Laser cladding is a surface treatment technology in which thick, dense and metallurgically adhered metallic layers are deposited on various structural steels with relatively low heat input, high accuracy and reproducibility. Laser cladding processes used in industrial cladding are largely based on the use of CO2 or Nd:YAG lasers. High power diode lasers (HPDL) with rectangular beam spots are regarded as ideal laser sources for laser cladding processes, due to their compact size, high electrical to optical efficiency, easy operation, and low investment and running costs. In laser cladding of large surface areas, the affectivity of the laser cladding process becomes more important, i.e. high laser powers, wide laser beam spots, and high coating material feedrates are regarded as beneficial. In order to optimise the cladding process for such applications, special attention has to be put on devices used to deliver the coating power to the process. In the present work, various parameters in effective HPDL cladding are described and new approaches to optimised HPDL cladding process are described. The performance of a new HPDL cladding powder delivery nozzle will be presented and discussed. Abstract only; no full-text paper available.

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