With huge advantages over existing hardening processes, laser hardening allows rapid (almost instant), escalations to higher temperatures. With the capability to achieve higher than normal hardness values and without the need for additional quench media and large inefficient furnace equipment, laser hardening can also be used to harden both plain carbon and high alloy steel grades.
- High speed processing (with hardening occurring in seconds rather than hours).
- Modern alternative to conventional hardening processes.
- Can be used as an in-line process (e.g. hardening ‘on the fly’).
- No need for large orthodox furnace equipment.
- High energy efficiency levels and savings on running costs.
Using the Laserline range of high power Diode lasers with their advanced optic designs, processing areas from small spots up to large rectangles can be created, with even energy distribution. In-line heat sensing camera equipment also allows the heating temperatures to be accurately monitored, with live high-speed feedback to the laser system, to ensure highly accurate temperature and hardness control.
What this offers modern industry is the capability to replace old fashioned ‘energy wasteful equipment’, that can be time consuming to maintain and operate and very expensive to run.
With laser hardening the rapid localised input of energy means that self-quenching occurs even on normal water hardening grades, with an excellent surface finish maintained, due to the rapid nature of the process. Assist gases can also be used to maintain bright surface finishes if preferred, eliminating the need for additional finishing operations. Laser hardening results in a hardened layer that can range from 0.1mm up to a few millimeters in depth. Requiring just a ‘line of sight’, the Laserline technology is capable of hardening both flat and irregular surfaces including strip materials, thicker sections and three dimensional shaped surfaces (e.g. machined gears).
Laser Lines can assist companies interested in this technology with trials to assess the suitability of this process for their applications.