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COAXwire laser process showcased at industry expos

23 Apr 2018

Fraunhofer IWS showing updated laser methods at Hanover and Berlin for building up complex components with wire.

At this week’s Hannover Messe and ILA Berlin events, the Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik (IWS), Dresden, is presenting two refined versions of its coaxial wire laser manufacturing system.

A newly-developed miniaturized version enables high-precision processing of complex components with fine wire; and in a macro version, the machining head can now be equipped with a hot-wire module.

Due to the positive response from users and what it calls “visibly growing demand”, the IWS is presenting its next generation of coaxial laser wire processing optics under the name "COAXwire" in the fifth year since its introduction.

The Institute has equipped the system with specially-designed optical components, wire and media supply as well as cameras and sensors according to the application.

The development scientists have enabled monitoring of the cladding head as well as recording, processing and networking of relevant digital data as new functionalities.

COAXwire mini for complex parts

A completely new miniaturized version is on show at the Hannover Messe. The COAXwire mini is intended to close the gap to high- precision machining, especially for applications for repairing and generating high- quality and filigree complex components.

For the first time, fine wires from 300 to 600 μm in diameter can be processed in a machine-guided system – for certain alloys this applies to the particularly demanding range of 100 to 250 μm. This opens up the dimension from 200 to about 1200 μm structure resolution of the deposited material with complete material utilization.

Following new trends in laser source development, the system’s optics are designed for the relevant wavelengths from 890 to 1100 nm and from 450 to 550 nm. This qualifies the processing head for beam sources emitting in the green or blue light spectrum and opens up a better possibility to process materials such as copper or gold.

Increased productivity

With the second larger COAXwire version, which the IWS is presenting at the ILA expo, the laser wire processing head can be equipped with a hot wire module. While maintaining full directional independence and 3D capability, this option enables a 20 to 40 percent increase in deposition rate, depending on the material, says the institute.

In addition, the process window for efficient and defect-free processing of modern high- performance metallic materials is increased to the same extent. “Wires have always been the backbone of filler materials in welding technology,” explained Prof. Steffen Nowotny, head of the Thermal Coating Department at the Fraunhofer IWS.

He added, ”Particularly in cladding processes, this permits the possibility to be inserted easily into the welding zone, to make full use of the wire and to protect environment, machine as well as operating personnel due to the characteristic clean processes.”

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