24/7 Customer Service (800) 927-7671

OR Lasertechnologie Develops Additive Manufacturing Method to Protect Sensitive Sensors

by • August 14, 2016 • No Comments

orlaser_logoThe thing of sensors is that they’re sensitive. Obviously, they require to be, as their name and purpose suggest, and generally, the additional sensitive a sensor is, the additional effective it is. Unfortunately, sensors often aren’t the many durable bits of equipment, and thus require to be often repaired or replaced, particularly in heavy industrial applications. But a new type of additive producing innovation turn it intod by German company OR Lasertechnologie may be the solution to sensor stress, saving companies valuable time, money and materials.

The 3D printing of sensors is a new and interesting area of additive producing, with nanoinnovation and high end 3D printing methods major to breakthroughs such as microscopic sensors that can be printed directly onto components. OR Lasertechnologie’s research has led them to use 3D printing as a method not to turn it into sensors, but to preserve them.

As an example of the level of stress a few industrial sensors are subject to, take a appear at oil and gas pipelines. Every day, roughly one million barrels of crude oil are pumped through a single pipeline of one meter in diameter. That’s a lot of oil, and a lot of pressure, and the sensors utilized to monitor that pressure, along with temperatures and flow rates, are required to work incredibly complex. The internal pressure, that can reach up to 100 bars in onshore pipelines and over 200 bars in offshore pipelines, leads to abrasion and corrosion of the sensors, producing them wear out rapidly.


A common method of preserveing these sensors is coating them with Stellite, a cobalt-chromium alloy created to resist wear. The technique is not without its drawbacks, yet – intense heat is generated when machining the substance onto the sensors, often cavia the Stellite and the sensor material to melt together, outcomeing in a shorter lifespan for the sensor yet again. OR Lasertechnologie, yet, believes that they’ve come up with a way to preserveively coat the sensors without compromising them, courtesy of additive producing.

Schematische_Darstellung_Pulverduese_IV_01The system centers around a newly turn it intod powder nozzle that allows for OR Lasertechnologie to apply Stellite to sensors through direct metal deposition (DMD), via a low-powered laser to melt the Stellite onto the sensor with minimal melting of the sensor itself. The metallic powder is fed coaxially to the laser beam and futilized with the surface of the sensor in a exact system that allows for adhesion to take place just at a few scattered points on the sensor, pretty than the entire surface – again, minimizing melting.

The procedure is carried out in an argon chamber to prevent oxidation and the formation of small bubbles in the material. The outcome is a sensor coated in a smooth, preserveive surface without cracks or pores, greatly extending the life of the sensor without affecting it adversely. It is a much additional flexible procedure, too – the coaxial configuration allows for powder to be deposited regardless of the way of the substrate’s movement, meaning that it can grow in any way.

The innovation was turn it intod over the course of a year by OR Lasertechnologie’s research and development department, working together with the Fraunhofer Institute.


“We’re proud of having discovered a way to increase the durability of these sensors with our additive laser technique and thus improve the reliability of gas and oil pipelines,” said Markus Wolf, head of the R&D department at OR Lasertechnologie.

The nozzle is the initially of its kind to combine wire- and powder-based laser cladding applications, producing it 10 times additional effective than prior cladding systemes. It is compatible with OR Lasertechnologie’s sophisticated EVO Mobile laser welding system and can be regulated with the company’s ORLAS SUITE software. Discuss additional in the AM Technology to Solve Industrial Sensor Stress forum over at 3DPB.com.