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Laser Surface Treatment Process
Laser surface treatment is essentially just as the name suggests. A laser is used to heat the surface being treated. This can be done for surface hardening, cutting, welding, or as an additive process. In the additive process, referred to as laser additive manufacturing or cladding, filler material is bonded to the surface of the treated material and built up into the desired shape.
As the diagram to the left shows, a laser heats the surface being treated in order to create a small "melt pool" of molten material. Additional material, usually in powdered form can then be added to this melt pool. Bonding takes place between the parent material and the initial cladding layer, which can then be built upon with additional layers of cladding.
There are a number of different ways to feed the filler material into the melt pool, the most common of which are shown below.