Thermal spray processes are widely used to protect materials and components against wear, corrosion and oxidation. Despite the use of the latest developments of thermal spraying, such as HVOF and plasma spraying, these coatings may in certain operation conditions show inadequate performance, e.g. due to insufficient bond strength and/or mechanical properties and corrosion resistance inferior to those of corresponding bulk materials. The main cause for a low bond strength in thermal sprayed coatings is the low process temperature, which results only in mechanical bonding. Mechanical and corrosion properties typically inferior to wrought materials are caused by the chemical and structural inhomogeneity of the thermal sprayed coating material. In order to overcome the drawbacks of sprayed structures and to markedly improve the coating properties, laser remelting of sprayed coating was studied in the present work. The coating material was nickel based superalloy Inconel 625, which contains chromium and molybdenum as the main alloying agents. The coating was prepared by high-velocity oxy-fuel spraying onto mild steel substrates. High power continuous wave Nd-YAG laser equipped with large beam optics was used to remelt the HVOF sprayed coating using different levels of power and scanning speed. The coatings as-sprayed and after laser remelting were characterized by optical and electron microscopy. Laser remelting resulted in full homogenization of the sprayed structure. This strongly influenced positively the performance of the laser remelted coatings in adhesion, wet corrosion and high temperature oxidations test. The properties of the laser remelted coatings were compared directly with the properties of as-sprayed HVOF coatings, and with PTA overlay coatings and wrought Inconel 625.

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