In cold sprayed coatings, the technical properties are besides the coating material itself also highly determined by the integrity of interparticle boundaries and coating to substrate interface. One possibility to affect these boundaries is a simultaneous laser irradiation during the cold spray process. It is expected that laser-assisted low-pressure cold spraying could be an effective method to improve the low-pressure cold sprayed coating denseness and adhesion. The purpose of the additional energy from the laser beam is to create denser and more adherent coatings, enhance deposition efficiency and increase the variety of coating materials. In this study copper and nickel powders with additions of alumina powder were laser-assisted low-pressure cold sprayed (LALPCS) on carbon steel. Coatings were sprayed using nitrogen or air as process gas. A 6 kW diode laser or 4 kW Nd:YAG laser and low-pressure cold spraying unit were used in the experiments. The influence of laser energy on coating microstructure, denseness and deposition efficiency was studied. The coating microstructure was characterized by a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The coating denseness was tested with open cell potential measurements and salt spray tests. Results showed that laser assistance made coatings denser and also enhanced deposition efficiency.

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