Archive: Aug 2022

Laser Cladding and Hard Facing for the Oil and Gas Industry

Leave a Comment

Laser cladding and hard laser facing are welding techniques that provide a protective surface coating on metal parts. Also called laser metal deposition (LMD), laser cladding utilizes a focused laser beam to generate heat, and clad material is simultaneously fed into the resulting melt pool on the targeted surface area of a metal component. The result is a metallurgically bonded protective layer that enhances a component’s resistance to wear and corrosion associated with environmental and chemical factors. This is done with low dilutions and small heat-affected zones.

Such protection is particularly essential for components across the oil and gas industry. Part exposure to salt water, chemicals, oxidation, and temperature extremes takes a toll on metal components and can lead to downtime and productivity losses due to leakage or part failure. Learn more about the applications for laser cladding in this industry, and how it can help safeguard your equipment from corrosive service conditions.

Laser Cladding Applications in the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors require parts that can withstand rugged applications in harsh environments. Applications for laser cladding in this industry include:

  • Bearings, bearing bushes, and bearing journals
  • Cutting and drilling components and tools
  • Gate and ball seats and valves
  • Heat exchangers
  • Hydraulic cylinders and plungers
  • Piston rods
  • Pump components
  • Risers
  • Rotors
  • Seals and seal seats
  • Tanks

Why Laser Cladding?

Due to corrosion problems in the oil and gas industry, its equipment components benefit greatly from a protective coating. Compared to standard additive methods, laser cladding provides a very low dilution corrosion- and erosion-resistant layer that extends part life and improves operational reliability and performance. Using lasers allows for greater precision and lower heat input that minimizes dilution, and distortion and enhances the properties of the metal substrate. As an added advantage, the process yields very thin weld overlays enabling part designers the choice to use generic base metal alloys for their parts.

All these advantages generate time and cost savings, as well. Covering a more affordable substrate with a thin, specialized surface coating can reduce material expenditures. Coated parts better withstand chemical exposure and mechanism wear, which prevents costly downtime and saves on maintenance and repairs. Offering shorter production times than plasma transferred arc (PTA) welding and other traditional techniques, laser cladding ultimately boosts productivity.

Titanova Laser Cladding

For minimal dilution, Titanova, Inc. uses a laser cladding method capable of welding a very smooth and thin single-pass metal layer overtop of a substrate at high rates of deposition. Stainless and tool steels, superalloys, chrome, cobalt, and nickel alloys are just some of the optimal metals for this process. Our technique allows us to successfully modify the surface metal’s chemistry without creating much weld distortion or a large heat-affected zone. With laser cladding, we can generate functional, cost-effective, and customizable components with enhanced resistance to wear, corrosion, oxidation, and high-temperature fatigue.

Founded in 2008, Titanova strives to provide products and services of the highest quality that meet or exceed customers’ expectations for 100% customer satisfaction. As a full-service ISO 9001:2015-certified laser job shop and certified member of ASME, ASM, AWS, and NTMA, we are committed to continual improvement, offering innovative laser processing solutions and supplying the thinnest and purest clads available in today’s weld overlay market.

For more information on our laser cladding services and how they can benefit your operation, contact us today.

Hot & Cold Wire Feed Laser Welding and Laser Weld Overlay

Leave a Comment

Welding involves joining two metal parts using heat to melt them together. Weld overlay involves adding to the surface of a metal component to recover lost dimensions [ Additive remanufacturing] or changing the chemistry of the metal surface [ corrosion resistance]. Using the laser as the heat source, hot and cold wire feed welding are two types of laser welding processes that can be used to supply metal material to the weld puddle. For laser welding it is primarily for improved weld root enforcement, and for laser weld overlay it is for cladding the part. Though like gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), hot and cold wire feed laser welding features quicker, cleaner welds, lower dilution welds which lower costs and improves performance for clients.

Below we explain these processes in depth and compare their advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Hot and Cold Wire Feed Welding?

Hot and cold wire feed welding are distinct processes that yield near-perfect fillet welds and minimal distortions.

What Is Hot Wire Laser Welding?

Hot wire laser welding uses a custom welding power supply resistively heated filler wire, and the laser is the melting heat source. This combination promotes accurate weld location placement. Electrical resistance heats the filler material near to melting, forming the hot wire, but a controlled power supply prevents plasma or arcing. The laser provides the final heat source to melt and weld the filler to the metals.

Hot wire laser welding is a lower-heat input process that produces yields lower dilutions, low distortion, and improved quality.

What Is Cold Wire Laser Welding?

