Presentation to Highlight LENS Advanced Repair Capabilities for High-Value Metal Components and Latest Results from Customer Application Case Studies

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2 March 2009: Optomec announced today that Dr. Richard Grylls, LENS Product Manager for Optomec will present a paper entitled “Laser Deposition in Defense and Aerospace Applications” at the Laser Institute of America’s (LIA) Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) Conference in San Antonio, TX on March 4th. The Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS®) process is one of the leading techniques in this field and multiple LENS systems are now employed at Defense facilities, repairing a variety of high-performance components. Dr. Grylls will also explain how, in this role, LENS can be employed to shorten overhaul cycle times, and in some cases extend the useful life of the repaired component. Several unclassified case studies will be described, including examples of repair for turbine airfoils, blisks and other high-value metal components.

The repair of high-value metal aerospace components is essential for maximizing part lifetime, reducing operating costs, and helping maintain a high level of readiness. Repair methods that add material to worn or damaged areas require exceptional process control and outstanding material quality. The Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) repair system developed by Optomec is an additive manufacturing process that has been optimized for repair of DoD and aerospace components. With the use of a high power laser, process controls and complete environmental control, the LENS system can process many high-performance metals including titanium and nickel-based superalloys with the quality required for critical applications. Due to the nature of the process, a high degree of control and process capability is possible.

LENS systems use energy from a high-power laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powdered metals (including titanium, stainless steel, and Inconel, and more). The resulting fully functional three-dimensional components have mechanical properties that can be equivalent or even superior to wrought materials. The ability of LENS systems to add material to existing components makes it an essential system for repair applications. LENS systems can also be used throughout the entire product lifecycle for applications ranging from functional prototyping to low volume manufacturing.

The goal of the LAM conference is to advance additive manufacturing to effectively and affordably meet the needs of today’s manufacturing challenges. Dr Grylls, states “The LAM workshop highlights the maturation of Additive Manufacturing into a proven industrial solution. Users from around the world will highlight uses for this technology in numerous applications, including Defense, Aerospace, Medical, Petrochemical and Industrial”.

Optomec is the world leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Aerospace & Defense, Electronics, and Biomedical markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary Aerosol Jet and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.