Laser cladding with diode lasers

Laser cladding generates high-quality coatings with a lifetime that partially extends even the durability of galvanic coatings.

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Realization of protective layers by laser cladding

With laser hot wire cladding or laser powder cladding, the laser beam creates on the surface of the workpiece a molten pool, to which the coating material in the form of a wire or powder is simultaneously added and melted by the laser. The short period of exposure creates only a short warpage, and the cooling is quick. The result is a layer that is connected with the basic material metallurgically. It is tougher than those cladding coatings created by thermal spraying, and compared to hard chromium plating for example, it is harmless to health, too.

Cladding or the laser cladding technology is an established method for creating or regenerating high-quality laser coating that are supposed to protect metal components from wear and tear. These refined components are used in many different areas – from industrial usage in heavy industry such as vehicle production to agriculture.

Besides initial coatings, the so-called repair welding is also realized as wire or laser powder cladding. After ablating the old coating and cleaning the workpiece surface, very stable new coatings can be realized, at which the applied material is connected metallurgically with the basic material.

Diode lasers are the ideal tool for various forms of cladding. The basic advantages of the laser cladding process are high flexibility and short process periods, a low warpage of processed workpieces, and fine-grained coatings with excellent adhesion. The very durable surfaces created by laser cladding equipment also require rare post-processing.

Laser powder cladding process 

The laser beam connects the metal workpiece with the applied powder. Laserline’s LDM and LDF diode lasers achieve at the melting of metal powder outstanding results: excellent adhesion, high precision, almost no porosity, limited crack formation, a high degree of hardness, and low deformation. In most cases, the surface created by mixing does not require any further mechanical processing. In comparison, conventional hard plating methods such as plasma powder cladding do not achieve sufficiently long lifetimes. 

Diode lasers in the oil and gas industry

The development of oil and gas fields requires high-performing drilling tools. These are subjected to huge stress and would not reach long lifetimes without wear protection. That is why special coatings that are more and more realized with diode laser cladding have become the standard for some time now. Laserline’s LDM and LDF diode lasers here achieve excellent results.

Crack welding under difficult conditions

Besides damages to protective coatings, cracks in components can also require repair welding. However, such components cannot always be reached easily. For example, when the removal of a torn gear is not immediately possible, in case of doubt the laser must go to the workpiece. With Laserline's diode lasers, this is no longer a problem: these light, compact and mobile lasers can, if needed be, even be placed safely at narrow scaffoldings in lofty heights, where they can support all necessary welding works.

A mobile diode laser system (LDF 3000-60) and a robot for control were installed at a height of 25 m to repair cracks in the gearwheels by laser cladding.