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Laser hardening

Material property-changing method in which the material is heated with a laser beam and then rapidly cooled, leading to a change in martensite structure, and thus hardening the surface.

Illustration of Laser hardening

The process

The part of the surface of the material to be cured is heated by a laser beam to the temperature where austenite is formed (900-1300 ° C depending on the material). After heating the surface by the accurate and narrow laser beam it’s quickly cooled down by the surrounding cool material. When smaller workpieces are cured "self-extinguishing" is supplemented with cooling water.

Quenching changes the microstructure of the material from austenite to martensite and, depending on the desired thickness of cured layer, curing may take place between some tenths of an mm to about 2mm.

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