Russia’s Central Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (TsKBM – Tsentralnom Konsructorskom Biuro Mashinostoreniya), part of Rosatom’s Engineering Division, is using a new technology for laser steel hardening in the manufacture of sophisticated NPP equipment. The new technology was used in the manufacture of rotary parts for the pumps in a NPP machine hall.

The technology for laser heat-shrinking of steels was developed by the Central Executive Committee in cooperation with the Engineering Centre for the Use of Laser Technologies in Mechanical Engineering at Vladimir State University (VSU). The new method improves the wear resistance of products and increases the accuracy of forecasting the timing of the manufacture of pumping equipment. Rosatom said this is especially important in the context of increasing orders for equipment in the context of growing interest in nuclear technology.

“Laser hardening was first tested on rotor parts for pumps manufactured for the machine rooms of nuclear power plants,” said TsKBM Production Director Alexei Kuzmin. “This made it possible to increase the surface hardness of steel by 1.5-2 times, which prevents the appearance of deep scratches and jamming that occurs during the assembly of products. Previously, when deep scratches appeared on the surface of shafts and work wheels, specialists had to re-make these parts, which took up to nine months.”