Unlike hot wire laser welding, cold wire laser welding only relies on the laser for the heat source. The wire is fed into a weld puddle generated by the laser.

Hot vs. Cold Wire Laser Welding

The main difference between hot and cold wire laser welding involves thermal dynamics. Less energy is required to melt a hot metal than a cold metal. The energy required to melt a certain mass of metal depends on its heat capacity and heat of fusion.

Three-quarters of the total energy required to heat a metal alloy from room temperature to molten temperature [Heat capacity]. The other 25% is required to melt the alloy [heat of fusion]. For this reason, hot wire laser welding has more advantageous than cold wire laser welding, but with the disadvantage of added process complexity and equipment cost.

Advantages of hot over cold wire

  • Deposition rate five times higher
  • Reduces dilution, distortion, and residual stress
  • Reduces machining and non-destructive examination

Disadvantages of hot over cold

  • Higher complexity
  • More expensive capital equipment
  • Limited selection of compatible wires

Laser Feed Welding Applications

Laser feed welding and cladding are can be used is just about every application in which common welding and weld over lay techniques are used today.

Advanced Cold Wire Welding and Hot Wire Welding at Titanova

If you need a cutting-edge welding solution, Titanova is your ideal partner. We are dedicated to developing new laser technologies for the welding industry, such as cold and hot wire laser welding and cladding. We also provide non-cutting laser processes such as laser heat treating and laser hard facing.

Titanova has served many critical industries, from aerospace , steel manufacturing, agriculture , mining, energy generation and many others. Contact us today to learn how we can serve you with our advanced welding services.

What Is Weld Overlay?

Leave a Comment

While welding is often used to join metals together, it can also be used as a protective technique. Weld overlay, also known as weld cladding, is the process of melting a protective layer of metal atop another metal surface. The application of laser light heats and melts the cladding metal onto the parent metal, creating a welded surface with greater corrosion or wear resistance. In some cases, multiple metals will be alloyed or layered over one another to enhance the surface’s properties even further.

Weld overlay can be further classified based on its function. Corrosion-resistance overlay, as its name suggests, is used with chrome or nickel based metals to protect against oxidation. Hard-facing weld overlay is similar, but it is performed with the aim of increasing wear resistance. These processes offer a cost-effective and economical way to extend the equipment’s working life.

Titanova offers expert laser cladding and hard-facing services that ensure quality results at affordable prices.

Types of Weld Overlay Processes

To create an effective overlay, providers will match both the materials and the welding technique to the project. To do so, they must consider the goal of the overlay, the properties of the parent metal, and the characteristics of the work environment.

Some of the application options include:

  • Laser Welding. Typically an automated process, laser welding uses a focused beam of light to quickly melt the cladding into the parent metal. Laser offers high efficiency and excellent results with a smaller heat-affected zone than is possible with conventional arc welding.
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). Among the most common welding techniques is shielded metal arc welding, which is more affordable than some other options. It is a manual process that requires the use of a flux-coated consumable electrode. An electrical current creates an arc between the electrode and the metal surface, melting it to join the cladding to the parent metal. The flux melts to create its own shielding gas and produce slag, which adds additional protection to the overlay.
  • Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding. MIG welding is like SMAW welding in that it uses a consumable electrode that melts to form an overlay. However, the electrode does not contain flux, so the shielding gas must be added separately.
  • Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding. TIG welding is another shielded arc welding technique, like MIG, but it uses a non-consumable electrode. A separate wire is used to add filler material.
  • Plasma Transferred Arc (PTA) Welding. PTA welding is an inert-gas process that uses a non-consumable electrode like TIG welding. The major difference is that the cladding material is added directly to the arc as a powder.
  • Submerged Arc Welding. As its name suggests, submerged arc welding is distinct from other processes because the arc stays hidden—or submerged—beneath the flux blanket. In other respects, submerged arc welding closely resembles SMAW.

Laser Weld Overlay Process Benefits

Laser weld overlays offer significant advantages compared to other surface treatments, including other weld overlays. Because it produces the lowest dilution of any overlay technique, laser cladding is highly economical. The lower heat input also decreases the risk of overheating, meaning that it can be used with parts of all sizes, and the resulting heat-affected zone will be very small. Laser cladding also produces smooth, flat cladding free from surface imperfections. Items Laser clad require little to no finishing, further improving the efficiency of the process.

Industries and Applications

Laser cladding is used in any industry where iron-based metals are exposed to environmental conditions like abrasive materials, precipitation, moisture, or corrosive chemicals. For instance, construction, mining, and excavation equipment can often benefit from hard-facing, as can plumbing components.

