This study reports on the effect of combined pulsed laser ablation and laser pre-heating surface pre-treatments to cold spraying Ti and Ti-6Al-4V on coatings’ microstructure, bond strength and cohesive strength. The Ti and Ti-6Al- 4V coatings were sprayed on pure titanium and Ti-6Al-4V substrates, respectively. Coatings were characterized by SEM and porosity level was evaluated through image analysis. Bond strength was evaluated by standard ASTM C633 pull tests and by the laser shock (LASAT) technique. Cohesive strength was evaluated by the cross-section scratch test method. Results show that among the spray conditions used in this study, laser pre-treatment yielded high bond strength (such that all cases had higher cohesive strength than the epoxy glue). The LASAT technique provided a means to evaluate the influence of the laser ablation energy density and the laser pre-heating temperature. For both Ti and Ti-6Al-4V coatings, surface pre-heating increased the coating bond strength to the substrate. The laser ablation process would either increase or decrease the bond strength of the coating to the substrate depending on the laser energy density. The laser energy density needs to be adjusted as a function of the surface pre-heating temperature in order to optimize bond strength improvement. Coating cohesion did not improve with continuous laser pre-treatment in-between passes. However, the laser pre-heating helped reduce the coating porosity.

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