The Benefits of Laser Cladding Over Welding.

If you’re working in the power, oil and gas, aerospace, petrochemical, or industrial equipment industries, you probably use welding techniques regularly to bind metals. There is a better way to bind metals, and that is a process known as laser cladding. This process utilizes metal powder alloys to enhance the binding process. A laser is used to create a melt pool on the piece that needs to be bound, and then the metal powder alloy is fed through into the weld puddle. This creates a clad layer, which achieves a complete metallurgical bond. This method is fully realized by melting the surface of the piece while the powder is being applied. Below are some of the unique advantages laser cladding has over other welding techniques.

High Purity, Low Dilution Overlay

The chemistry of the target surface is undiluted after a first pass. The hardness of the metal is maintained, so there is no need for multiple passes or a lot of overlay thickening that would only add to the expense of the project and create a lot of tensile stress.

Low Heat, Low Distortion

Parts with low heat tolerances can be bonded with little worry of distorting the dimensions of the product. Laser cladding has been successfully used on pieces as thin as 1.5 mm without any dimensional deviation.

Alloyed Bonds

The bonds in these processes are not mechanical but rather molecular. This makes the product a lot tougher than its welded counterparts, and it can withstand rough abrasions and heavy impact stress.

Serious Protections for Miners

For the industries that require even more strength and durability out of their bonds, there is another method of overlays that utilize titanium and tungsten composites. These products are significantly tougher than standard bonds, and are frequently used in the mining and drilling industries. Cobalt composite alloy blends, which have remarkable resistance to erosion and cavitation in high-pressure situations, are also used heavily in the mining industry.

Impervious to Corrosion

Not even hyper reactive gases and liquids can permeate and lay siege to the crack and pore-free overlays of laser cladding products. This facet is perfect for creating top-notch seals for couplings and valves that will be exposed to highly corrosive materials.

Unlimited Combinations Available

The metallic substrate blend that you decide to use in your bonding process is almost completely customizable. This is because most metallic alloy powders can be bound to any other machinable metallic substrate. The high level of customization allows for any number of combinations, including adding a high-performance alloy to an exotic aerospace alloy or to a cheaper machining steel.

With all of the things that laser cladding can do, there is no reason to ever go back to welding again. It would be like going back to using candles as our primary source of interior lighting after the invention of the light bulb. Innovation is pushing our society further and further to great technological capabilities and this method of binding metals is a great example of such human ingenuity. If you have a business that needs high performance binds, don’t go back to welding.

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