Laser Cladding – the method
Laser cladding is realized either as wire (laser hot wire cladding) or powder cladding. The laser beam creates a molten pool at the workpiece surface, to which is simultaneously added the laser coating material (wire or powder) molten by the laser. The exposure time is short, which 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 those coatings created by thermal spraying, and compared to hard chromium plating, for example, it is harmless to health, too.
The cladding process advantages of diode lasers
The top-hat beam profile of a diode laser, part of the laser cladding equipment, creates a particularly even molten pool, which provides fine-grained, pore-free and crack-free coatings of the workpieces. Post-processing is thus reduced to a minimum. When integrated into systems for the Extreme High-Speed Laser Cladding, as developed by Fraunhofer ILT, our diode lasers are also suitable for creating very thin cladding coatings which until now could only be realized with hard chromium plating.
Advantages at a glance
- low exposure time and depth of the laser
- metallurgical connection of layer and basic material
- layers are more resistant than thermal spray coatings
- high surface quality and low warpage, with almost no post-processing necessary
- short laser cladding process period, high-energy efficiency