Laser Cladding is a welding process which uses a precisely focused laser beam to generate a melt pool on a component surface. A metallic feed material is simultaneously injected into the melt pool and fully melted to build up a deposit. The feed material usually takes the form of a metallic powder but can also be a wire.
The precise nature of the process allows the quality of the coating to be accurately controlled. The key to successful laser cladding is controlling the heat input into the base material, which can be minimised whilst maintaining a high strength metallurgical bond.
The very fast cooling rate associated with laser cladding has the effect of producing fine high strength microstructures with minimal effect on the mechanical properties of the base material. Numerous coating materials can be applied, the composition of which can be designed to combat the service conditions of the component to be clad.
The laser cladding process is a method of applying a fully dense, metallurgically bonded and virtually pure coating which can be used to increase the wear resistance, corrosion resistance or impact performance of metallic components. In some cases, all three of the properties can be improved. The process utilises a precisely focused high power laser beam to create a weld pool into which a metallic powder is applied. The powder (which is carried by a stream of inert shielding gas) is blown coaxially through the laser beam. The highly accurate nature of the laser beam allows fully dense cladding with minimal dilution (<5%), yet with a perfect metallurgical bond. The Metallisation MET-CLAD system offers control and integration of the entire cladding process. The system offers control of the process gases, cooling system, laser, powder feed and automation interface safely via an intuitive, touch-screen interface.