2 Industrial Laser Solutions JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 www.industrial-lasers.com
Laser cladding extends life of
extrusion screws by 300%
OPGLABBEEK AND KALKEN, BELGIUM – Extruding pet-food
bulk granules in smaller pieces is a mechanical process.
Two extrusion spindles—rotating next to each other in the
reverse direction—crumble granules along the advancing threading of the spindles. The spindles’ coating needs
to withstand the high dynamic frictional forces that occur
during the extrusion process.
The challenge is to fnd superior coatings to keep extrusion spindles in operation for a longer period. In this regard,
Laser Cladding Venture (LCV), together with Vatis, has
achieved a breakthrough—a metal LCV CorroSlide coating, applied through robotized laser cladding, exhibits sig-nifcantly higher wear resistance than with conventional
Extending spindle operation time 300%
The laser cladding method ensures the optimum formula
of carbide coating, which connects with the extrusion spindles through metallic bonding. The undissolved state of the
carbides is responsible for an extremely strong attachment
when compared to mechanical or chemical coatings. In
addition, the laser cladding coating itself consists of an optimized carbide structure that makes the coating extremely
durable and hard. This way, laser cladding positions itself
as a cost-effcient alternative to high-velocity oxygen fuel
(HVOF) thermal spraying, nitration, and hard-facing.
The pet food manufacturer typically protects its spin-
dles conventionally through hard-facing. Using this coating
method, the spindles last two cycles. With the metallic coat-
ing applied through laser cladding, the spindles operate as
much as 4000 hours without revi-
sion, resulting in a 300% extension
of the spindle operation period
compared to the hard-facing coat-
ing method (FIGURE 1). Compared to
HVOF thermal spraying, the extru-
sion spindles last at least 3X longer and, when compared to
nitration, as much as 8X longer (FIGURE 2).
With robotized laser cladding, LCV succeeds in extending
the life of extrusion screws for an international manufacturer
of pet food by 300% compared with conventional hard-facing methods. This enables the pet food manufacturer to save
considerably on maintenance and investment costs. ✺
FIGURE 1. The LCV
method extends the
life of bulk extrusion
screws for pet food
granules by 300%.
FIGURE 2. A comparison of the LCV CorroSlide coating
method vs. other methods.
Ni alloy Ni alloy
Wear coeffcient 10-6 (mm3/nm)
Ultrafast-pulse laser machining
enables high quality for
catheter marker bands
CHICAGO, IL – Marker bands are small metal bands attached
to catheters for minimally invasive medical procedures. The
bands are radio-opaque (highly visible under x-ray), giving
physicians much-needed visibility of the catheter location
during procedures (FIGURE, P. 4).
Manufacturing surgical marker bands is challenging
because of the precision required to create a tiny metal
ring that will slide smoothly along the outer diameter of the
catheter and remain in place during the procedure. The
outer diameter of a catheter can be as small as 100μm,
meaning the marker band must be slightly larger to ft over
the catheter, with surface and edge smoothness to allow
it to be accurately placed without damaging the catheter.
Another challenge associated with marker bands is that
the materials involved are expensive—typically gold, platinum, or palladium. This makes precision machining even
more important, as material loss can be very costly.