Laser Cladding—Not All Repairs Are Created Equal

Laser cladding offers repair alternatives to high performance components that physically cannot be achieved by higher heat input arc welding processes like Gas Metal Arc Welding. Laser cladding is weld overlay using a high-powered laser as the heat source. This state-of-the-art coating technology process melts metals and applies high performance material coatings where performance and integrity is critical. As opposed to arc welded coatings, laser cladding works by focusing a laser beam to a high degree. This concentrated heating means less heat needs to be applied to create the same joining effect. The result is a fully metallurgically bonded coating with minimal mixing of the coating and base materials, limited distortion, and minimal impact on the substrate properties.

Common Applications, Uncommon Expertise

Applications of laser cladding include dimensional repair, surface modification, or a combination of both. Due to its potential to minimize the harmful effects of heat on surrounding areas, laser cladding is the only feasible repair technology for sensitive high strength, high performance alloy steels, stainless steels, and nickel-based alloys that depend on their strength through heat treatment. Laser cladding is also used for surface modification to apply high performance alloys to base materials when the economics of manufacturing would make it impossible to fabricate the entire component.

Extending the Life of Components

The laser cladding process has shown substantial benefits for increasing the critical lifetime of critical components across a range of industries. Tools used with rock or slurry systems in mining and oil and gas applications can wear out in a matter of hours or a single working shift. The costs of parts failure in terms of finances, safety and downtime can far exceed replacement costs. In directional drilling applications, laser produced coatings can help keep operations flowing by mitigating in-hole tool failure and the related costs involved with downtime.

For both internal and external drilling tools, laser clad coatings improve the chances for successful drilling operations while maximizing tool performance and lifetime. Corrosion resistance is another area of use for laser clad overlays. As stainless steel and nickel-based materials often have superior resistance to chemically aggressive environments, this process is ideal for treating the interiors of vessels, process piping, and equipment that transports corrosive media.

Our Laser Cladding Portfolio of Services includes: