Optomec, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, has announced an advancement in capability for its LENS Directed Energy Deposition (DED) Additive Manufacturing machines and the repair of aluminium alloys. The advancement reportedly enables LENS DED machines to be used to deposit any aluminium alloy, including those developed specifically for their improved properties for AM processing.
This development helps open up the transportation and aerospace industries to Additive Manufacturing and the repair of complex aluminium alloy parts using powder-based DED. Additionally, the use of Optomec’s LENS simultaneous 5-axis system is said to enable the processing of aluminium alloy parts with complex geometries without the need for support structures. The company explains that the deposition of aluminium alloys in a controlled atmosphere glove-box with very low levels of oxygen and moisture ensures the achievement of components with superior mechanical properties.
David Otazu, LENS Applications Engineer at Optomec, commented, “Our engineers have developed process parameters for aluminium alloys to provide an excellent surface finish, high deposition rates and a density of ~99.9%.”
With this advancement, the company believes that its Optomec LENS systems can now successfully process all common materials used for Additive Manufacturing, which as well as aluminium include steels, titanium, nickel and copper.