In order to harden or soften a material, heat treatment techniques are used. Traditional methods use torches, electric furnaces, gas, and induction coils for heating. The cooling process in these methods uses water, oil, and more. However, there is a newer alternative to these methods that is now available. Laser cladding is currently being adapted by engineers and metallurgists. It’s a quicker and more accurate method of heat-treating materials.
If you’re looking to increase the lifespan of your machinery, laser cladding might work well for you. To explain how laser cladding works and why it’s better to use than traditional methods, read on below:
What is laser cladding?
Over the years, heat treatment in Australia has improved with laser cladding, a process that involves the use of a highly concentrated beam of light to heat a specific area accurately. Many surface engineering companies use this method, since it precisely hardens the metal. Thus, the parts used in building machinery tend to have a longer lifespan.
Laser cladding is the process of bonding two metals together through the use of laser. It is used in surface engineering to reduce corrosion in metals and to repair worn-out parts. The high-power laser creates a better finish and extended the life of a component than the traditional methods of heat treatment Australia offers.
Benefits of laser cladding
Here are the reasons why laser cladding is a better choice for manufacturing components:
- The laser provides a precise, fully-fused deposit layer
- Processing time is shorter compared to other methods
- Improves the longevity of materials and reduces replacement costs
- A cost-effective way of extending a material’s life
- Requires less coating dilution which ensures purity and performance
- Reclaims worn-out and fatigued components
- Best manufacturing method for sensitive materials
Advantages of coatings during laser cladding
To enhance component qualities, different coatings are applied using thermal spray techniques. The best heat treatment engineers recommend using coatings during laser cladding to achieve the following:
- Increased attributes of the base material, such as strength, stiffness, weight, cost, corrosion resistance, and thermal capability
- Improved properties of the surface, which include hardness, electrical resistance or conductivity, matting characteristics, thermal transfer, and shielding
- Tailored coatings according to the specified needs of the material at a low cost
The abovementioned base and surface properties cannot be achieved using other techniques.
Where is laser cladding applicable?
Laser cladding can be used on various materials. These include stainless steel, tungsten, carbide, nickel alloy, cobalt alloy, and copper alloy. It can also bond materials like cast iron, hardened steel, high chrome iron, and other materials that cannot be welded. Sensitive components, like shafts and gears, are also best processed with laser cladding.
Laser cladding creates mirror finishes to new parts. Additionally, it also repairs and reclaims worn-out parts. The result is a high-performing component with a longer life. Today, there are research and development programmes that look for ways on improving laser cladding to expand its applications.
Looking for methods to increase the performance of your machinery components? LASERBOND is a surface engineering company with the latest technologies and materials for your needs. To learn more, visit http://www.laserbond.com.au/services/heat-treatment.html.