In the last years laser beam cladding was recognised as a high quality coating process. Low thermal influence, high cooling rates, metallic bonding, minimal surface roughness are only some of the positive aspects. On the other hand the process efficiency is very low and the running costs in comparison to PTA or Thermal Spraying are high. Attempts to improve the productivity aim to enhance the efficiency of the beam source itself or to optimize the energy management. This is for example possible through a higher coating speed or through hybrid setups, which allow the use of an additional preheat source (e. g. plasma-assisted laser cladding). Regarding flexibility, defined as the capability of a process to answer in a short time to application requests, the effectiveness of laser cladding can be widely increased through free forming (shaping) of coatings without additional clamping devices. The geometric shape of the coating seam is mainly defined by gravity and surface tension of the melt. An additional force, as for example Lorentz force, can optimize the geometry and improve the process conditions. Wide seams allow for example a low number of overlapping layers when coating large areas and rise the specific area deposition rate. Slim coatings on the contrary are advantageous when generating 3-dimensional structures. The induced force depends from the applied magnetic field and the flow of an electric current. The presented investigations clarify the physical background, the interaction of the magnetic force and the geometric shape of the coating and the possibility to apply them for technical coatings. The application of an external force made it possible to increase the efficiency of the laser cladding process and to gain more interest of the industry.

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