Laser cladding for difficult-to-access internal contours

Würselen, Germany - Functional surfaces are a key factor for the quality, efficiency, and competitiveness of products and processes that are subject to complex strains and stresses. Tailor-made materials and procedures ensure resistance to abrasion, erosion, and corrosion—the very factors that significantly influence the service life and life cycle of plants and equipment.

Laser cladding equips component surfaces with the decisive quality to reliably perform their respective functions in production, in maintenance, or in the improvement of material properties.

As a generative process with reliable reproducibility, precision 2D or 3D application capability, and low levels of strain on the treated components, laser cladding is the established standard for the specific adaptation of surface properties to the requirements of their specific fields of application in mould construction, tool making, and mechanical engineering. But this procedure using standard processing heads meets its limits when it comes to difficult-to-access internal contours. Access apertures of less than 100mm call for considerably slimmer optical heads. This is where the iClad, a compact special laser head with integrated process media feed developed by Pallas GmbH & Co. KG, comes in.

iClad, a compact special laser head with integrated process media feed, makes laser cladding of internal contours possible through access apertures down to the size of a two-euro coin
iClad, a compact special laser head with integrated process media feed, makes laser cladding of internal contours possible through access apertures down to the size of a two-euro coin
iClad, a compact special laser head with integrated process media feed, makes laser cladding of internal contours possible through access apertures down to the size of a two-euro coin.

This solution makes laser cladding of internal contours and blind bores possible to a working depth of 500mm through access apertures down to the size of a two-euro coin. Now, the strategic partnership between Pallas and the German company GTV Verschleißschutz GmbH in Luckenbach (Westerwald) marks the starting signal for industrial serial production and worldwide marketing of the iClad.

In laser cladding, the localized laser beam melts the base material of the workpiece and the powder feed and joins them metallurgically into a dense coating with low dilution. This approach, controlled by CAD, makes coating thickness ranging from a few tenths of a millimeter up to several millimeters possible. Thanks to the tight focusing of the laser beam, the thermal strain on the component and its base material is very low, which keeps warpage to a minimum. The near-net coating also minimizes the need for reworking.

All necessary assemblies for beam guidance and formation are integrated in the compact casing. With a working depth of 500mm through access apertures from as small as 30mm in diameter, iClad is ideal for repairing transmission components, housings, cylinder liners, or tools. In the coating process, the rotationally symmetrical workpiece is rotated around the fixed processing head, which—depending on the positioning of the treatment area—may employ one of two different laser beam angles. Blind bores, where the laser beam's working point is in front of the head, are treated using a 30° beam angle, while through bores are treated with a 90° beam angle. In contrast to conventional processing heads, where working distances of 20mm are common practice, the iClad only needs a working distance of 5–12mm.

With a working depth of 500mm through access apertures from as small as 30mm in diameter, iClad is ideal for repairing transmission components, housings, cylinder liners or tools
With a working depth of 500mm through access apertures from as small as 30mm in diameter, iClad is ideal for repairing transmission components, housings, cylinder liners or tools
With a working depth of 500 mm through access apertures from as small as 30mm in diameter, iClad is ideal for repairing transmission components, housings, cylinder liners or tools.

The partnership between Pallas and GTV is to advance customer-geared further development of the special laser processing head and to make it increasingly available on the market. Pallas will continue to be in charge of development, design, and production of the processing heads, especially in the case of custom constructions. GTV will assume responsibility not only for global sales and distribution, and also for development and optimization of individual components like nozzles. A first special processing head with a nozzle construction by GTV/Pallas is currently in use in continuous three-shift operation and impressing users with its improved powder feed and increased level of efficiency.
 
As an expert in the whole spectrum of surface technology processes, Pallas combines leading process technologies with over 50 years of accumulated expertise in meeting the requirements of a wide range of industries and applications.

GTV is a producer of special equipment and powder feeders, and has been serving customers on all continents for more than 30 years.

For further information, please contact Pallas by e-mailing info@pallaskg.de.



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