Modeling of the laser cladding process

Theoretical and numerical techniques have been used in modeling the laser cladding process. For the first time a new finite element approach was employed to predict the clad height accurately. Experimental stochastic techniques have also been used to estimate the process behaviours.

Development of a vision based feedback sensor

A new vision based sensor has been develop to measure the clad height and quality in real time. Experimental studies indicate that the sensor is capable of measuring the height with an accuracy of 0.1mm. The device has been filed for both US and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patents.

Development of a closed loop control 

Preliminary studies have been conducted in developing a closed loop control system for the laser cladding process using the vision based feedback sensor. In these studies, classical control techniques were used to adjust the laser power for a desired clad height. The results have been successful and reported in several journal and conference publications.

Development and integration of a fully operational laser deposition system by powder injection

This system includes a 1000W YAG laser, a powder feeder, 4 axis positional system, and a vision feedback system. The devices are controlled by a central controller which has been developed in the real-time QNX environment.

Design and development of low powder feeders

The cost effectiveness of laser cladding by powder injection depends mainly on the powder feeders. Current powder feeders in the market are not capable of producing the low feed rate required for the laser cladding process. In the past few years, a new low rate powder feeder has been designed and fabricated to address this issue.

Design and Development of a co-axial nozzle

In multi-layer deposition for part repair and fabrication, it is important to use a co-axial nozzle to make the deposition path independent. A new co-axial nozzle has been designed and fabricated and currently is under final evaluation.