IREPA LASER is a French independent technology transfer centre providing the link between research and industry, and specialises in the field of materials treatment by laser. Our main mission is to develop efficient laser solutions for industry and to provide assistance to companies in their acquisition of laser technology (feasibility studies, prototypes manufacturing, industrial pre-series and training). Laser welding, laser micromachining are part of the main activity as well as an in-house additive manufacturing technology. IREPA LASER has devoted more than 10 years of R&D effort to develop a laser metal deposition solution named CLAD® (Construction Laser Additive Direct).
IREPA LASER is involved in AMAZE for the development and application of the blown powder process. Before manufacturing the proposed industrial demonstrators in a pilot-scale AM platform, work has been carried out to produce large structures (>1m length). The LMD-CLAD® process has been optimised (nozzle, construction strategies) in order to be robust for a long processing time, and the build-up rate has improved. The quality of the deposited material has been investigated thanks to mechanical and metallurgical characterisation. A monitoring system has been setup to monitor the process in real time and to detect critical instabilities. In parallel, essential work for large scale structure, based on GEONX software, has been achieved through modelling and simulation, in order to predict and compensate for the effect of stress on the distortion. Thanks to this work, we have successfully manufactured a big cylinder for ESA (Ø650mm, 350mm height, 35kg Ti6Al4V) and a spar frame for BAE (1100mm long, 14kg Ti6Al4V).