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Product Code: JLA_15_4_267

R. Colac¸o
R. Vilar
Instituto Superior Te´cnico, Department of Materials Engineering, Avenue Rovisco Pais 1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal

In this article a novel methodology for the development of hardfacing materials, the so-called laser-assisted rapid-alloy-prototyping technique, based on variable powder feed rate laser cladding, is described. An Fe–Cr–C metallic matrix composite, reinforced with NbC carbide particles, was chosen as a case study for the application of the methodology. First, the criteria for the design of the matrix and type of reinforcement particles are described. Then, the approach used for the optimization of the materials composition and volume fraction of reinforcement particles is presented and discussed. The obtained results show that this methodology enables us to obtain, with promptness and flexibility, iron-based composite hardfacing materials, with optimized compositions, which are promising candidates for the replacement, in some applications, of cobalt-based alloys, with the additional advantages of presenting lower cost, better compatibility with steel substrates, and containing no cobalt in their constitution. © 2003 Laser Institute of America.

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