Laser Cladding is a welding technique where dissimilar metals are bonded together and a filler is manually added.
In this additive manufacturing process, the laser beam is used to melt the filler material and metallurgically bond it to the base material. It has a wide range of different uses, from repairing worn out parts to improving mechanical properties in applications subjected to high amounts of stress.
A common usage for this technique is the repair of gun components due to, not only, the high-stress nature of such components, but also due to the corrosion they are subjected due to the environment in which they are used. Carrs Welding Technologies Ltd. are a Registered Firearms Dealer (RFD) and have been welding gun components, such as barrels, sears, ejectors, and latches since 2000.
The process begins with the choice of filler material to achieve the desired requirements, such as a perfect metallurgical match (for instance, in case of gun components) or an improvement to the mechanical properties (in case of worn out components subjected to high amounts of stress).
Carrs stock a wide range of welding wires to achieve a perfect metallurgical match to the parent material and contribute to an all but invisible repair or as mentioned before improve the mechanical properties of a component.
The next step is the surface preparation, which includes removal of foreign object debris and cleaning operations to remove sources of contamination such as machining oils or visible corrosion.
At this point, the components are now ready to be welded and the diameter of the welding rod is chosen depending on the size and precision required to achieve the repair/cladding operation. The welder then uses the energy of the concentrated laser beam to melt the welding rod and fuse it to the base material achieving a strong metallurgical bond between materials. Afterwards, the welder manually clads several layers of filler until the required height is reached whilst always performing cleaning operations between layers to guarantee a weld with minimal defects.