CORDIS - EU research results

Laser bonding of linear edged super-abrasive blades

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LESA (Laser bonding of linear edged super-abrasive blades)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2015-12-31

The objective of the overall project was to develop a and create a new process that will not only reduce costs but also create a new product category, supplying into $2bn blade market, by bringing together 3 components:
1) C4 Carbides’ current market position as a manufacturer and supplier of abrasive products,
2) The use of super-abrasive advanced materials such as synthetic diamond and cubic boron nitride.
3) The use of laser deposition to create a super-abrasive tooth form.

We have investigated the applicability of using Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) to weld abrasive particles to metal substrates – a process we call Laser Super Abrasive Deposition.

The project has progressed following the work carried out in the previous 6 months; 2 patents have been filed and the IPR work will continue for some time. Customer contact has been made with several pioneering clients and the product/process concept is meeting with enthusiasm at all levels. There is a lot of work required to turn the vision into reality and it is the company’s firm intention to apply for the phase 2 SMEI.
It became clear during the project that the area that requires the most effort is the manufacture of powders and abrasives, and the method of application. The project therefore has necessarily focused on nozzle design, laser heating and the variety of methods used to atomise metal powder.

The game changing opportunity will come from further development work on (1) the use of powder and laser application to produce teeth from a combination of hard metal, as well as (2) super abrasive and metal matrix particles. This has implications for product innovation and new value proposition as well as manufacturing innovation.
The project has resulted in 2 new specific patents on the new manufacturing methods and a new class of potential products. Our patent lawyers have conducted a freedom to operate search and there are no patents prima facie that would restrict the market. C4 Carbides relies on trade secrecy for process protection, and patents for new product designs. A patent application has been filed for the production of super-abrasive teeth by deposition because it has received such enthusiastic support and critical acclaim, and represents a milestone for the industry.