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Laser cladding enhances life of high wear components

30 July 2020

Laser cladding can be used to mitigate the impact of environmental and operational factors on the performance of many heavy vehicles and machinery components, explains TLM Laser.

Machinery and mechanisms of all types will have certain components that are subject to high rates of wear in service. Typical examples might include the large machinery and vehicles used within quarries, construction equipment, excavators, mining equipment, tracked and military vehicles.

These machines and vehicles operate in some of the harshest working environments imaginable. They can be continually exposed to any combination of moisture, heat, abrasion, vibration and even impact damage, which can mean high wear rates and subsequent failure. The unplanned downtime as a consequence of component failure results not only in loss of production, but also reduced profitability. 

Laser cladding has proven to be a valuable process for both protecting components and extending their reliability and service life. In this article TLM Laser’s Andy Toms discusses the benefits which this process brings and the range of laser cladding technologies available from TLM.

Excavator buckets, track components, mechanical crusher components, engine and drive train parts and conveying equipment are amongst the wide range of components which can benefit from this process.

The laser makes it possible to quickly and efficiently coat even large surface areas with powder deposit welding on the often high value components within these sectors that require repair or reconditioning. Unlike some alternative technologies, the localised and controlled heat affected zone produced by the laser does not impact the mechanical properties of the surrounding material. This also ensures that component distortion is avoided. In addition, the repeatability and precision of the process guarantees consistent quality on each and every part.”

The laser cladding technology available from Bromsgrove-based TLM Laser is Alpha Laser’s AL-TW, AL-FLAK and AL-ROCK laser systems. These systems use fiber lasers to deliver the high power (450 / 900 watts) required for laser powder deposition welding.

ALPHA LASER’s systems’ which have already established an enviable reputation for laser welding, can also be used as powder coating / cladding systems. The AL-TW is an open system that provides the highest levels of flexibility within a workshop environment. The high levels of stability inherent within the system allows the precision focusing required to achieve the best results at all times. The AL-FLAK is an extremely robust laser welding system with a high laser power and large reach. The innovative movement mechanism and the projecting laser arm make it possible to work easily on large components, either manually or in programmed mode. 

The AL-ROCK also boasts high laser power and large reach. The combination of the ability to move the system under its own power, the articulated robot arm, plus the systems 3D scanning head make it possible to easily work on large components, performing either deposit welding or hardening processes in three dimensions. The area to be processed can be easily programmed, using the scanner software, by simply selecting the area that you wish to scan. The robot then moves the scanner automatically to the marked area over multiple tracks. The result is a real-time 3D model. The operator then simply configures the process-relevant parameters, after which the program is simulated virtually.

These highly flexible, powerful and precise laser systems are available from TLM Laser, Alpha Laser’s UK and Ireland distributor, and are just part of the comprehensive range of laser based technologies and systems offered by the company.