TWI to optimise nozzle calibration in powder-fed laser deposition systems

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Accurate measurement of the powder-gas jet stream is now increasingly possible thanks to new technologies and measurement tools. (Image: TWI)

TWI is launching a new Joint Industry Project to optimise nozzle calibration and quality assurance in powder-fed laser deposition systems.

In laser deposition, the powder-gas jet stream affects the process characteristics, influencing factors such as the deposit quality, powder capture efficiency, and process stability.. 

Generated by the nozzle – the end effector of a laser deposition system the stream can be affected by different factors including wear (deposition time, powder abrasiveness), nozzle impact, humidity, powder characteristics, misalignment, and especially by process parameters, notably carrier and shielding gas flow rates. 

According to TWI, measurement of the powder-gas jet stream is one of the most neglected topics for industrial users and researchers alike, due to it traditionally being difficult to measure and assure. 

However, new technologies and measurement tools have been developed in recent years offering different measurement principles, setups and outputs which now make it increasingly possible to qualify and measure powder-gas jet stream properties.

TWI has consequently launched the new collaborative project to help deepen industry knowledge on the importance of this topic, offer a guide on the solutions and technology available, and identify best practice and the routes to effectively implement leading solutions into service.

“We will investigate the state-of-the-art powder-gas jet stream measurement systems available in the market (those with high TRL) and generate guidance for industry on this crucial theme,” the institute said in its announcement of the new project. “We will focus on individual necessities of the JIP sponsors, assessing specific needs and setups, and making the deliverables of the project a useful and rich source of data for industry sponsors.”

A project launch meeting will be held on 2 November at TWI Yorkshire (with hybrid virtual access also available) offering interested parties the opportunity to help guide the direction of the project and gain state-of-the-art knowledge, while networking with other interested business organisations. The project is designed to be accessible for all interested TWI Industrial Members, whether small or large, from equipment providers to industrial users.

Those interested in attending the launch event can contact: jip@twi.co.uk

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