve or improve upon the following
Deposition Efficiency [Watts/kg] or [ Kg/hr]
In situ defect mitigation [ fixing blow holes]
Edge definition around holes
Inside fillet definition
Improved morphology [flatter thinner clads]
Control of solidification cracking issues
Improving wire feed laser cladding
The clad puddle fluidity affects the dilution and the clad deposition morphology as is the case with laser additive manufacturing. These two characteristics, low dilution and good morphology of laser cladding presently are not simultaneously achievable at high deposition rates. Clad dilution decreases with higher deposition rates which lead to unacceptable clad morphologies. One needs to slow down and put more energy into the workpiece to “wet-out” the clad and tie into the previous pass as with the case with laser weld overlays. One needs to significantly reduce deposition rates and simultaneously use smaller laser beams in order to achieve acceptable 3D laser additive profile. The surface tension or fluidity of the laser clad puddle affects the final clad profile. i.e. “The bigger the puddle the less control”. Besides the chemical make-up of the clad material, it has been demonstrated that beam intensity distribution is the biggest contributor to surface fluidity. It has been shown and modeled that fluid motion results from surface tension gradient and gravity gradients caused by temperature variations in the melt resulting in a stirring motion in the laser cladding puddle. The directions of the fluid motion are strongly influenced by the laser beam heating the liquid surface. These induced vortexes are a large contributor to dilution. Titanova’ s patent addresses this problem to achieve high deposition rates and surface area coverage, while at the same time preserving the excellent surface morphology.
This will enhance the economic viability of this process by making the high deposition rates with smooth flat clads and 3D laser additive consistently achievable on all material compositions. Understanding and controlling the surface tension in-situ will be key for enabling an increase in deposition rates [kg/hour, m^3/hour] and surface coverage rates [m^2/ hour] on a variety of surfaces and shapes, while at the same time preserving the superb surface smoothness and low dilutions. This will make the diode laser processing even more economically competitive with existing weld overlay and 3D additive processes.
Titanova in its continuing effort to develop new laser process technologies for the benefit of the industry is offering both hot and cold wire enhanced laser welding.
This unique laser process application offers improve weld root reinforcement over laser autogenous welding.
The wire feed laser welding process is a very clean spatter free process that is similar to TIG welding but at a much faster weld speeds. This leads to a much lower cost at a cheaper price for our customers. So in addition to the low heat input leading to lower weld distortions one can get an excellent and almost perfect fillet weld using laser wire feed welding.
Since the laser is such a controllable heat source the wire feed laser welding technique allow for much smaller wire diameters and therefore much thinner gauges as compared to traditional MIG or TIG welding.
Laser Weld Overlay of Cast Iron/Laser Cladding of Cast Iron
Titanova continues to develop new applications for the laser cladding process. Titanova has proven production process for laser weld overlay repair of ductile cast iron components. Titanova has developed material and process technology in order to achieve crack and pore-free laser weld overlays for ductile cast iron using an equivalent of 316 SS. This allows our customers to fix critical surfaces to re-man cast iron parts.
Titanova, Inc.’s Additional Large Component Capacity
Titanova Inc. has invested in facility improvements and new equipment to address its ever expanding markets. Titanova has installed 3 more motoman robot systems with multi axis external indexers and integrating these with 3 additional multi-kilowatt fiber coupled diode lasers. Titanova now has capacity of up to 50000lbs, 12 feet long and 5 feet in diameter for vertical laser weld over lay and heat treating. In addition, Titanova has 20000lbs 15 foot long and 6 foot in diameter for horizontal laser processing. With this additional capacity investment, Titanova can now address the majority of large components and volumes that its customers will need to have laser weld overlay [clad] repaired or laser heat treated.
Titanova has the capability to laser clad Aluminum Bronze onto Ferrous based substrates. The application is for pressed-in bushing replacement and thus part count reduction.
Aluminum bronzes are used in applications where their resistance to corrosion makes them preferable to other materials. These applications include plain bearings and landing gear components on aircraft, engine components (especially for seagoing ships), underwater fastenings in naval architecture, and ship propellers. Aluminum bronze are also used in explosive atmospheric applications.
Aluminum bronzes are in the highest demand from the following industries and areas:
General sea water-related service
Oil and petrochemical industries (i.e. tools for use in non-sparking environments
This process is a multi-stage process that converts fine metal powders into near full density, high strength metal components. MIM competes with cast, wrought, and machined metal components on the basis of both manufacturing cost effectiveness and material properties. The MIM process can yield very complex shapes with high degree of repeatability. The process consists of mixing fine metal powders with thermoplastic binders to form a feedstock which is injection molded into a closed mold. After ejection from the mold, the thermoplastic “binders” are chemically or thermally removed from the part so that the part can be sintered to high density. During the sintering process, the individual particles metallurgically bond together as material diffusion occurs to remove most of the porosity left by the removal of the binder. The sintering process shrinks the part, providing a net shape that can be used as-is or further worked to add additional features or improve tolerances.
The sintering process tempers carbon steel and heat treatable alloys such that they are soft. These alloys are typically cheaper that the precipitation or air hardenable alloys, therefore there is strong incentive for their use for MIM parts. However, subsequent heat treating processes use to harden the parts lead to distortion which requires hard machining.Low distortion laser heat treating of localized areas such as sliding pin cavities, bearing, tool, and gear surfaces enables heat treating as the last step after soft machining.
Titanova, Inc. demonstrating its continuing innovation in the area of laser cladding: now offering ID laser cladding. We currently have the capability down to ID diameters of 4” [100 mm] at a depth of 24” [610 mm], deeper for larger ID diameters.
September 07, 2012 — Titanova was a recipient of Missouri’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. John Haake, President of Titanova was presented with the award by Governor Jay Nixon.
John would like to thank all of Titanova’s employees for helping achieve this award.
The Governor’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented to a principal with an entrepreneurial company who has demonstrated significant leadership in launching a new business, creating private sector employment opportunities through an innovative business concept, or developing a new technology or adopting/ applying an innovative manufacturing process. To be considered for the award, the entrepreneur must be affiliated with a company headquartered in Missouri that has been in existence for less than 10 years and has fewer than 100 full-time employees.
Titanova has developed laser heat treat case hardening technology to case harden automotive stamping dies in the as finished dimension, thus saving our customers significant post hard machining expense. Titanova’s laser heat treating significantly reduces distortion thus allowing case hardening of a finished dimensioned die. The die material such as GM338 and GM190, 4140 and other case hardenable die materials are all candidates for this cost saving laser heat treating process.