Direct Laser Deposition (DLD) is an emerging additive manufacturing technique, and one of the research projects in the mineAlloy centre explores the use of DLD to apply wear resistant coatings and to repair broken tools. Sit Chunkit recently started his Masters at Monash University, working on the optimisation of the DLD processing parameters to control the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the material.
Kit is particularly interested in wear resistant materials, such as WC-Co cemented carbides. These materials exhibit a good combination of hardness, toughness and, hence, wear resistance, but they are also very expensive and difficult to machine. Therefore, the DLD processing approach could reduce the cost and enable the manufacture of WC-Co components with more complex geometries.