The institute MATERIALS of Joanneum Research has been developing laser alloying technology for over 20 years: Within the framework of research on different alloy systems, the surface of a material is melted down to a depth of several millimetres using a high-power laser. Additional alloying elements are then introduced into this molten bath. After the melt has solidified again, a new alloy is formed. This process is similar to a “miniature steel mill”. The only limitation of this technology is that it can only be carried out on simple and almost flat component surfaces away from the edge areas.
In cooperation with the company Engel Austria GmbH, laser alloying by means of VC as wear protection at the critical points of the non-return valves was brought to series maturity during a development phase lasting several years. For the steel material used, the alloying process was optimized using vanadium so that high wear resistance was achieved with low brittleness and susceptibility to cracking was minimized during the manufacturing process.
Due to the limitation of this technology to almost flat surfaces away from edges and edges, the laser alloying of the non-return valves is carried out on the semi-finished product. Only after the alloying process has been completed is the necessary oversize removed and the final shape of the blades is worked out. This ensures the maximum alloy depth at the wing tips.
After the transition to series production, the Engel Austria GmbH non-return valves have been manufactured in a wide variety of dimensions for 20 years. This special type of local material modification has been patented for this application and cannot be replaced by any other technology currently.
Engel Austria GmbH
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Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
DI Elmar Brandstätter
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