Laser Cladding/Hardfacing Technology Basics

Laser Welding DiagramLaser Cladding or build-up welding is a relatively young technology. Some of the unique benefits of laser cladding are:

  • A very homogeneous and consistent weld quality
  • Low heat input with low dilution of the base material
  • A wide variety of cladding material combinations

These benefits are directly related to the characteristics of the laser light heat source which is capable of rapid heating and melting of a small localized area on the surface of the workpiece. At the same time a metal powder with the desired material properties is injected into the melt pool and a weld track is generated.

These benefits are directly related to the characteristics of the laser light heat source which is capable of rapid heating and melting of a small localized area on the surface of the workpiece. At the same time a metal powder with the desired material properties is injected into the melt pool and a weld track is generated.

The solidification process is also rapid compared to conventional overlaying technologies such as TIG, Plasma Transfer Arc or MIG. This allows the solidified metal powder to maintain the vast majority of its original properties and establish a fine grained structure. Both effects ensure a coating quality of highest standards.

Quick Reference

How do LWS laser coatings compare to other coatings?

  1. Compared to HFOV:
    • LWS laser coating is completely dense and can be designed to be free of surface defects
    • Metallurgical bonding between coating and base material
  2. Compared to PTA & TIG:
    • Less heat input into the base metal
    • Lower dilution with base metal
    • Thinner clad layers are possible with near net shape tolerances