Industries whose operating conditions make laser cladding a good option include:

  • Power generation
  • Petrochemicals
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Equipment manufacturing
  • Wastewater and water treatment
  • Construction
  • Mining

 Materials Often Used for Weld Overlay

Just as important as the choice of welding overlay technique is the choice of material. Not all metals can be welded together—titanium, copper, and aluminum, for instance, are poor candidates for overlays.

Some materials that tolerate cladding well include:

  • Stainless steel
  • Chromium-based alloys
  • Nickel-based alloys, including Inconel and Hastelloy

Your provider will help you evaluate surface treatment options and determine whether a weld overlay is right for your situation.

Weld Overlay Services by Titanova

Titanova is a full-service, ISO 9001:2015-certified laser shop offering expert welding, hard-facing, and weld overlay cladding. To learn how a weld overlay could improve your equipment’s performance, contact our team today.

Welding vs. Brazing vs. Soldering

Leave a Comment

Welding, brazing, and soldering are three different processes that join metals. They all use heat to join metal primary differences between welding, brazing, and soldering are the melt temperatures of the metals or materials used in the process and what is being melted. There are many different welding techniques but here we will discuss only thermal techniques. Welding encompasses several different techniques that use energy to melt the base and filler metals together, forming a welded joint. Brazing and soldering molten metal alloy fillers to create a joint between base metals components. The difference is that brazing fuses joints at higher temperatures than soldering, but both typically do not melt the base metal components that are joined

Welding, brazing, and soldering each have advantages and disadvantages for certain applications. Find out more about their distinct characteristics here.

What Is the Difference Between Welding, Brazing, and Soldering?

Welding, soldering, and brazing are distinct metalworking processes that suit certain applications better than others. Here we’ll explain each process’s features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Welding

Welding permanently joins metal parts by melting the surfaced to be joined together and in some cases using filler materials to fill gaps.

Advantages of welding include:
  • strong joints, sometimes stronger than the base metals
  • highest strength joint without heating the whole part
  • process can be done just about anywhere
Disadvantages of welding include:
  • Limited choice of metals alloy combination
  • High distortions
  • Difficult to impossible to rework
  • Not compatible with mixed metals i.e copper to steel or aluminum to steel
  • In some case required pre or post weld heat treatments

Brazing

Brazing involves heating filler metal to its melting point rather than melting the base metals. The molten filler material covers the joint through capillary action and creates a strong alloy seal. It is higher than soldering thus less sensitive to corroded or dirty surfaces.

Advantages of brazing include:
  • Filler metals have a lower melting point than the base metal
  • Joins metals and nonmetals, including copper, bronze, Aluminum, and ceramics
  • Does not require secondary finishing
  • Easier than welding to rework
  • Good for large-scale production
  • Uniform heating limits thermal distortion
  • Base metal properties typically remain the same
Disadvantages of brazing are:
  • Capillary action means metals must be very tightly fit during brazing
  • Requires flux during brazing and flux residue cleaning afterwards
  • Compatible base metal size is limited
  • Filler alloys are a different color than the base metal, making the joint less aesthetically appealing
  • Weaker than welded joints
  • Joints deteriorate at high temperatures

Soldering

Soldering melts the filler metal at a lower temperature, typically less than 450 °C. This is much lower than the base metals melt temperature. The maximum temperature in brazing can go up to 1000 °C, while welding can involve temperatures as high as 3,800 °C. The applications of soldering and brazing are similar, but the relatively low temperatures of soldering mean that it is has the attributes of the least amount of thermal damage and both require tightly fitting joints and fluxes.

Advantages of soldering include:
  • Requires least amount heat input than welding and brazing
  • Can join dissimilar base materials together
  • Compatible with thin-walled parts
  • Produces little residual stress and thermal warping
  • Doesn’t require heat treatment after processing
Disadvantages of soldering include:
  • More surface preparation and Flux required
  • Joints are not as strong as those produced through welding or brazing
  • Not effective for load-bearing joints or heavy metals
  • Unable to fuse large joints
  • Not suitable for high-temperature applications

Why Use Titanova for Welding and Brazing Services

When choosing from welding vs. brazing vs. soldering, it’s important to understand your unique joining requirements first, including the materials and intended application. Titanova provides cutting-edge welding and brazing services for nearly all types of metal bonding. Lasers are one of the most precise heating methods for these applications. Our team provides laser welding with minimal distortion for defect-free welding. Our laser brazing services are highly precise and reduce part distortion and energy costs. Contact us to learn how we can help you with your next project.