Burloak partners with NRC to commercialize metal AM tech
Firm says NRC’s laser consolidation process has potential to deliver unprecedented resolution, accuracy, speed and material choice.
Called Laser Consolidation (LC), the NRC AM process produces net-shape functional metallic parts with dimensional accuracy of up to +/−0.05mm and a surface finish up to 1μm Ra (depending on the materials used in the manufacturing process). As a result, LC produced parts don’t require post-machining, the NRC says. The research agency says LC produced parts also exhibit mechanical properties better than cast and comparable to wrought materials. Fatigue properties of the LC parts were also found to be better than cast material.
The direct energy deposition LC process stands out due to its ability to create functional parts or features on top of existing parts with high precision using high performance metals and alloys. Suitable build materials include 316 and 420 stainless steels; Inconel-625and IN-738 superalloy; CPM-9V and H-13 tool steel; Stellite 6 alloy; and Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy.
LC forms parts using an Nd:YAG laser, powder feeder and CNC motion system, combined with proprietary software and a material properties/process parameters database to determine the optimum operating parameters.
While the LC technology has been around for more than a decade, the agreement with Burloak will allow the company to develop and commercialize the NRC’s multi-axis directed energy deposition system. In addition to working with the NRC, Burloak has also entered into several commercialization agreements with major aerospace customers that will utilize this technology to create flight components for serial production.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the NRC and to collaborate on further development of the technology as we move towards its commercialization,” said Peter Adams, president and co-founder of Burloak Technologies. “With its DED system, the NRC has developed a truly revolutionary technology that will allow us to deliver additive components with never-before-seen resolution, accuracy, speed and material choice along with superior material properties.