Competencies and research activities
Since 2007, the Laboratory of Manufacturing processes by Laser Technologies (LLT) of the Politecnico of Bari has been working on Laser Additive Manufacturing processes of metals and on laser micro-machining. The laboratory currently houses a Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and a Laser Metal Deposition machine, able to process metal powders. Both techniques are solid freeform fabrication processes where 3D parts can be fabricated layer by layer by fusing metal powders with a high energy laser beam.
SLM machine is equipped with a nanosecond Nd:YAG laser source with a maximum power of 100 W and a scanning head with deflecting mirrors to direct the laser beam over the powder platform. The laser can operate in both continuous and pulse mode. In continuous mode, it allows the selective laser sintering and selective laser melting of metal powders; in pulsed mode, it is able to fabricate micro-components by laser ablation, with a pulse width in the nanosecond range and a repetition rate between 0 and 65kHz.
Materials that can be processed by selective laser melting are mainly steels. On the other hand, it is possible to treat different materials (steels, titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, ceramics, glass, etc) by means of laser micro-machining.
LMD machine is characterized by a 5 axis movement system and by an inert chamber that allows processing several materials including reactive metals such us titanium and aluminum alloys. LMD is used for solid freeform fabrication and for laser cladding.
The main research topics carried out in the laboratory are:
• Study and characterization of materials obtained by Selective Laser Melting and Selective Laser Sintering
• Manufacturing of hybrid structures and porous structures with controlled density by Selective Laser Melting
• Thermal treatments of sintered materials
• Laser surface processing of metals and glass
• Repair of aeronautic components by Laser Metal Deposition
• Freeform fabrication of complex geometries by Selective Laser Melting and Laser Metal Deposition
• Laser Metal Deposition of WC by Functionally Graded Materials technique
• Development of numerical and analytical models for process optimization
Collaborations with companies and institutions
Università di Salerno