Laser cladding is a leading laser technique which consists in melting a filler material, in the form of fine alloy powder, using a laser beam and fusing it with the base material. Laser cladding is the most appropriate method for the repair of critical and high-value damaged components. KIMI installed the specific system in 2013 and has developed since then a variety of services in association with world-class research Institutes.
Comparing to existing welding methods, laser cladding beam thermal input can be precisely controlled. Therefore, laser cladding is the most suitable technique for the repair of worn components in which minimum heat input and distortion is required. Another advantage of using laser cladding over other welding methods is that with the first one low dilution and strong metallurgical bond is achieved between the powdered and the base material, a bond that can withstand dynamic loads. Methods that achieve chemical or mechanical bond, are usually susceptible to “peel off” plating phenomenon and hence, cannot withstand dynamic loads. Also, laser cladding provides the possibility to use a large variety of materials except for steel, in powder form, such as nickel alloys, copper alloys and cast iron.
Apart from building up worn surfaces and restoring original profiles, Laser Cladding may also be used for surface hardening. In this case, the same laser beam is applied without powder and the surface temperature increases while component behaves as a heat sink. The result is a hardening layer of up to 2mm deep depending on steel type base material.
Overall, the advantages of laser cladding technology are:
- High precision and high quality
- Fast repair times
- A cost-effective solution
- 100% metallic adhesion
- Minimal dilution with the base metal
- Minimal heat input and distortion
- Superior properties:
- No porosity
- Homogeneous distribution of the elements
- Excellent control of the layer thickness
- Controlled minimum mixing
Based on laser cladding advantages and possibilities KIMI has applied the specific building up technique on the following areas:
- Turbocharger parts repair- rotor, compressor wheel and housing
- Crankshaft journals repair – The process is approved by Bureau Veritas
- Four stroke pistons – steel and cast iron
- Steam turbines- rotor, casing, pinion shaft, bull gear shaft
- Pump shafts
- Various rotor shafts