The Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR) is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a Science Council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research, technological innovation as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of the South Africans. CSIR is committed to supporting innovation in South Africa in order to improve national competitiveness in the knowledge-based economy while positioning South Africa at the global competitiveness in research, technology and innovation. Science and technology services and solutions are provided in support of various stakeholders, and opportunities are identified where new technologies can be further developed and exploited in the private and public sectors for commercial and social benefit.

National Laser Centre at the CSIR provides a critical core of laser technologies, knowledge and expertise through research, development and implementation and applications in Africa. This knowledge enables South African industries to improve their global competitiveness and expand their market share. The CSIR National Laser Centre works closely with local higher education institutions and support their laser related research through several national strategic grants.

Laser Enabled Manufacturing Research Group. Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

Full Name of the Institution Manufacturing Cluster of the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (MCLUST/CSIR)
# Years institution has been in existence Over 70 years
Engineering related activities Advanced Materials and Engineering: Powder Metallurgy (Direct powder rolling, Metal injection Molding, Press and Sinter) Advanced casting technologies, , (Vacuum casting, Investment casting, High Pressure die casting, Gravity tilt casting, alloy development)

Design and analysis (product design, stress analysis, mould design, etc)

Industrial sensors: Sensors for industrials systems, sonar, sensors for human and social systems

National laser center: Novel lasers, photonics, laser enabled manufacturing and National Strategic Projects.

Centre for Robotics, autonomous Systems and Future Production Systems: Industrial robotics, inspection and mapping, Future production systems

Specific target group Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
Indicators of track record (ranking, awards, etc) The MCLUST/CSIR helps catalyse the re-industrialisation of South Africa by: 

Ø understanding and applying advanced materials and advanced manufacturing technologies, especially the convergence of such technologies, and 

Ø leveraging the South African science, engineering and technology community to research, develop and implement local product and process solutions.

Main Activities Ø MCLUST/CSIR undertakes metals and metal alloys-based research, development and innovation activities to address socio-economic challenges facing South Africa (SA). 

Ø MCLUST/CSIR’s AME research team is made up of highly experienced and qualified researchers with access to advanced infrastructure for innovation and manufacturing. 

Ø Specialised facilities and capabilities for materials (metals and composites) design, selection, testing and characterisation are available at the MCLUST/CSIR. 

Ø MCLUST/CSIR team is a leader in the structural design and analysis and hosts world-class expertise and capabilities in parts and components manufacturing. 

Ø MCLUST/CSIR AME research team also hosts the Titanium Centre of Competence (TiCoC), which is a multi-user national facility that is geographically spread across South Africa and the Light Metals Development Network (LMDN). 

Ø The MCLUST/CSIR, various universities, science councils and private companies are collaborating on developing technology building blocks and R&D platforms towards adding value to the countries’ mineral resources.

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Laser facilities The NLC laser materials processing and other expertise:

Ø Laser additive manufacturing 

(Powder blown and Powder bed technologies) 

Ø Material joining

Ø Cladding, Surface alloying and Welding

Ø Surface hardening

Ø Laser beam shaping


Laser systems

Ø 5 kW: Trumpf LaserCell TLC 1005

The TLC 1005 is equipped with focussing optics for 3D cutting and keyhole welding. 

The 5X (5 kW IPG fiber lasers) integrated with a KUKA KR60L30HA articulated arm robot and a two-axis positioner.

The system is further equipped with a dual hopper GTV powder feeder and powder feeding nozzles which include the following:

ü Off axis powder nozzles

ü Co-axial powder nozzles

ü 3 way powder nozzles.

ü Camera which allows co-axial observation of weld pool.

ü Pyrometer for process control.

ü LENS Optomec machine-able

ü Aeroswift platforms

ü Home built powder bed system 

Metallurgical Lab

· Cutting, mounting and polishing machines

· Optical microscopes

· SEM machine

· Hardness testers

· Tensile Machines

· XRD for residual stress measurements

· Laser shock peening

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