Metal parts that rub together as part of their everyday function, like train wheels on a track, need to be hardened to extend their lifetime.
Traditional methods involve heating the metal with a flame or radiofrequency to achieve the desired outcome. But diode laser heat treatment is a much more controlled process. The result is a harder surface with less energy expenditure.
Laser heat treatment is a very efficient process. The laser beam comes closer to the surface for a shorter period of time in comparison to traditional methods. That means the treated area both heats up and cools down more quickly (known as “self-quenching”). Not only do you create a harder surface, but extra cooling processes are also reduced.
In short—it’s a fast and effective process. The high processing speeds allow for high levels of productivity.
For something as powerful as industrial heat treatment, you might be surprised to hear that the lasers used are energy-efficient. But it’s true. Diode laser sources can be 50 per cent wall plug efficient. Let’s put that in context. 20 years ago, to create 3.5kW of output, you needed 150kW of input and 150 litres of cooling water. Nowadays, you achieve the same effect with just 7000 watts and a tenth of the cooling water.
The precise nature of laser hardening leads to more flexibility. The laser beam can be shaped to do exactly what you want it to do. You can’t do that with any other method. Because the beam is localised and directed, you can harden even the most intricate parts. You can also harden the stressed parts of a whole—the bits that rub—leaving the rest unaltered. This is particularly useful when you have a part that needs to retain ductility (flexibility) in some areas.
Thanks to the way the temperature can be regulated, new applications for heat treatment are constantly evolving. We can help you discover whether diode lasers for heat treatment are the best option for what you want to achieve.
We also have the capability to assist with thermal modelling and process development. This start-to-finish approach is what helps ensure you get the most fit-for-purpose and cost-effective laser heat treatment solution.
We make laser light work for you. We’ve spent over 30 years demonstrating what’s possible with lasers. In doing so, we’ve helped modernise Australian and New Zealand industries. You’ll be working with a team of physicists and factory-trained engineers—leaders in the supply of laser solutions and photonics equipment. We’re experts in material interaction research. Wherever possible, you’ll be introduced to new technology that can improve operation in ways you might not have imagined possible.