Laser Cladding Refurbishment

Laser cladding refurbishment is a state of the art weld repair technology that uses a focused laser heat source to apply superior quality, high performance material coatings to metallic components. Laser clad repairs fall into two categories: dimensional repairs or surfacing repairs for the purpose of hardfacing or corrosion resistance. Apollo-Clad Laser Cladding actively works with our customers to save time and money with innovative solutions using this unique process.

Dimensional Repairs for Damaged or Worn Components

For dimensional repairs, a worn surface is ground or machine prepped as necessary, and a powder based metallic or composite coating is applied using the laser process. The final product can be machined to the tightest tolerance, and the coating is fully, metallurgically bonded to the substrate material. Due to the rapid heating and cooling cycles of the process, the laser clad layer has excellent properties in the as-clad condition. Properties of the coating material can be matched to the base material as-clad typically without the need for post-weld heat treatments. Laser clad dimensional repairs make it possible to repair only the damaged areas due to the minimal risk of distortion. Adjacent bearing fits, threads and threaded holes can be left as-is on all but the thinnest walled parts.

Extending Component Service Life

In the case of more severe, demanding service conditions, laser clad surface coatings can be re-applied to used components by removing existing damaged wear surfaces and reapplying a wear or corrosion resistant laser clad overlay. The low total heat input of the laser clad process reduces the risk of both distortion in the case of thin components and negative metallurgical effects related to dilution and microstructural changes in the heat affected zone. State of the art composite materials like nickel-tungsten carbide and nickel and cobalt based superalloy materials are routinely applied to maximize operational service-life.

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 (GMAW) or Plasma Transfer Arc Welding (PTAW). It is possible to use laser cladding to repair newly manufactured components with coatings applied using alternative welding technologies; however, superior performance has been observed for drilling components using laser clad repair of newly manufactured laser clad components. For these components, this process combination offers the maximum number of possible repair cycles and represents the lowest total cost of ownership. Read our whitepaper on lowering cost of ownership for drill string components >