Laser cladding is an additive manufacturing process that uses a laser in order to metallurgically bond different performance coatings to the base material of a product. |
The process of laser cladding uses a laser in order to create a shallow, melted pool of the base material. The coating material is then introduced into this melted pool through the use of a nozzle. The coating material can also be placed in a powder form. The particles of powder are moved into the melting pool by a carrier gas. The carrier gas is designed to help avoid particle reactions with oxygen and other gases in the surrounding environment. In order to improve protection from possible chemical reactions, an additional protection gas surrounds the particle stream. The particles of powder will be completely melted into the pool. This creates a metallurgical bond that holds the coating and the base material together.
It can also be used in order to fabricate 3D parts. Based on the flexibility of the laser, coatings can be deposited on top of one another. This helps to form a solid portion of the product layer by layer.
Unlike your typical overlay welding, the heat input that occurs in the base material is relatively low. As a result, there is less of a risk of distortion occurring in the base material during the process. Unlike thermal spraying, laser cladding creates a dense layer of protective material that is strongly fused to the base material. The bond is much stronger than that of a thermal spray coating.
The coating bond that is created during laser cladding is significantly different than that of other manufacturing bonding processes. This advanced process uses a molten base material that is then mixed with a molten coating material. This mixture creates a dilution layer, which then transitions into a pure coating substance. It becomes a solid and bonds completely with the base material. The substance is dense and serves as a strong, protective coating.
There are many benefits to using this process. This process is much more cost effective than thermal spraying because it fully fuses the coating to the base material and only requires a small heat affected zone. It can also help improve the performance of a product and make repairs to a base material.
This process is often used on extreme wear surfaces, cutting edge retention, knife edges, blades, parts in highly abrasive conditions, part-to-part sliding wear, and existing parts in order to enhance their surface and durability. Industries that often use cladding include the forestry, construction, bio energy production, commercial lawn and turf, and the agricultural industries.
With laser cladding, your base material will be stronger and more durable than ever before.
When considering laser cladding, visit Joining Technologies, Inc. Learn more about this procedure at http://www.joiningtech.com/pages/cladding.html.
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