Following the acquisition of the UK’s first EHLA system, TWI is funding a core research project investigating the capabilities and future potential of EHLA technology.
This research project will investigate the processing and material property outcomes of EHLA deposition.
The EHLA process is related to Laser Cladding or Laser Metal Deposition (LMD). It is a high-speed format, allowing surfaces to be covered greater than ten times faster than is currently possible using conventional LMD systems. At the same time, bonds formed between the substrate material and the coating are stronger than those in other high-speed technologies, such as spraying, meaning that coatings are stronger and longer lasting.
This technology provides a longer-term solution to issues such as corrosion and wear protection, at a speed that enables mass manufacture. Future applications may also involve the development of complex material joining or hybrid coatings, where EHLA is capable of material pairings.
Through this core research programme, investigations into the material properties and compositions formed with EHLA deposition will take place, with comparisons against conventional LMD processing.