Wear or corrosion protection layers can be applied onto tools or machinery parts via laser cladding. The protection layer is connected via metallurgical bonding to the base material. Our main competence is the process development for complex layer systems optimized for certain applications.
Compared to other cladding techniques (like PTA welding, flame gunning,…) laser cladding stands for lowest thermal loads thus minimizing warping. Due to the precision and stability of the laser beam complex claddings are feasible. By combining a robot system with automatically adjustable focusing optics and special software for motion path generation solutions can be developed even for complex surface topologies.
One of our reference projects was the development of a complex protection layer system with exactly defined layer thickness cladded onto the oilfield drilling heads of Schoeller Bleckmann Oilfield Technology. The challenges were the large dimensions of the tools on one hand and the requirement of a tolerance of a few tenth of a millimeter in total layer thickness in order to save the costly post-processing. After development of this series production process at our site this cladding process is operated in multi-shift on several laser systems at Schoeller Bleckmann.
Another application of laser cladding gaining more and more importance is the repair of components: High-value components (e.g. casting molds, turbine blades,..) can be repaired cost-efficiently by cladding an equivalent alloy onto the worn out spots: Firstly, the worn out area is completely milled off. Then, after repair, the component is again milled to the final shape. At our site all the necessary process steps can be done within a combined laser and milling station.
Another application of this technology with high potential is additive manufacturing, also called LMD (laser metal deposition) in this case.