Project Objectives

A system (QUALINET) will be developed for automated quality control of PM components and also components produced by other advanced net shape techniques, where similar defects occur e.g.

(i) powder injection moulding (PIM)

(ii) additive manufacturing by LASER SINTERING, also known as the LASER CLADDING process and a number of other names.

This process has many variants including:

(a) 3D FREEFORM MANUFACTURING i.e. 3D build-up of entire structure.

(b) HYBRID MANUFACTURING where the laser processing adds raised detail to a component of prior manufacture by other means.

(c) repair and remanufacturing of worn or mismachined components and

(d) SURFACE ENHANCEMENT AND PROTECTION in which surface coating with high abrasion and corrosion resistance are added.

All of these processes (a) to (d) are performed by the QUALINET project END USER, LCT. These coatings can be up to 4 mm thick when deposited on large conventionally cast or forged components. All state of the art PM manufacturing processes can introduce micro/nanoscale defects which can affect the performance of PM components in their intended high performance applications and only 3D X ray imaging has the prospects of detecting such small scale defects in time frames short enough to keep pace with production lines.

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