Development and Design… innovations that improve performance and productivity.
Surface engineering is in our DNA and fuels our passion for new surface engineering metallurgy, technologies and techniques that will extend wear lifespan and improve the performance of components and equipment.
We have a dedicated Research and Development team that is backed by more than 30 years experience in industrial tribology and the impacts and effects of abrasion, erosion and corrosion. Our team investigates the reasons and effects of high wear and component failure and finds solutions utilizing our expertise in metallurgy and powder coating application technology. Embedding innovation into product and service development helps our customers increase resource efficiency, operate more safely and reduce environment impact.
Continued Reinvestment in R&D
Throughout our history LaserBond has continuously reinvested in our R&D program, with R&D expenditure being a KPI of our business. With the growing acceptance of surface-engineered components for wear applications LaserBond has a collaboration agreement with UniSA: Future Industries Institute to pursue deeper science on both metallurgy and application methodologies.
R&D Investment – Current target for direct investment is 5% of Sales Revenue. Working with industry collaboration partners, like University of SA and key customers we also access government grants that provide a multiplier effect; they turn our $1 of R&D spend into $2 or $3, which accelerates or expands outcomes. University of SA - Future Industries Institute signs LaserBond and other News Articles.
Inventing New Laser Deposition Process - International Patents
Our R&D team invented a new method for depositing thin, metallurgically bonded, coatings to structural substrate metals using laser systems.
It resulted in two ground-breaking patents associated with using advanced additive manufacturing methods to deliver a major improvement in wear-life performance of capital intensive equipment. The commercial implications of the new technologies are; further improvements to wear-life, faster deposition rates, thinner coatings and better economics. This opens up more industrial applications to the benefits of surface engineering.
Designing New Surface Coatings
LaserBond's material scientists work with customers to develop a tailored solution for their specific surface engineering requirements.
A customer describes their components appliciation and desired surface properties. We learn more the environment the coating will be used in, and then design the properties required to withstand the environment.
LaserBond applies its extensive materials engineering expertise to design a coating and method solution to fulfil components specific duty. We have access to a materials and alloy database of some 1 million variants.
Combining a well engineered coating material and component design delivers longer life higher performance outcomes at least cost.
Product Innovations – LaserBond DTH Hammer
We were introduced to a high wear cost component of drill and blast operations in mining. Against the background of need to reduce costs, LaserBond engineers have redesigned the down-the-hole (DTH) hammer to deliver a wear-life innovation that extends operating life more than 3 times that achieved by industry-leading brands. Along with a host of production benefits, 60% savings on hammers and an overall 7.5% on total drilling costs are a reality.
New (Cladding) Application– Hydraulic Cylinder Recladding
Hard-chrome is a long-standing method of providing corrosion resistant, high polished surfaces on hydraulic cylinders however a hard-chrome finish does not perform well in high impact environments and has recognised environmental issues. To meet the challenge of finding a comparable, high-polish and hard-wearing finish, LaserBond developed a new, more efficient laser cladding process that is proving a superior and more economic replacement.
Understanding Wear Mechanics – New Mining Picks
Efficient mechanical mining processes are driven by the wear-life of ground engaging tools; in part the consumable cost, mostly the downtime to change them. To optimise productivity, these tools need the protection of tough, wear-resistant surface engineering technology. By taking a ‘whole problem’ approach LaserBond is able to develop a class of surface engineered mining picks which incorporates our patent cladding technology to cut rock faster – and for longer.
Better Metallurgy – Bark (Stone) Blower Reengineered
At LaserBond we understand the cause, not only the effect, of surface wear. What makes some metals and surfaces more susceptible to wear than others? What is the cause behind the effect? Components in high-temperature high-load operating environments can face extremes of mechanical stress. OEMs account for these extremes when designing equipment but ultimately wear and physical erosion – and potential component failure - will be experienced. We have applied the metallurgical knowledge of more than 20 years surface engineering experience to remanufacture heavy-duty drive units for off-road haul trucks - to keep them moving and productive.