RUAG Australia's proposal to develop laser repair technology has been selected by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) under its capability and technology demonstrator (CTD) programme.

Managed by the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, the CTD programme enhances Australia's defence capabilities by helping local industries to develop and demonstrate new technologies.

The Australian DoD selected seven CTD proposals from more than 130 options.

RUAG Australia's proposal includes the development of laser cladding repair technology to reduce maintenance costs and improve aircraft availability.

Laser cladding is a processing technique used for repairing metal structures.

"The Australian DoD selected seven CTD proposals from more than 130 options."

The process involves feeding a stream of powder into a focused laser beam as it is scanned across the target surface, leaving behind a deposited coating of feed stock material that is fused to the substrate.

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The required geometry is then built up layer by layer, RUAG said in a statement.

The technology restores damaged components and structures for several platforms, such as aircraft landing gears.

RUAG is an authorised centre for original equipment manufacturers providing services to Airbus Helicopters, Bell, Bombardier, Cirrus, Cessna, Diamond, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, Leonardo-Finmeccanica (AgustaWestland), Piaggio, Sikorsky, Pilatus, Piper, and Mooney.

Image: Laser cladding onto a high-strength steel substrate. Photo: courtesy of RUAG Group.