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Additive Manufacturing for Wear and Corrosion Applications

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Industrial application of functionally graded coatings

One of the most advanced material compositions for coating machinery to extend its service life has made big waves in labs, yet industrial application is limited. Scientists have developed the industrial process line needed to make it available to manufacturers.

Industrial Technologies

Coatings can protect against corrosion or fatigue and multifunctional coatings can do both in a single composite, but there is something potentially even better in laboratories around the world. Imagine a multifunctional coating whose properties vary in space, providing exactly the protection needed where it is needed. Functionally graded materials (FGMs) do just that with properties that gradually change through the depth or volume of the material. The EU-funded project AMCOR (Additive manufacturing for wear and corrosion applications) developed a flexible automated process for reliable FGM deposition in an industrial setting. The project system combines laser cladding with robotic and computer numerical control positioning and 3D scanning techniques. This combination makes it possible to perform laser cladding from various orientations and produce complex 3D designs. Unlike conventional production processes, laser cladding does not allow any material from the metal mass to be removed. It allows industrial components to be produced with up to 50 % improved wear or corrosion resistance. This makes it possible to add FGMs to hydraulic cylinders, drilling heads, valve stems and gears. The project focused on FGMs combining the superior wear resistance of metals with the large operational temperature range of ceramics. Metal-to-ceramic FGMs have typically demonstrated intermediate phase formation leading to poor wetting, inferior mechanical properties, and often cracking or disbanding. AMCOR's robotic deposition system for production of corrosion- and wear-resistant machinery exploiting FGMs will make an important contribution to achieving the EU vision for Factories of the Future. The advanced manufacturing technologies should enhance application of laser metal deposition and FGMs to many market sectors for major impact on the EU economy as well.


Coatings, functionally graded materials, AMCOR, additive manufacturing, laser cladding

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