Use of laser(s) in the process of Superplastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding
ceramic dies; contamination-free forming; diffusion bonding titanium &; aluminium; factory simulation; laser heating; cost-lowering; process; integration; Materials Science, Multidisciplinary; Mechanics; Metallurgy &; Metallurgical Engineering
Superplastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding (SPF/DB) has permitted the manufacture of some of the lightest, strongest, corrosion resistant, complex, and yet often elegant structures ever to be produced. For the last 30 years, all such components have been made by some form of high thermal-mass, isothermal method of production using conventional equipment, such as hot platen presses or furnaces. However, if laser(s) could be used just to heat the material to be superplastically formed, this could provide a novel, low thermal-mass, means of production which could, relatively easily, be integrated into a laser based manufacturing centre. In this paper, a concept is described of how a laser based manufacturing centre, comprised of a number of individual process cells, together with integrated pre and post SPF/DB operations, would work and the benefits that would result. The concept is based on four considerations. Firstly, that it is essential to heat the material directly and quickly. Secondly, the environinent must be completely inert so that there is no contamination of components. Thirdly, the complete process of diffusion bonding must only entail the use of laser(s). Lastly, established laser activities such as cutting, welding, hole drilling or trepanning and the removal of surplus material, must be integrated into the process. In addition, the envisaged cells need to be modular in concept so industry can acquire capital plant progressively, thereby spreading the cost over time.
Superplasticity in Advanced Materials
"Use of laser(s) in the process of Superplastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding" (2003). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 3841.