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Process development and material properties of gears manufactured by laser metal deposition

  • : Marleen Rombouts1, Freddy Vanspringel2, Gert Maes1, Scott Wilson3
  • : 1Vito, 2VCST, 3Oerlikon
  • : PDF Download
  • : 2015


This paper deals with the development of the laser metal deposition (LMD) process for the fast production of prototype gears for automotive applications. LMD on a conventional manufactured shaft has been applied for the automatic deposition of gear teeth with a single or locally varying material composition. Different powder feedstocks have been evaluated.

The gears have been analyzed for dimensional accuracy, microstructure, hardness and dynamic mechanical properties. The dimensional accuracy obtained after LMD proved to be sufficiently high to only require a fine machining step. High-quality deposits with occasionally a spherical gas inclusion have been produced at optimal process parameters. Bending fatigue tests and pitting fatigue tests on the LMD gears have been performed on respectively an electromagnetic resonance pulsator and FZG gear test rig.

The effect of heat treatment after LMD on the mechanical properties has been considered as well.

In this paper it is proven that LMD enables to produce high-strength functional components while reducing the lead time considerably for small series production and prototypes.


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