Drilling for knowledge

A new project has commenced at FII in collaboration with LaserBond and Boart Longyear. This project will develop innovative surface cladding systems to extend the life of mining industry machine components, specifically drill bits. Dr Colin Hall says “making drill bits last longer significantly enhances the productivity of a drill rig, leading to cheaper, safer and faster operations”. Funding was awarded as part of the CRC-P scheme which is a new competitive, merit based grant that supports industry-led collaborative research partnerships between industry, researchers and the community with a focused commercial outcome. The total project value is worth $8.3 Million and will go until March 2020. LaserBond will develop their leading edge coating capability with performance feedback delivered by UniSA’s material scientists, the end product will be tested in Boart Longyear’s drill rigs. The end goal is to manufacture world class drilling components and export them all over the world.


CAPTION :- Laser cladding is a high-performance additive manufacturing procedure, which utilises precisely-controlled energy from a high power laser to metallurgically-bond a surfacing material to a substrate to provide very high performance surfaces to new parts for extended operating life. With this precise control, a welded or metallurgical bond is achieved with minimal impacts and effects of heat on both the substrate and surface material.