Heat Treating

Laser heat treating is a process in which a laser beam (with a typical laser spot size from 0.5” x 0.5” to 2” x 2”) is focused onto the metal surface being treated. With proper control, the incident laser energy raises the surface temperature of the metal above its martensitic transformation temperature. When the laser beam is switched off, the metal’s  thermal mass aids in rapid 'self-quenching' (by removing the heat via conduction), resulting in the formation of the desired martensite microstructure, thus giving the material its required hardness and wear properties.

Laser Heat Treated D6510 Cast Steel
Laser Heat Treated SAE D6150 Cast Steel

Benefits of laser heat treating include:

  • No hardmilling needed;
  • Minimal to no distortion;
  • Consistent heat treating depths; and
  • In-process quality control.

Common Laser Heat Treatable Materials for Automotive Applications

  • D6510 Ductile Iron
  • S7140 Alloyed Steel
  • G2500 Grey Cast Iron
  • G25HP Grey Cast Iron
  • G3500 Grey Iron
  • D4512 Ductile Iron
  • S0030 Non-Alloyed Steel
  • S0050A Alloyed Steel
  • A2 Tool Steel
  • D2 Tool Steel
  • S7 Tool Steel
  • M2 Tool Steel
  • 4140 Alloy Steel
  • 410 Stainless Steel
  • 420 Stainless Steel

Most cast irons and steels with carbon content of 0.2% are laser heat treatable. 
Laser heat treating offers a strong business case for large automotive tools and dies
 

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