RWTH Aachen’s Foundry Institute to develop novel material systems with Lunovu’s DED machine

October 16, 2020

The Lunovu LMD machine combines powder and wire-based laser cladding processes (Courtesy Lunovu)

The Foundry Institute at RWTH Aachen, Germany, has installed a new Directed Energy Deposition (DED) machine from Lunovu GmbH, Herzogenrath, Germany, at the new Research Center for Digital Photonics Production (RCDPP). The new machine is designed to suit the special requirements and research applications of the institute. 

Lunovu develops and manufactures complex laser systems, including a range of Directed Energy Deposition machines it refers to as Laser Material deposition (LMD), for industrial applications and research and development. 

The Lunovu LMD machine combines powder and wire-based laser cladding processes, meaning that nearly any starting material can be used for research purposes. An inert gas chamber or glove box is incorporated for contamination free processes, reducing the impact of the ambient atmosphere even on high-oxygen sensitive materials.

“The new LMD system is ideal for our research applications. We are now in a position to produce metal powder with our in-house atomisation system, which can be immediately used in the LMD system to produce material samples,” explained Dr Iris Raffeis, head of the institute’s research group for Additive Manufacturing. 

“This approach opens up completely new perspectives for the development and optimisation of material systems in Additive Manufacturing,” she continued. “At the same time, we use a production compatible LMD technology which is already in use in the industry.”

Dr Rainer Beccard, Managing Director of Lunovu, stated, “A special focus was put on the large number of potential applications. The combination of wire- and powder-based processes in an inert gas system offers maximum flexibility and makes the system ideal for complex research tasks. “ 

The company’s product portfolio includes CNC machines and robot-based systems. A special focus is machine intelligence and sensor technology, which facilitates processes on complex freeform geometries without manual programming.

The Foundry Institute at the RWTH Aachen has expanded its traditional casting competence with the new research area of AM. In this area, research is performed primarily on the coupling of complex component structures with optimised material systems and microstructures.

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