"Laser Powder Deposition is a recently developed technology for manufacture of small intricate metal parts such as those
used in aerospace and automobile engines. This technology has significant potential advantages over conventional
casting methods in that small parts with internal features can be built, enabling special processes and light structures to be
The powder deposition process works by melting a layer of powder in a pattern determined by the path of a laser. The layers
are either 500 μm or 20-50 μm thick depending on the process used.
To take full advantage of the intricacy of form enabled by these additive technology approaches in these applications
commensurate non-destructive inspection capability is needed which can support the cycle times needed in Rapid Agile
manufacture of high performance, high loading efficiency structures. This requires an inspection process capable of handling
the complex evolving forms, in cycle with a processing environment with a feature resolution on a scale relevant to the
component structural elements. This project aims to address this problem and provide non-destructive testing techniques with
known capabilities for the process.
• To provide inspection methods for the laser powder deposition process with known capability.
• To manufacture a prototype laser powder deposition manufacturing system with known inspection capabilities and to
demonstrate these capabilities.
Candidate inspection technologies have been identified that have potential to provide the inspection capability. Note that
these will probably need to be robotically deployed and remotely operated within the laser cell between the deposition of each
Eddy current, ultrasound signals generated by lasers, thermal patterns and optical methods for surface distortion
measurement technologies will be evaluated, developed and the performance established for the range of defects and sizes
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs
WA4 4FS Daresbury