Laser Metal Deposition (LMD)

Extend component life with wear and corrosion protection

In laser metal deposition or laser cladding, a stream of metallic powder is fed into a laser beam to create a weld pool on the surface of the substrate. The laser beam/powder nozzle is then moved through a computer numerical control (CNC) motion system to overlap the weld beads and form a protective barrier over the component being coated. Usually, the surface coating is applied to mitigate wear or corrosion to the base material.

Though weld overlays for corrosion and wear protection have been performed for many years using typical methods of application (SMAW, GMAW, PTA, SAW), laser metal deposition brings unique advantages to the process that cannot be realized with the more common application methods.

Coating thicknesses will vary depending on several influencing factors. Some of these factors include:

  • • Chemistry of the alloy being deposited
  • • Material type of the component being coated
  • • Thermal mass of the base material
  • • Physical geometry of the component
  • LMD extends the life of your product by applying a protective coating that helps increase the corrosion and/or wear resistance of your components. In most circumstances, the coating density is sufficient to facilitate final machining to a very good surface finish.

    LMD can also be used for restoring original material onto damaged or worn components to prevent complete replacement. Many times, the laser process is the only option for this type of repair due to concerns with the Heat Affected Zone. Depending on the alloy being deposited, we have restored material over 3 inches thick. The LMD process has great adaptability and applications across many industries.

    Benefits

    • • Creates a metallurgical bond
    • • Wide variety of available alloy powders
    • • Very low dilution is possible
    • • Ability to deposit dissimilar alloys
    • • Relatively high deposition rates
    • • Process is highly repeatable
    • • Low Heat Affected Zone (HAZ)
    • • Improved metallurgy (finer dendritic grain growth)
    • • Virtually unlimited build height (material dependent)