LaserBond - UniSA collaboration to bring long-life mining industry components to the world

Laserbond drillIn a climate where all too often South Australian industry is talked down, one future-focussed manufacturer is working with UniSA in a bid to take on the world with innovative surface cladding systems that extend the life of mining industry machinery components by up to five times.

A pioneer in advanced surface engineering since 1992, LaserBond has developed a laser cladding system that can metallurgically bond a wide range of metals to heavy machinery components, extending their life, often two to five times and particularly, improving the performance of drill systems in the mining industry.

Working with specialists at the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute (FII), the company accesses world-class knowledge and research in materials and surface science to further develop a technology so essential to the mining equipment technology and services sector.

LaserBond recently signed an MOU with UniSA and the partnership will now benefit from an Innovation Connections grant, under the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, which will embed a LaserBond R&D specialist at the FII to work on characterising and better understanding the leading- edge materials and minerals science research and processes being developed at UniSA.

Strand Leader in minerals and resources engineering at FII Professor Bill Skinner says the MOU has strengthened an already strong partnership with one of the State’s truly innovative advanced surface engineering technologists.

“LaserBond is a fine example of a business that is prepared to invest in innovation,” Prof Skinner says.

“Almost 20 years ago the company invested in a Scanning Electron Microscope so that they could properly understand metallurgy and bonding of surface engineered coatings,” Prof Skinner says. 

“They have also worked with the Australian Synchrotron facility to get even more sophisticated insights into the metallurgical structure being achieved through their laser cladding technology.

“That research has meant the technology they have delivered to industry is now available more economically to a wide range of high-wear industrial applications, such as a replacement for hard-chrome, which has significant environmental issues.

“Now, working together, we believe we can support and enhance the development of the technology with the end goal of expanding its applications and improving performance.

“These technologies have enormous potential across local and global mining industries markets and together, LaserBond and UniSA hope to grow this Australian business.”

Chair and non-executive director LaserBond, Allan Morton says the partnership with UniSA builds on a company tradition of innovative partnerships. 

“The founders of the company Wayne and Greg Hooper have always had a passion for pushing the boundaries and exploring all things metallurgical,” Morton says. 

“A recent meeting organised with the Fraunhofer Society in Germany has confirmed that the company is at the cutting edge of laser deposition technology, so this partnership with UniSA can only support us to become even better at what we do. 

“The goal is to be the world leader in this field and to be providing the technology globally.”

 Media contact: Michèle Nardelli mobile: +61 418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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