With high speed against corrosion and wear

The next generation of intelligent industrial production: this is what this year's Formnext is all about from 15 to 18 November 2022. In keeping with the top theme of the trade fair, the CHIRON Group's Additive Manufacturing competence area will be presenting its latest innovation: AM Coating. An industry-compatible system designed for 24/7 operation for applying extremely hard coatings to brake discs.

How does the protective coating get onto the brake disc faster and better? How does it stay on longer? "The solution is intelligent coatings, like the ones we can apply with our AM Coating system," says Dr Géza Koscsák. The new Head of Additive Manufacturing at the CHIRON Group since October, in his previous position as Head of Predevelopment he was significantly involved in the development of the new system and the decision for the high-speed build-up welding process.

Innovative and productive: the process

In high-speed laser build-up welding, the powder particles travel a longer distance than in conventional LMD processes before they are deposited. This means they can absorb more energy and melt already in the laser beam, which allows a significantly higher coating speed. The process also has a clear advantage over thermal coating with high-speed flame spraying: there is no need to pre-treat the brake discs and the process is significantly shorter.

According to Dr. Koscsák, the higher speed and the shorter process are two arguments with which AM Coating scores points with regard to the future Euro 7 standard: "When the standard comes - and it certainly will - a production volume of 10 million brake discs per year will have to be handled for the European vehicle brands alone. With a cycle time for classic brake discs of around 30 seconds per disc, it's clear that the coating process will have to keep up."

In line with the market: AM Coating available in two versions

AM Coating TWIN is explicitly designed for series production. The system works with two lasers for front and rear coating, and the transfer of the brake discs is fully automatic. AM Coating SINGLE is ideal for anyone who wants to test materials and material combinations, develop the application process or produce small batches in parallel to series production or in advance. If desired, the CHIRON Group's team of experts can provide support in process development. Either at the customer's or in Tuttlingen. "Here," Dr. Koscsák outlines a possible scenario, "we can install a basic machine on which the customer's specialists can get to know the process, run tests and, together with us, design the parameters so that they are ready for series production. Or, for a continuous and even more productive process, integrate a grinding machine and perfectly coordinate both systems."

Cohesive application in the best quality

It is clear that productivity alone is not enough - the quality of the coatings must also be right. What about cracking and durability? Project manager Ernest Frombach explains: "By means of high-speed laser cladding, we achieve improved adhesion through a material-to-material bond. In addition, the layer thickness is smaller, in the range of tenths of a millimetre. This means that much less material is used and we achieve a high degree of utilisation of the powder thanks to our powder management. Buffer and hard material layers are applied directly one after the other. With the application of the first layer, the brake disc is tempered, so to speak, and we consistently achieve the best application quality brake disc after brake disc without pore or crack formation."

In addition to AM Coating, the AM Cube can also be experienced in the digital showroom at Formnext. Here, the experts not only want to inform visitors about the functionality and advantages of the 3D metal printer, but also enter into a dialogue with the AM community and talk about new fields of application and possible uses for this multi-talent.

The team will also present two digital systems that can be used to analyse and specifically optimise the application process for both the AM Cube and AM Coating. Via DataLine AM, relevant process data are continuously displayed, recorded and documented live. Product and process quality can thus be reliably assessed. VisioLine AM visualises and stores video files that are captured via several camera systems and thus allows systematic process monitoring.



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