Coherent, Hoganas (China) and ABB have opened a laser applications centre at the Hoganas facility in Shanghai. This new facility offers access to a Coherent HighLight 4000L, 4kW, direct diode laser system, mounted on a ABB IRB 2600 robot, enabling users to utilise lasers as part of the metal cladding process. Application centre personnel will supply the knowledge and experience to optimise cladding process parameters and help those developing new cladding techniques to understand the suitability of laser technology.
'Höganäs has developed a range of powders that are particularly well suited to the needs of high-tech surface coating methods, such as laser cladding,' reports Höganäs Asia President Per Engdahl. 'The expertise that our applications engineers offer in utilising these materials will facilitate effective implementation of laser cladding, and shorten the process development time scale for our customers.'
'Direct diode laser cladding offers several practical advantages over traditional arc welding and thermal spraying methods. For example, the laser technique avoids heat distortion of the part, thus eliminating the need for post processing. It also delivers a clad having extremely low dilution, reduced porosity and good surface uniformity,' notes Frank Gaebler, Coherent director of marketing. 'The direct diode laser delivers lower cost of ownership and beam characteristics better suited to cladding when compared to other laser types.'