Laser cladding generates coatings with lifetime sometimes even longer than the durability of galvanic coatings. Laser cladding is realized either as wire or powder cladding. The laser beam creates a molten pool at the workpiece surface, to which is simultaneously added the coating material (wire or powder) molten by the laser. The exposure time is short and creates only a short delay, as the cooling is quick. The result is a layer that is connected with the basic material metallurgically. It is tougher than the coatings created by thermal spraying, and compared to hard chromium plating for example, it is harmless to health.
The process advantages of the diode lasers
The characteristices and the top-heat beam profile of the diode laser create a particularly even molten pool, which produces fine-grained, pore-free and crack-free coatings. Post-processing is thus reduced to a minimum. Integrated into systems for the extreme high-speed developed by Fraunhofer ILT, they can also be used to create very thin coatings, which hitherto could only be realized by hard chromium plating.
Advantages at a glance
- low exposure time and depths of the laser
- metallurgic connection of coating material and basic material
- layers that are more constant than thermal sprayed coatings
- high surface quality and low delay, hardly any post-processing necessary
- short processing times, high energy efficiency