Laser surface treatment technology improves white metal applications

May 9, 2018
The white metal surface treatment technology significantly improves the mechanical and tribological properties of white metal applications.

Wärtsilä (Helsinki, Finland) has developed a new white metal surface treatment technology that significantly improves the mechanical and tribological properties of white metal applications across the marine, hydro, and industrial markets, all of which look to make products more efficient, durable, and environmentally sound.

The company's white metal technology is suitable for many white metals as well as base metals, and unitary pieces with special geometries, within the marine, hydro, and industrial sectors. The technology can significantly increase performance and lifetime of bearings, thrust pads, gearboxes, stone crushers, grinders, and mills.

The white metal laser technology is performed in combination with a robotic arm. The process creates high-speed depositions that, combined with a cooling system, produce a high-quality white metal finish. The result is a refined microstructure completely free of inner defects.

The technology has been field-tested with white metal bearings for over two years with very good results in terms of durability and enhanced fatigue resistance. The company has measured an up to 40% improvement in mechanical bonding and fatigue resistance compared to conventional casting procedure, thereby improving the quality of the white metal layer and the life span of the product, according to Jose Antonio Vazquez, technical manager at Wärtsilä.

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