Laser Cladding Services – The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Laser cladding services are one of the most sought-after services in the steel and metalworking industry. Due to the promising effects it can offer, it’s favored and chosen to be the best alternative to other bonding and coating procedures.

In this guide, we’ll give you all the information you need about laser cladding services, and at the end of this particular FAQ guide, you’ll have an idea on where the best place is to get laser cladding services.

Definition of Laser Cladding

Laser cladding is the process of bonding or fusing materials and metals that are not the same or dissimilar using laser beams.

Definition of Laser Cladding
An image of what laser cladding looks like

A lot of people think that the procedure of cladding is the same as welding or gluing, when, in reality, it’s different.

Essentially, laser cladding is a procedure that you do in order to improve the overall physical characteristics of the substrate or the workpiece involved. Gluing or fusion welding is just putting a particular material on the surface of it.

Laser Cladding vs. Laser Alloying

When you think about it, you’ll have the initial idea that both laser cladding and laser alloying services are the same.

Laser Cladding vs. Laser Alloying
An image of laser surface alloying – what the process looks like

After you take out the real or the true definition of alloying and cladding, it’s like they’re similar terms.

Laser cladding is a procedure where a part or a film of a particular material is deposited on the base substrate or material. In turn, it changes or modifies the physical properties as well as the original surface.

On the other hand, laser alloying is a procedure that coats or puts another layer of material on top of a substrate or a workpiece. Unlike laser cladding, though, laser alloying does not completely alter the properties of the material.

What is Laser Wire Cladding?

Laser wire cladding simply is the procedure of laser cladding that involves the use of wire fillers instead of traditional and conventional powders.

What is Laser Wire Cladding_
An image of how laser wire cladding looks like

The wire is sent to a stream of melt pool duly generated by the laser beam that is scanned across the surface.

In simpler and easier terms, laser wire cladding is just the procedure of using metallic wires in place of powders and other types of metallic material to be deposited to the layer of the substrate or the workpiece.

How is Laser Cladding Different From Other Laser Treatments?

It’s not common knowledge, but laser cladding undergoes the same working principle and concept as arc welding.

How is Laser Cladding Different From Other Laser Treatments_
Image of how laser cladding works

However, instead of using an electric arc, what’s used is a laser, melting the substrate or the workpiece’s surface, adding the material.

Moreover, the type of laser used in laser cladding is Nd:YAG and fiber lasers – CO2 is less being used in these cases.

Essentially, it’s not like laser cutting, laser drilling, and laser engraving. Why? – Because in laser cladding, the laser beam is used to melt and to heat up the material. It doesn’t technically cut or alter the workpiece or the substrate.

That’s one of the easiest clue you can have to determine and to identify why laser cladding is far different from other types of laser processes, which brings us to our next question, which is…

Other Laser Services Available

Apart from laser cladding, there are a couple of other laser services and activities you can get to alter and to modify your substrates, materials, and workpieces.

They include, but are not limited to:

Laser Drilling

Laser Drilling Image of laser being used to drill holes

Simply, laser drilling is the procedure of creating holes through workpieces and substrates, through the use of high beam and high-powered lasers.

They function by continuously or repeatedly pulsing energy on the substrate.

Laser Cutting

laser cutting
An image that captures how the laser cutting service works

Laser cutting is the procedure of using laser technology to cut and slice through materials and substrates. Instead of using cutting tools and machinery, high powered laser beams are what’s used.

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is a laser procedure that uses high beam lasers to vaporize materials, creating engraved markings on substrates and workpieces.

The entire process works like chiseling the surface of the workpiece or the material.

Laser Annealing

Laser Annealing
An image of a laser annealing machine

Laser annealing is the procedure that helps apply a dark mark on the surface of the material, making it resistant to a wide variety and array of wear.

These are the other laser services you can perform. However, you’re not just limited to that.

In fact, there are multiple laser additive manufacturing services you can perform to create 3D and complex shapes, parts, and components; but that would already be off-topic, it’s just good that you know.

Laser Cladding Applications

Laser cladding is a type of process that’s extremely flexible and versatile. Therefore, you can expect to use them in a vast array of business sectors and industries.

Laser Cladding Applications
An image of laser cladding being done to a particular workpiece

They’re so useful that you can use them from anywhere between the simplest of the agriculture industry, up to aerospace or aeronautics.

To help you in identifying how they’re really used and applied, here’s a quick enumeration:

  • Agricultural and Environmental Machinery
  • Drilling and Cutting Tools, Machines, and Equipment
  • Rotors and Turbines
  • Hydraulic Cylinders and Heat Exchangers
  • Cast Iron Parts
  • Piston Rods
  • Shafts, Turbo, and Propellers
  • Valves
  • And Many More!

HINT: You usually use laser cladding services to create better parts and components. You can also use it to refurbish and to revitalize the condition of materials that have already bee worn out.

Laser Cladding vs. Thermal Spraying

Laser cladding and thermal spraying are like the brothers and sisters of substrate or workpiece improvement.

