Liu Q.,Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australia |
Liu Q.,Defence Materials Technology Center, Australia |
Brandt M.,RMIT University |
Brandt M.,Defence Materials Technology Center, Australia |
And 6 more authors.
30th International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics, ICALEO 2011 | Year: 2011
In-service damage from corrosion, wear or debris impact is increasingly common with ageing military aircraft fleets. Maintenance of this type of "ageing damage" can be expensive and have significant impact on fleet availability. DSTO (Defence Science and Technology Organisation) and DMTC (Defence Materials Technology Centre) are looking at a number of surface modification/or repair technologies that can be used on an opportunity basis to restore geometry or restore the life of an aircraft component. The basis of the technology selection was that there should be low risk with the technology, and the risk is in developing an approved process for the application to aircraft. With the advent of small high-powered lasers, laser cladding (LC) is one of the surface modification technologies examined. It uses a high-powered laser beam to melt a deposited layer of material onto a substrate. Laser cladding could offer significant through-life cost savings, as a repair alternative to the replacement of damaged components. DSTO and DMTC have demonstrated that laser cladding technology could potentially be used to repair or refurbish a range of different damaged components. This paper briefly summaries the current research work on laser cladding of 7xxx series aluminum alloys and discusses potential applications and a certification path for repair of aircraft components in the near future.