This study investigates the influence of laser cladding parameters on the geometry and composition of metal-matrix composite (MMC) coatings. Composite coatings are made of a Ni-Cr-B-Si metallic matrix and of WC reinforcement with a volume fraction of 50 %. Optical microscopy is used to characterize the coating geometry (height, width and penetration depth) and to determine the real volumetric content of WC. Laser cladding on low carbon steel substrate is carried out using a cw Nd:YAG laser, a coaxial powder injection system and a combination of Taguchi and EM methods to design the experiments. This combination explores efficiently the multidimensional volume of laser cladding parameters. The results, which express the interrelationship between laser cladding parameters and the characteristics of the clad produced, can be used to find optimum laser parameters, to predict the responses and to improve the understanding of laser cladding process.

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