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RPM Solutions, Inc. Rapid City, SD

Products and Services -> Laser Weld Repairs

Addition of Wear Material in Wear Groove of Atomizer Lid

RPM Solutions' added a carbide wear material with the laser welding process owned and operated by our sister company RPM Innovations, Inc. The lid in this wheel design is a structural and a wear component. Thermal spray process would only produce a mechanical bond with the base material which may crack or flake during operation. The previous thermal spray coating can be seen toward the inside diameter of the lid. Some of the thermal spray material is cracked and some has flaked off. The remaining thermal sprayed material was left in place, and the laser added material was applied right up to the existing thermal sprayed material. The laser welding is a metallurgical bond with the base material which made laser welding a perfect fit for this application. The dilution into the base material is minor and distortion is very minimal.

Key Points of this project

  • Previous wear material was applied via a spray process.
  • Spray processes are mechanically bonded to the base material.
  • Spray materials have a tendency to crack and flake during operation.
  • Laser applied material is metallurgically bonded to the base material.
  • Material dilution into the base material was consistent, controlled, and minimal.
  • Laser applied material created minimal distortion to the component.
Forging After Deposit
Atomizer Lid
RPM Services and Capabilities
Forging During Deposition
Atomizer Lid
Forging As Received
Atomizer Lid

Atomizer Drive Plate with Titanium Deposited Hubs

The material for an atomizer drive plate was created by implementing Laser Freeform Manufacturing Technology (LFMT), a process performed by our sister company RPM and Associates. The typical material to be purchased would be a 13-1/4” diameter by 3-1/4” thick titanium plate. In this instance, a 13-1/4” diameter by 1-1/4” thick titanium plate and then hubs of the drive plate were deposited to near-net-shape. The laser deposited material is nearly 100% dense with mechanical properties comparable to wrought materials. The savings was not only 43.5 lbs of wrought titanium, but the many hours of additional machine time and the tooling required to remove the unutilized titanium.

RPM Solutions utilizes other engineering techniques to manufacture other drive plates. These techniques can be viewed in the Engineering section of this website.

1/4'' thick plate with machined areas ready to accept laser welded hubs
1/4'' thick plate with machined areas ready to accept laser welded hubs
Drive Plate

Key Points of this project

  • Savings of 43.5 lbs of titanium.
  • Savings of many hours of additional machine time.
  • Savings of the potential tooling consumed.
  • Hubs were laser deposited to near net shape.
  • Laser deposited material nearly 100% dense.
  • Laser deposited material mechanical properties comparable to wrought materials.
Laser welded hubs on both sides
Laser welded hubs on both sides
Laser welded hub
Laser welded hub
Final Machined Drive Plate - Top Side
Final Machined Drive Plate - Top Side
Final Machined Drive Plate - Bottom Side
Final Machined Drive Plate - Bottom Side
Close-up of Final Machined Hub - Bottom Side
Close-up of Final Machined Hub - Top Side
Close-up of Final Machined Hub - Bottom Side
Close-up of Final Machined Hub - Bottom Side


Repair of Titanium Forging

After the machining process of these titanium forging began, it was apparent that there was not enough material to finish the drive plate per print. Rather than discarding the forging and the machine time already spent, RPM Solutions had a few ounces of strategically laser welded titanium added to the forging to achieve a properly tolerance part. RPM Innovations, our sister company that owns and operates a couple of state-of-the-art laser welding machines, utilized this technology to correct this titanium forging. RPM Innovations has been laser welding titanium for many years. Some of their customers include the top aerospace companies in the world. This process has been proven time and time again and has become a standard process in the aerospace industry. It is critical that weld to be of the highest quality, since the atomizer drive plate rotates above 13,000 RPM.

Key Points of this project

  • Savings of many pounds of a possible scrap titanium forging
  • Savings of the energy utilized to create a replacement forging
  • Savings of many hours of already spent machine time
  • Required only a few ounces of laser added material
  • Laser deposited material nearly 100% dense.
  • Laser deposited is 100% metallurgical bonded.
  • Laser deposited material mechanical properties comparable to wrought materials.
Forging As Received
Forging As Received
Forging During Deposition
Forging During Deposition
Ti-6AI-4V Forging Repair
Forging After Final Machining
Forging After Deposit
Forging After Final Machining
Forging After Final Machining


Repair of Titanium Atomizer Case

After thousands of hours of service, this atomizer case was thought to be permanently retired from service. During operation the atomizer case was subjected to some unusual wear. This wear jeopardized the support for the o-ring. Those responsible did not want the wear to progress any further in fear of failure during operation. RPM Innovations, our sister company that owns and operates a couple of state-of-the-art laser welding machines, utilized this technology to fix this titanium atomizer case. The atomizer case was laser repaired, machined, returned to service, and continues to operate to this date.

Key Points of this project

  • Prevention of scrapping atomizer case.
  • Cost of repairs were minimal compared to cost of new titanium atomizer case.
  • Required only a few grams of laser added material.
  • Laser deposited material nearly 100% dense.
  • Laser deposited is 100% metallurgical bonded.
  • Laser process created unnoticed distortion to titanium atomizer case.
  • Laser deposited material mechanical properties comparable to wrought materials.
Forging During Deposition
Case After Deposit
Ti-6AI-4V Forging Repair
Forging After Deposit
Case After Final Machining

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