Technology Lecture: Advances in Laser Manufacturing

Date: 30 Jul 2008 - 30 Jul 2008

Venue: SIMTech Auditorium, Tower Block, Level 3


This presentation covers three recent developments in the Laser Processing Research Centre (LPRC) at the University of Manchester in the area of laser processing of engineering materials. 

1. Laser Additive Manufacturing (Build-up and Cladding) with 100%
    Powder Efficiency 
Laser deposition using simultaneous gas carried powder feeding has been practised for over 30 years with applications ranging from surface coating (cladding), surface alloying, rapid prototyping and rapid tooling, to the repair of engineering components by build-up process. One problem that has hindered the wider adoption of the technology in industry is the high powder wastage (up to 80%) and contamination of work environment and equipment as a result of fine powders blown by gas delivery systems used in direct laser deposition.  This lecture provides a recent development work (patent pending) carried out in the Laser Processing Research Centre at the University of Manchester to address the problem and the introduction of a new approach that has demonstrated to achieve 100% powder efficiency with a significant improvement in surface finish and porosity of deposited material. 

 2. Hybrid Laser and Electro-discharge Machining (EDM) for Next 
    Generation Fuel Injection Nozzle Manufacture 
High  quality holes of diameters less than 145 mm are required for the manufacture of next generation diesel fuel injection nozzles for improved combustion efficiency and reduction of emission to the environment. The current practice of using electro-discharge machining (EDM) drilling of fuel injection nozzles is limited in terms of the hole size it can produce effectively and the length of time needed to drill. In addition, the tooling cost is high. This lecture presents an investigation into a sequential laser and EDM micro-drilling technique for the manufacture of next generation fuel injection nozzles by the University of Manchester in collaboration with Delphi.  It was found that this hybrid process has eliminated the problems of recast and heat affected zones typically associated with the laser drilling process. The new process has enabled a 70% reduction in total drilling time compared to standard EDM drilling as less material is removed by the EDM. The quality of the holes is as good as direct EDM drilling, thus eliminating the need for re-certification of the drilling process. The noveltechnique has enabled valuable cost savings and increase in production capacity for next generation fuel injection nozzle manufacture.

(3) Laser Surface Texturing
    Surface texture can affect material tribological properties, wettability, light absorption and cell interactions. This lecture summarises recent work carried out in the Laser Processing Research Centre at the University of Manchester on large area surface micro/nano texturing over metallic, semiconductor and ceramic/glass materials. Applications for medical implant cell adhesion, wettability control for self-cleaning and solar panel will be discussed.  

About the Speaker
Professor Lin Li started laser processing research in 1985 at Imperial College in the United Kingdom. After obtaining a PhD in laser processing, he worked for 6 years in the Laser Group at Liverpool University. In 1994, he took up a lectureship (Assistant Professor) at UMIST (now the University of Manchester, after merger in 2004), UK and started setting up laser processing research activity there. In 2000, he was promoted to full Professor and became the Director of Laser Processing Research Centre. Professor Li now heads the manufacturing research at the University of Manchester. He is the author and co-author of over 400 publications in laser processing and holds 40 patents. He was awarded Fellow of Institute of Engineering and Technology and Fellow of Laser Institute of America. He serves on the Editorial board of Optics and Laser Technology and AILU executive committee. He is the Co-Director of Northwest Laser Engineering Consortium in the United Kingdom. He has been appointed SIMTech Visiting Fellow since 2006. His research interests include laser cutting, welding, drilling, surface engineering, micro/nano fabrication and additive manufacturing.

1.45pm  : Registration

2.00pm  : 1st Presentation

2.35pm  : 2nd Presentation

3.10pm  : Refreshments & Networking

3.25pm  : 3rd Presentation
4.00pm  : End
Who Should Attend
Researchers from A*STAR RIs, industry professionals, academicians and engineering students.

Registration for the lecture is free of charge. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For technical enquiries:
Dr Gary Ng Ka Lai, Research Engineer, Machining Technology Group, Email:

For registration & general enquiries:
Alice Koh,