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RPM Innovations, Inc. Rapid City, SD

Laser Cladding Technology

Sub-links: Repair (LRT) | Cladding (LCT) | Freeform Manufacturing (LFMT)

Laser Cladding Technology (LCT) is a process that repairs surfaces on parts by first machining down the worn surface and building it back up by depositing cladding material in thin layers to restore the worn surface.

Bearing, seal, and coupler surfaces on shafts typically considered nonrepairable by conventional welding techniques are considered great candidates for the Laser Cladding Technology (LCT) process. Materials such as 4340, 4130, and PH grade stainless steels have been successfully repaired. High-speed shafts, up to 12,800 rpm, high power, up to 3500 hp, and high precision shafts with tolerances measured in 0.0005 in. have been successfully repaired.

Following are a number of specific case studies where Laser Cladding Technology (LCT) has been used to repair parts.

Contact Us about the details of your project.

Case Study: 4340 Atomizer Shaft Used in Electric Power Generation

A high-speed 4340 drive shaft was repaired using a conventional spray process. Note the severe spalling in the repaired tapered area of the shaft. The user tolerated this recurring problem due to lack of other options for repair. The LCT process was introduced to the customer and now several of these shafts have been successfully repaired using 420 stainless.

4340 Atomizer Shaft
  • This atomizer shaft is a high speed (8800rpm) precision shaft used to drive a rotary spray head typically used in “Flue Gas Desulfurization” (FGD) scrubber systems in Coal Fired Power Plants and Incinerators.
     
  • Developed Repair Process for tapered fit section and seal surface of 4340 Atomizer Shaft utilizing 420 SS.

  • Shafts were previously repaired by a Spray Process featuring a mechanical bond. The LCT Process utilizes a metallurgical bond that generates a high quality permanent repair, which saves thousands of dollars over purchase of a new shaft.
Bearing and seal diameters, tapers and threads may all be repaired!!!
Atomizer Shaft As Received
Atomizer Shaft as Received
Failed Spray Repair
Atomizer Shaft with Laser Deposit
Atomizer Shaft with Laser Deposit
Atomizer Shaft with Final Machining
Atomizer Shaft with Final Machining

Case Study: HP 1103 Coal Pulverizer Journal Shaft

An HP 1103 Journal Shaft from a coal pulverizer system was brought into our shop for repair. The shaft was worn on three surfaces and one face. RPM Innovations has since repaired a number of these shafts.

HP 1103 shaft repair using Laser Cladding Technology
Shaft During Deposit
  • Journal Shaft was part of the complete repair of an HP1103 journal.
  • Shaft was worn on three surfaces and one face
  • Developed a process using LCT to deposit 420 SS on three surfaces and one face.
  • 420 SS was used to increase wear resistance of the repaired areas.
  • A number of these shafts have been repaired using this process
 
HP 1103 shaft repair - post deposit
Shaft Post Deposit
HP 1103 shaft repair - post deposit
Shaft Post Deposit
HP 1103 shaft repair - after final machining
Shaft After Final Machining

Case Study: Oil Field Bearing Adapter, Male and Female

The following example is an oil field adapter that has been LCT clad with a tungsten carbide alloy. This example demonstrates the ability to clad both the inner diameter (ID) and the outer diameter (OD) of a part. The inner diameter cladding is accomplished using a special attachment called the Deep Repair Head.

Oil field adapter repair using laser cladding technology - Female Bearing Adapter ID Cladding
Female Bearing Adapter ID Cladding
  • Developed Tungsten Carbide Matrix overlay process for Male and Female Bearing Adapters.

  • Laser Clad proprietary Tungsten Carbide Matrix on 4340 bearing adapters, which increases wear area.
 
Oil field adapter repair using laser cladding technology - Final Grinding
Final Grinding – Female Bearing Adapter
Oil field adapter repair using laser cladding technology - Laser Deposit – Male Bearing Adapter
Laser Deposit – Male Bearing Adapter
Oil field adapter repair using laser cladding technology - Final Grinding – Male Bearing Adapter
Final Grinding – Male Bearing Adapter

Case Study: Spindle Sleeve for Horizontal Boring Mill

RPM Innovations performed a repair of a spindle sleeve for a horizontal boring mill using Laser Cladding Technology (LCT). The cladding for this part, due to its size, was performed in open atmosphere. Distortion was kept to a minimum by running low laser power. 420 LC SS powder was used to give the part better wear resistance.

Horizontal boring mill repair using laser cladding technology - spindle sleeve as received
Spindle Sleeve As Received
  • Distortion was kept to a minimum by running at low laser power.

  • 420 LC SS powder was used to give the part better wear resistance.

 
Wear Surface Pre-deposit
Wear Surface Pre-deposit
Wear Surface Post-deposit
Wear Surface Post-deposit
Spindle Sleeve Post-machine
Spindle Sleeve Post-machine

Case Study: Coupler Gear

Another application of the Laser Cladding Technology (LCT) process is to repair gears. The coupler gear shown is used to turn an atomizer shaft. Wear occurs on both bearing surfaces as well as on the surface adjacent to the lower bearing surface.

