In laser heat treating, energy is transmitted to the materials' surface in order to heat it in a closely controlled way to between 900°C & 1300 °C to create a hardened layer by metallurgical transformation. The laser is used as a heat source, and rapidly raises the surface temperature of a small part of the material. Heat sinking of the surrounding more massive area provides rapid self-quenching, thus producing a hardened transformation layer. No Oil or water is therefore required for quenching.
This makes Laser hardening cleaner and more readily mobilised than traditional heat treatments.
Any ferrous metal (steel or cast iron) which would normally be hardened by more traditional methods like flame or induction hardening, can be hardened with a Laser. Laser hardening is more versatile than flame hardening ore induction hardening.
Laser hardening provides reliable, repeatable, non-contact and energy-efficient heat in a minimalamount of time. For hardening, laser beam provides the necessary control and accuracy tofocus the heat to a specific area of the part. The laser is suitable for the integration in alreadyexisting manufacturing equipment’s and production lines.
Apart from the traditional hardening process, laser hardening offers a range of applications for tasks which couldn’t be solved hitherto optimally for example for components with special forms and special functional surfaces (survey of the hardening tracks):
- Selective hardening of single work piece surfaces. Here a selective hard surface arises with a tough center and uninfluenced areas in the direct neighborhood.
- Hardening tracks at cutting edges, guide tracks, grooves and free mould surfaces withcontinuous crossing geometry
- Good hardenability of surfaces which are difficult to reach such as craned grooves, flutesand interior surfaces
- Dot hardening at naps and in blind holes
- Hardenability of thin, warp-prone parts by a selective, quick heat input at an extremely shortdwell time.
The AL- ROCK is the world’s first mobile robot for targeted laser hardening of metal surfaces.