Commenced in January 2007
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The Effect of Laser Surface Melting on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Low Carbon Steel

Authors: Suleiman M. Elhamali, K. M. Etmimi, A. Usha


The paper presents the results of microhardness and microstructure of low carbon steel surface melted using carbon dioxide laser with a wavelength of 10.6μm and a maximum output power of 2000W. The processing parameters such as the laser power, and the scanning rate were investigated in this study. After surface melting two distinct regions formed corresponding to the melted zone MZ, and the heat affected zone HAZ. The laser melted region displayed a cellular fine structures while the HAZ displayed martensite or bainite structure. At different processing parameters, the original microstructure of this steel (Ferrite+Pearlite) has been transformed to new phases of martensitic and bainitic structures. The fine structure and the high microhardness are evidence of the high cooling rates which follow the laser melting. The melting pool and the transformed microstructure in the laser surface melted region of carbon steel showed clear dependence on laser power and scanning rate.

Keywords: Carbon steel, laser surface melting, microstructure, microhardness.

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