Metal powders are injected through the CLAD® nozzle to generate a homogenous metallic layer by melting metal powder with a laser beam. The metallurgic characteristics of the metallic layers are between casting and forged metal. Thanks to a neutral gas, the deposition is protected against oxidation.
This process has been developed by IREPA LASER for the last 15 years, and is the result of several R&D collaborations with the academic laboratories of the University of Strasbourg and industrialists from the aeronautic sector. This laboratory-industrial bilateral cooperation helped to design machines in line with the application and qualitative expectations of leading industries.
Our technology is an additive manufacturing dedicated process, better known as 3D printing process. The manufacturing of metal parts is not made by casting, forged or any traditional process, but by a successive superposition of high-quality metal layers.
The LMD process is opening new perspectives in many industries as it provides important economic savings and innovative operations such as direct manufacturing, repair and adding of functions that were impossible up to now, through the use of just the amount of material and its capacity for development in the field of materials.
Thanks to its technology, BeAM machines have repaired critical turbine parts that could not have been repaired up to now. In 2015, more than 800 aeronautical parts have already been repaired at the world's highest level of qualification, and returned to flight.
The development of these new types of repairs has been established with an international partner dedicated to aeronautical maintenance. Our partner organized the qualification of several parts that allowed drastic savings in terms of maintenance and supply chain costs. The lifecycle of these parts is now 6 times longer than it was in the past. From 10.000 hours in flight, the part can now be used for about 60.000 hours.
New shape and material possibilities
Material savings, reduction of the machining costs
Speed of implementation of the technology to achieve the manufacturing of the part with good material properties
Economy of material, reducing machining costs
Higher metallurgical quality than casting manufacturing
Optimization of the supply chain: an alternative to material procurement
A large choice of metallic material usable
Adding of shapes and functions: a unique added value
Additive manufacturing without any defect, cracks or failure
High profitability of the process
Integration of the LMD technology in the manufacturing chain
Reduction of the total manufacturing time
Repaired and qualified parts
Repairs that were impossible up to now
Highest level of qualification for critical parts repairs in the AM world
More than 800 parts repaired and used in flight
Qualified repairs of parts in an aircraft engine manufacturer’s catalogue
Design of innovative repairs by adding material on the worn part.
5 repair cycles possible (lifetime of the part multiplied by 6)
The LMD process’s potential goes far beyond the traditional metal 3D printing / additive manufacturing. LMD has no volume restriction in terms of working area as BeAM uses a nozzle to inject the metal powder, and does not use a powder bed as the SLM or EBM processes.
The process offers the freedom to:
Mix the LMD technology with other traditional processes such as casting, forging or machining.
Innovative repairs by adding material on a worn or defective parts.
Mix the material (material gradient) to get parts with different characteristics (magnetic, mechanic or thermic) without any welding defects.
Adding shapes or functions to an existing part made from a different material than the original part with equal or better characteristics than casting processes.
The ability to change in a few seconds the type of materials which we work
With its ecosystem of industrial and technology partners, BeAM accompanies you in all your innovations:
Process: development of nozzles associated with high-level laser expertise
Software: development of BeAM's software dedicated to the LMD technology based on Delcam’s software
Machines: development of high technology industrial machinery
The development of these three bricks gives BeAM, not only the ability to exploit the LMD technology industrially, but also the ability to develop new processes by evolving 1, 2 or 3 of these components to perpetuate the curve innovation of its partners.