Laser Cladding vs. Thermal Spraying
An image that displays the procedure of thermal spraying

Ideally, they’re two (2) processes that are the same in a sense, but are totally different.

Thermal spraying is the process that can produce and help bond processes either through mechanical bonding or metallurgical bonding. Laser cladding, on the other hand, are processes that can produce outputs that metallurgical bonds.

You’ll be able to see a ton of advantages and benefits when it comes to thermal spraying, though, some of which include, but are not limited to:

Processing of a Wide Variety of Materials

One of the advantages of choosing thermal spraying is that you can use it not just on alloy steel and metal – you can actually make use of it in a wide array of other processes and procedures, too.

Just like laser cladding, you can deposit or spray two (2) different materials together.

Can Produce Thin Coatings  

Another benefit that you can get with thermal spraying is that you have the opportunity to spray thin coatings – some as thin as 0.002”.

But, of course, you can also deposit and coat it using other types and kinds of thick coatings.

While those may seem interesting, let’s not leave out the cons and drawbacks of using thermal spraying, too. They include, but are not limited to:

Requires Skill and Experience

Thermal spraying is not an easy process; and it’s not something that a beginner can master in just one pass.

The majority of thermal spraying processes produce mechanical bonding. Therefore, it’ll require skill and experience to be a part of the formula.

Oxides and Porosity

Thermal spraying procedures would have low-to-high levels of porosity. In addition to that, oxides are also part of the procedure. While this increases the wear resistance and hardness of the workpiece or the substrate, it can also be the cause of corrosion and other issues when it comes to machinability.

Take note, though, that these aren’t all the pros and cons of thermal spraying. There are a lot more that you’ll encounter!

Now that we know the benefits and drawbacks of using thermal spraying, let us have a look at the pros and cons of laser cladding.

Advantages of Laser Cladding Services

You’ll be able to find a myriad of benefits and advantages if you choose to perform laser cladding services.

Advantages of Laser Cladding Services
Laser cladding can offer high efficiency

Some of the most common advantages you can get include:

  • You’ll be able to use it with a wide array of materials and workpieces
  • Little to no porosity with the results or the outputs
  • Higher efficiency – reduced production
  • The thermal control is improved and developed
  • You will be able to produce highly-functional graded parts and components
  • Deposition of the materials is precise and accurate
  • Mechanical properties are great

These are just some of the major advantages and benefits of using laser cladding. Depending on what type of products or outputs you want, you will be able to get other pros and benefits.

Disadvantages of Laser Cladding Services

But, laser cladding isn’t just filled with pros and benefits.

Disadvantages of Laser Cladding Services
Image of what a laser cladding machine looks like

There are a couple of disadvantages and drawbacks to using them as well.

To name a few:

  • Laser cladding machines and equipment are expensive
  • You can expect laser cladding services to be costly, too
  • The larger the machine, the heavier and the harder it is to transfer
  • Build rates that are high can crack and be damaged
  • The materials need to supplement one another

Although you might think that these cons and disadvantages are too heavy, you can actually work around them, given that you have other materials and tools with you.

How Does Laser Cladding and Laser Welding Differ?

Both processes utilize lasers to achieve the results they’re looking for. But, how are these two (2) processes different?

How Does Laser Cladding and Laser Welding Differ_
How the procedure of laser welding works

The answer lies on the procedure itself. In laser cladding, the goal is to be able to deposit another layer of material on the substrate or the surface of the workpiece.

In laser welding, on the other hand, the goal is to fuse and join two (2) pieces of substrate or workpiece together.

They’re similar in a sense that they utilize lasers to produce heat. But, overall they are two (2) different processes. The clue is to have a look at the processes involved – one is welding and one is cladding.

Where Can You Get the Best Laser Cladding Services?

There are numerous companies that offer various types and kinds of laser cladding services. You can find companies and businesses in the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, and all the other countries you can think of.

However, if you want to get only the best and the highest quality of services, you can never go wrong in choosing us here at Waldun.

For quite a number of years, Waldun has been deemed and considered as the best, the most trusted, the most reliable, and the most sought-after company that’s offering laser cladding services.

Get the Best Laser Cladding Services in the Market

Unlike other laser cladding companies, our services never went down the expectations of businesses from all across the globe.

You will never have any troubles and problems when you decide to work with us because we’ll tailor-fit all laser cladding services you need to the business that you do!

  • We are certified across all licenses and certifications
  • Waldun is equipped with the best and the most trusted engineers in the field
  • We will give you a comprehensive timeline on how the process will go through
  • All the laser cladding machines we manufacture and produce pass globally-recognized certifications

Get a lot more of these benefits and advantages when you experience working with us!

Other Services We Offer

If you thought that we’re limited to laser cladding alone, think again! Waldun is THE company that you can bank on if you need a comprehensive set of laser processes and procedures, some of which include plasma hardfacing, CRA weld overlay, hardfacing services, wear plate lamination, and many more!

Don’t hesitate to work with us here at Waldun! Hundreds of businesses from all across the world consider us as their go-to company – you can trust us too!