Collaborations and Innovation Projects

The IMCRC project was successfully finished in Q4 2022. Within the frame of the project novel highly wear resistant laser clad coating systems were developed in close cooperation with the Future Industries Institute of University of South Australia FII and a leading OEM for systems in the Mining Industry. The novel coatings exhibit an increased wear resistance over previously utilised coatings. These coatings will have to prove themselves in field trials which will be carried out in 2023.

Within the ARC LINKAGE project “Full-scale implementation of a new wheel-rail maintenance technology by using laser cladding”, which is being carried out in close cooperation with the Institute of Railway Technology of Monash University IRT & ANSTO, coatings development was carried out for applications in the Railway industry; investigations carried out by the IRT regarding coating quality, residual stresses and war resistance are very promising. In FY23-24 the project partners will focus on applying the best coatings resulting from previous work onto real life components for further investigations.

In the project P4 within the ARC Training Centre in Surface Engineering for Advanced Materials (SEAM) the partners focused on acoustic as well as optical diagnostic and control tools for Laser Cladding as well as the production of 2 ½ D features. The team has developed a prototype for acoustic emissions which is currently being validated and refined under “real life” conditions in LaserBond’s workshops. Equipment for visual process monitoring and control has been acquired; first testing will be carried out in in FY23-24. A second optical system focusing at the often inevitable pre heating in Laser Cladding was investigated and tested under real life conditions. It is currently in use at LaserBond’s workshop in South Australia when extremely critical parts are being produced such as special rollers for the steel mill industry – a product which also results from the close cooperation between FII and LaserBond.

Our R&D team was granted another publicly supported project, “High productivity laser cladding processes realised by process control for the development of protective claddings”, which commenced on 1/10/2023. Here, FII and the LaserBond R&D team, focus on high productivity and process robustness in Laser Cladding whereat the high quality of LaserBond’s laser clad coatings must be retained or even improved. So far, significant progress has been made for processing Ni-Superalloys, Ni-and Co-Hardalloys, where the deposition rates could be at least doubled. Some of the parameters were already transferred into the industrial daily routine to produce boiler tubes and rollers.

Collaboration Partners

LaserBond is the lead collaboration partner and is responsible for ensuring the milestones and deliverables are fulfilled under the terms of the Commonwealth CRCp funding grant. LaserBond initiated this CRCp to accelerate our ongoing research efforts.

Boart Longyear

Established in 1890, Boart Longyear is the world’s leading provider of drilling services, drilling equipment and performance tooling for mining and drilling companies. It also has a substantial presence in aftermarket parts and service, energy, mine de-watering, oil sands exploration, production drilling, and down-hole instrumentation. The Global Drilling Services division operates for a diverse mining customer base spanning a wide range of commodities, including copper, gold, nickel, zinc, uranium, and other metals and minerals. The Global Products division designs, manufactures and sells drilling equipment, performance tooling, down-hole instrumentation and parts and services.

University of South Australia: Future Industries Institute

University of South Australia: Future Industries Institute

focuses on creating high value, knowledge-intensive alternatives underpinned by unique skill bases, infrastructure technology solutions and collaborative research relationships. It brings together the University’s world-class strengths in advanced manufacturing, minerals and resource engineering and environmental science, and encourages researchers to blur the boundaries and build new relationships between industry and academia.

Product Innovations – Commercial Outcomes

  • Local Manufacturing: There is an opportunity to manufacture product innovations from the CRCp, that could require the application of thin layers of hard-phase cladding using LaserBond’s patent-pending technology. An advanced additive manufacturing laser cladding cell is being developed for our facility at Cavan, South Australia.
  • Export Markets: New products and technology developed within the CRCp will service the targeted niche domestic market as well as select export markets. There is also the opportunity to licence manufacturing technology to international partners and/or JV operations.
  • Additional Drilling Exploration: Any significant cost reductions for mine production drilling increases mine productivity and lessens environmental impact. Lowering the cost for exploration drilling increases the potential for discovering more commercial mining opportunities.

Commonwealth Government - CRC

Commonwealth Government - Cooperative Research Programme Programme

CRCp grants support short-term industry-led collaborations to develop important new technologies, products and services. CRCp’s solve industry problems and deliver tangible outcomes. CRCp’s aim to:

  • Improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, especially where Australia has a competitive strength to solve industry problems and deliver tangible outcomes
  • Deliver outcomes in line with government priorities
  • Encourage and enable small and medium enterprise (SME) participation in collaborative research
  • Foster high-quality research to help solve industry specific problems through collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations.