The innovation in this project is timely because lack of confidence in laser ALM currently restricts its use to niche, low performance applications. Acceptance of the technology in stringent in-service aerospace applications will accelerate its use in the wider market place. Both proprietary information and patents will result from the AVLAM project.
- The software developed within the project will be highly innovative and will give the consortium a unique capability which will then be exploited through the trials and testing involved in the appropriate work packages. Complex structures involved in hollow and partly dense parts, e.g. structures similar to bone, will require process innovation to design and create the features.
- Innovative approaches will take Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 processes to TRL4-6, to improve such issues as surface finish and build-up speed. This development is crucial for high value deployment of the technology in demanding applications.
- Design changes to parts that will benefit from ALM laser deposition will require innovative approaches based around design for purpose rather than design for manufacture. This will enable end-users to take advantage of the design freedom available with ALM and may well have implications for skill development in the design field.
- Further understanding of the capability of ALM for repair of high value products will be obtained from the programme of mechanical performance assessments This will extend the envelope of viable repairs beyond that which is currently technically and commercially feasible.