In What Ways is Fiber Laser Heat Treating Used in the Automotive Industry?
In the automotive industry, the ability to develop long-wearing components is a major ambition of every manufacturer, all of whom are looking to develop competitive advantages against one another. One way in which the automotive industry has increased the lifetime of components is through the use of fiber laser heat treating.
A quick introduction to laser heat treating
Laser heat treating (sometimes also known as laser hardening) is a frequently used surface modification technique. Its main aim is to extend the life of components/parts through increasing their resistance to usual wear patterns. Most frequently used with various steels and cast iron, the process is ideal for the automotive sector where it has been heavily adopted.
Why are fiber lasers used for heat treatment?
Fiber lasers have a range of benefits (when compared to other techniques) when used for heat treatment, some of the main benefits are summarised below:
- Chemical free – no chemicals are used in the process, which is great for the environment and also eliminates contamination risks
- Cosmetic appeal – the final component is cosmetically appealing
- Heat input control – the heat input can be precisely controlled, this reduces distortion and also the size of area treated
- No post machining required – the treated area is smooth and will not require post machining processes (e.g. cleaning)
- Non-contact process – the process requires no contact, which reduces costs, contamination and personal injury risk
- Process integration – with the multi-functionality of fiber lasers it’s easy to integrate heat treatment into other fiber laser processes (e.g. welding, drilling, marking, etc.)
The above are some of the main reasons that fiber lasers have been so heavily adopted in the automotive industry for this application.
Examples of components which are heat treated in the automotive industry
Below is a list of some of the most popular components, which are heat treated:
- Axel bearing seat – using all 1035 grade steels
- Blanking die – using tool steel
- Diesel engine cylinder – using cast iron
- Engine valve – using alloy steel
- Gear teeth – using steel
- Piston ring – using steel
- Shaft – using steel and
- Steering gear housing – using cast iron
Also, be sure to read our related page on this topic at – https://www.spilasers.com/case-study-automotive/heat-treating-and-surface-modification/
Contacting SPI Lasers
To discuss fiber laser heat treating and automotive applications for our fiber lasers range simply contact SPI Lasers. Either complete our contact form or call us to discuss your requirements. For ongoing information, subscribe to receive SPI Lasers updates.
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