Intelligent Additive Manufacturing Coating for brake discs

The CHIRON Group’s Additive Manufacturing business unit has showcased at Formnext its AM Coating solution. The latter is an industrial system designed for 24/7 operation for applying particularly hard coatings on brake disks.

CHIRON leverages its CNC equipment and automation expertise in the metalworking industry to provide services to the AM industry.

With the goal of enabling the protective layer to be applied to the brake disk more quickly and for a longer period, the team developed intelligent coatings.

Dr. Géza Koscsák, the new Head of Additive Manufacturing at the CHIRON Group, explained that compared with the conventional LMD process, powder particles travel a longer distance before they are applied during high-speed laser material deposition. This means that they absorb more energy and already melt in the laser beam, which enables a significantly faster coating speed. This process also has a clear advantage in comparison to thermal coating using high-velocity oxygen fuel spraying – pre-treatment of the brake disks is dispensed with, which shortens the process significantly.

“AM coating’s quicker speed and shorter process are two advantages with respect to the future Euro 7 standard”, Dr. Koscsák notes. “When the standard comes – and it certainly will come – a production volume of 10 million brake disks annually will need to be managed, for the European vehicle brands alone. With a cycle time for conventional brake disks of around 30 seconds per disk, it’s clear that the coating process needs to keep up”, he adds.

AM Coating available in two versions: AM Coating TWIN & AM Coating SINGLE

AM Coating TWIN is specifically designed for series production. The system works with two lasers for front and rear coating and the brake disks are transferred fully automatically.

 AM Coating SINGLE is the ideal choice if you would like to test materials and material combinations in parallel with or before series production, to develop the application process or to manufacture small series. Upon request, the team of experts at the CHIRON Group can provide support during process development, either at the customer premises or in Tuttlingen. »We could install a base machine here,« says Dr. Koscsák, outlining a potential scenario, “where the customer’s specialists can learn the process, run tests and set up the parameters with us ready for series production. Or, for a continuous and even more productive process, we can integrate a grinding machine and perfectly coordinate both systems.”

Productivity is not enough on its own – the quality of the coatings needs to be right too. To those who wonder about crack formation and durability, Project Manager Ernest Frombach replies they use high-speed laser material deposition to achieve improved adhesion through the firmly bonded connection.

The layers are also thinner, down to tenths of a millimeter. This uses much less material and our powder management enables us to achieve a high degree of powder utilization. The powder and hard material layers are applied directly one after the other. By applying the first layer, the brake disk is tempered as it were, and we consistently achieve the best application quality for every brake disk without pores or cracks forming”, he notes.

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