LCV projects metallic grains with a clad head on a substrate. Using a high-intensity laser, we create a melt pool to apply a metallurgically bonded coating. Advantages are minimal heat input, full density, small dilution and optimal metallographic structure resulting in extra hardness and wear resistance.
Traditional processes include hardfacing, metal spray techniques such as HVOF (High Velocity Oxy Fuel) and hard chrome.
Hardfacing is nothing else than welding material on a substrate. This means there is a lot of heat input. As a result there is risk for distortion on the part, there is a large dilution zone that increases the risk for corrosion, and the carbides tend to dissolve which induces reduced wear resistance.
HVOF projects metal grains with a flame on substrate. Obviously there is a lot of energy required and the powder efficiency is low resulting in high consumable cost. The coating is not metallurgically bonded and shows high porosity. As a result HVOF exhibits a much higher wear factor compared to laser cladding.
Chrome is a contested process as it is cancerous. For this reason it will be forbidden by the European Union. Hard chrome is also not corrosion resistant. In many cases, hard chrome is the technology of choice thanks to its cost advantage. However, with the development of Ultra High Speed Laser Cladding, the cost gap is closing rapidly.
Typical applications & materials include:
Carbide-based Inconel layers between 50 and 300 micron for hydraulic rods: the laser cladded coatings demonstrate ultimate wear and corrosion resistance. This yields longer service life, reduces the cost of the rod material as Inox is no longer required (high impact on cost).
Cobalt-based Stellite coatings on valves, pumps and piping with thicknesses between 1 and 6 millimeter: the coatings feature a fine micro structure that results in increased hardness. Stellite 6 casings have a hardness of 39 HRC with hardfacing compared to 52 HRC with laser cladding. Laser cladding is more affordable and exhibits higher wear resistance.
Carbide based materials like LCV Corroslide or Impac-10X for cutters and knifes for recycling, ground working and agriculture. Thanks to the optimised carbide structure, laser cladding offers 4 to 15 times longer service life compared to conventional hard metals.
Tom De Bruyne, Sales & Marketing Director
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