Laser cladding is a very promising technology from a metallurgical point of view. The benefits are low heat input into the substrate, high cooling rates resulting in a fine microstructure of the coating and an excellent metallurgical bonding to the substrate. The main disadvantage of laser cladding, however, is poor process efficiency, which causes high processing costs. In order to gain interest on the industrial level an optimisation of the energy management, for example reducing the energy loss through conduction, is necessary. Improved process efficiency and reduced processing time can be realized by a hybrid technology of coupling laser with a plasma arc. The feed can be coaxial to the plasma gun in form of powder. The main advantage of this process is that the processing area as well as the powder is preheated and activated by a transferred arc. The laser power is mainly used for heating up the feedstock material till melting temperature. The experimental results prove the theoretical considerations. Compared to laser cladding an increase in cladding speed and a lower energy input are reached. Further the efficiency towards material can be nearly doubled, reducing stock costs. At last the heat-affected zone is reduced, which offers the possibility to process crack sensitivity materials.

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