RPM Innovations developed a repair process using 420 LC stainless steel as the deposited material. Three passes were deposited on each surface and then machined to the final diameter. This repair has performed well in service and additional gears have been repaired using this process for this customer.

Coupler gear repair using laser cladding technology - during laser deposit
Coupler Gear During Laser Deposit
  • Coupler Gear turns an atomizer shaft.

  • Wear occurs on two bearing surfaces and surface adjacent to lower bearing.

  • Repair process uses 420 LC stainless steel, three passes on each surface.

 
Coupler Gear Repair - After Deposition of 420 LC SS
Coupler Gear After Deposition of 420 LC SS
Coupler Gear Repair - After Deposit
Coupler Gear After Deposit
Coupler Gear Repair - Post Machining
Coupler Gear Post Machining

Case Study: Trunnion Shaft

This example Trunnion Shaft had two sections that had worn out. The shaft was machined to minimum cleanup. A process was developed to deposit 420 SS (stainless steel) to build up both surfaces of the Trunnion Shaft. The 420 SS material improved the wear resistance of the part to future wear. After material was built up, the Trunnion Shaft was then machined to its final dimensions.

Trunnion shaft repair using laser cladding technology - Wear Surface Before Repair
Trunnion Shaft Wear Surface Before Repair
  • Trunnion Shaft had two sections that had worn out.

  • Laser Cladding Technology (LCT) used to build up two sections using 420 SS.

  • 420 SS increased wear resistance of the surfaces.

  • After material deposited, Trunnion Shaft machined to its final dimensions.

 
Trunnion Shaft Repair - Before Repair
Trunnion Shaft Before Repair
Trunnion Shaft Repair - Final Machined
Trunnion Shaft Final Machined
Trunnion Shaft Repair - Wear Surface Final Machined
Trunnion Shaft Wear Surface Final Machined

Case Study: 4340 Swing Shaft for a Drag Line

The following repair was done on a 4340 Swing Shaft used on a drag line in a coal mine. The 4340 Swing Shaft is 16 1/2 ft. long and weighs 25,000 pounds. Conventional repairs on this type of shaft were not possible due to high heat input.

RPM Innovations developed a repair process for the bearing surfaces of the 4340 Swing Shaft using 420 SS (stainless steel) and the Laser Cladding Technology process.

The repair cost is approximatley 65% less* than new and extends the operational life of the shaft compared to new due to the materials used. A number of these shafts ranging in various sizes have been repaired.

4340 Drag Line Shaft Repair Using Laser Cladding Technology - Worn Bearing Surface
Worn Bearing Surface
  • 4340 Swing Shaft - 16 1/2 feet long weighing 25,000 pounds.

  • Used on a drag line in a coal mine.

  • Repaired using Laser Cladding Technology (LCT) and 420 SS (stainless steel)

  • Repair cost 65% less* than purchasing a new shaft.

  • Operational life extended beyond that of a new shaft.

  • A number of these shafts ranging in various sizes have been repaired.

* - Repair cost savings may vary by specific circumstances.
 
4340 Drag Line Shaft Repair - During Deposition
Shaft During Deposition
4340 Drag Line Shaft Repair - Final Machined
Shaft Final Machined
4340 Drag Line Shaft Repair - Final Machined
Shaft Final Machined

Case Study: Stellite Gasification Bearings

RPM Innovations supplies new laser clad Stellite Journal Gasification Bearings and Stellite Thrust Gasification Bearings to our customers. A new steel forging is used. Then, a laser cladding of Stellite is performed.

Stellite Thrust Gasification Bearings During Laser Deposit
Laser Deposit Thrust Bearings
  • Laser Clad Stellite Journal and Thrust Gasification Bearings.

  • A steel forging is used and then laser cladding of Stellite is performed.

 
Stellite Journal Gasification Bearings During Laser Deposit
Laser Deposit Journal Bearings
Final Stellite Journal Gasification Bearing
Final Journal Bearing
Final Stellite Thrust Gasification Bearing
Final Thrust Bearing

Case Study: 1035 PA Fan Shaft Repair

A 1035 PA Fan Shaft was knocked out of tolerance due to a crash that occurred while in service. The shaft is a precision shaft that runs at 1,725 RPM and 3,500 horsepower in an ambient condition. Diametrical tolerances are within 0.0005" and run out tolerances are also within 0.0005".

RPM Innovations developed a repair process using Laser Cladding Technology (LCT) that added material to the shaft and allowed the shaft to be machined back into specified tolerances.

1035 PA Fan Shaft
 
  • 1035 PA Fan Shaft is a precision shaft that runs at 1725 RPM, and 3500 horsepower in an ambient condition.

  • The shaft was knocked out of tolerance due to a crash while in service.

  • Diametrical tolerances are within 0.0005”, and run out tolerances are also within 0.0005”.

  • The shaft was ground to meet final dimensions.

 
1035 PA Fan Shaft during laser deposit
During Laser Deposition
1035 PA Fan Shaft after laser deposit
After Laser Deposition
1035 PA Fan Shaft after final machining
After Final Machining

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Building real parts from CAD files. RPM’s two laser deposition labs can employ freeform laser manufacturing which can drastically reduce Research and Development time and expense.