African Fusion

At an afternoon seminar at SAIW on July 26, 2017, Alain Laurent, business developer of consumables for Saf-Fro and Oerlikon, presented the companies hardfacing offering and its ten-steps approach to achieving optimum surface layer characteristics.

Surfacing operations involve a harder or tougher material being applied to a less durable base metal, begins Laurent. “The objective is it to extend the service life of equipment, avoid machine down-time and reduce production costs,” he says.

Hardfacing involves several build up layers
Surfacing, hardfacing or cladding can be on new parts during production or on used parts to restore worn-down surfaces, with the aim to increase the wear, abrasion, erosion or corrosion resistance of contact surfaces.

“Selecting the proper hardfacing alloy, does not in itself always guarantee the desired result. Base metal interactions with the surface metal, the working environment, the welding process, the welding procedure and many other factors can be equally important to get the maximum benefits from a hardfacing operation,” he suggests.

Hardfacing processes are widely used in the cement, material handling, steel, sugar, railway, waste to energy, dredging and tunnelling industries, while many fabricators offer wear plate solutions for earthmoving and other plant equipment.

“All of the common welding processes can be applied for hard- facing and Oerlikon offers a wide range of consumables and solutions to meet the different application needs,” Laurent says, adding, “to achieve cost- effective and optimal results, Oerlikon has identified 10 steps that need to be followed in order to choose the appropriate surface alloy, welding process and layering procedures.

Step1: Identify the base metal

“We have to know the chemical composition of the base material before choosing a consumable,” Laurent points out. For new equipment this is easier, “but if we don’t know what the base material is, there are some tests that can help us to identify it...

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