Repairing a coaxial nozzle for laser cladding

After repairs to the coaxial nozzle (above), our testing shows a fully aligned stream of powder exiting the nozzle.

We just wrapped up another successful project: repairing a coaxial nozzle used for laser cladding at a reduced cost and lead time for our customer, who previously had to ship the nozzles to Europe for repairs.

In laser cladding, a stream of metallic powder is fed through a nozzle and combined with a laser beam to apply a protective coating to a component. Over time, the powder causes wear to the nozzles.  In addition, if the inside and outside cones of a coaxial nozzle are not perfectly aligned, the powder stream is choked, the velocity drops and the powder comes out skewed, resulting in inaccurate and inefficient application.  If the powder wear is extensive, it can also blow a hole through the powder tube.  

In this project, we refurbished the inside cone of the nozzle and aligned the inside cone to the outside cone to make them concentric. We also replaced the three powder tubes using brazing.

After completing the repairs, we conducted trials to measure the powder efficiency before and after the repairs and provided a report to the customer. We also aligned their nozzle to a reference nozzle for a specific application and documented these test results for the customer. 

If you’d like more information about this project or want to discuss how this type of repair could be helpful for your project, get in touch with one of our experts here, or give us a call at 860-413-3098.

We’re getting our FAA certification for MRO work

In response to customer requests, we’ve begun the process of obtaining our FAA certification to perform laser metal deposition for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work for the aerospace industry.   This certification will enable us to perform a number of aircraft repair applications, from original material restoration to laser hardfacing.

Laser metal deposition (LMD) is an excellent technique for restoring parts to their original condition.  It uses a laser beam to deposit powdered metal onto the surface of a component to restore its original dimensions. LMD can be used for a variety of aircraft components including vanes, blades, knife edge seals, turbine casings, and afterburner flaps.

LMD offers a number of advantages compared to processes such as TIG welding:

  • Less heat input
  • Minimized heat affected zone
  • Minimal distortion
  • Faster processing time
  • Better material properties than conventional welding processes

For a brief explanation of laser metal deposition and a short video, click here

The FAA certification process typically takes several months, and once we receive our approval we’ll let everyone know. In the meantime, if you have questions about LMD and how it can improve your process, give us a call at 860-413-3098  or leave a question in the space below.  

A quick look at laser hardfacing

Here’s a quick look at our latest project on the shop floor:  we’re taking a flat steel plate and applying a laser hardfacing to it.  The hardface coating will protect the sheet from impact and improve its wear performance.  This type of thin sheet metal with a hardface coating can be used in the rock crushing and fan industries, among others. You can read more about hardfacing here, and talk to one of our experts to learn more about how hardfacing can benefit your project.