Lightweight materials such as Al and Ti alloys tend to show poor wear resistance. However, laser alloying of thermally sprayed coatings can be used to form intermetallic phases within the surface area to overcome this disadvantage and to build a metallurgical bond between substrate and coating. Such phases formed in an exothermic reaction may show excellent corrosion behaviour and wear resistance. These reactions can be used to influence the surface properties by remelting metallic coatings on Al or Ti substrates. With respect to the wear behaviour, Ti and Al intermetallics are of great interest. Ti and Al alloys were coated by Al, Ti, and Ni respectively. The different structures on the surface of the alloys depend first on the laser processing parameters resulting in the overheated melt and as well as the latent heat of the formed intermetallic phases. The experimental results clearly show that for short dwell times the latent heat dominates the solidification process and that at high solidification rates the microstructure formation becomes nearly independent from the process parameters. This effect is of special interest for industrial applications as quality requirements ask for robust processes. The paper discusses the metallurgical fundamentals of intermetallic phases and the energy balance of the solidification while giving a deep insight into the influence of different process parameters. Lastly, the properties of alloyed surfaces are discussed.