Laser beam build-up welding is technologically comparable to plasma build-up welding and plasma spraying. It is applied when a high precision of the layer structure is required or where the component which has to be coated has a complex form. It also finds application in cases where the component is heavily stressed. Compared to the conventional buildup welding laser technology distinguishes itself by offering: the controllability of the welding process and the layer composition; the precise localization of the material build-up; near net shape deposition. The latter results in an economical consumption of material and low post-processing. Mulitylayer coatings are possible without intermediate machining thus even 3D-structures can be easily built up by a number of tracks. Laser beam build-up welding is a very precise technique and is not recommended for large area coatings. Apart from wear protection of components and tools laser build-up welding can be applied to problems of surface refinement in order to increase corrosion resistance thermal shock resistance and impact and fatigue strength. Besides surface protection of new components this method offers the opportunity of cost-effectively repairing of worn and damaged components and tools. This technique is mainly used in the automotive and aircraft industry as well as in tool and mould making.
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