Xiris weld cameras and software provide an unmatched monitoring instruments for laser cladding and laser metal deposition processes.
What is laser cladding?
Laser cladding is a state-of-the-art process used to produce high-performance coatings. Its applications span from wear resistant coatings of drilling tools in the oil industry, shafts and hydraulic cylinders for heavy machinery to internal cladding of pipelines for aggressive fluids in the petrochemical industry and more.
Due to its low heat input, laser cladding is a unique process that is used for deposition of dissimilar materials on temperature sensitive alloys, for example, wear resistant tungsten carbide on high strength steels. The overlay material is fed in the form of a powder or wire.
Figure 1. Laser cladding on a cylindric part. Shot at Apollo-Clad Laser Cladding
Challenges of laser cladding
It may be quite challenging to find an optimal set of laser power, travel speed and powder flow for laser cladding. Consistency of the clad geometry must be maintained regardless of how much the work piece heats up during the process. Melt pool plays the decisive role in clad bead formation. Its size and shape define the width and the height of the clad.
Figure 2. Laser cladding of Inconel 625 powder on Inconel 718 substrate. Shot with Xiris XIR-1800 camera at Apollo-Clad Laser Cladding.
Precise process control with a weld camera
Real-time monitoring of the clad melt pool with a weld camera allows to spot any subtle changes in the melt pool size and shape. Along with the clad pool, a weld camera can monitor the clad bead formation and other features of interest in the surrounding area. Data exported from the images may be used to adjust the laser power according to the melt pool geometry changes to find an optimal set of process parameters.
Various built-in image processing tools are implemented in Xiris WeldStudio™. They can be used both online and offline to extract maximum information from laser cladding videos. For example, Xiris WeldStudio™ Blob Analysis Tool can segment the melt pool and measure its characteristics on-the-fly. The valuable data such as melt pool width, length, area, and many other parameters can be exported using this tool to provide an unmatched control of a laser cladding process.
For more information on how to improve your laser cladding with Xiris weld cameras, request a free consultation
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