To understand the different aspects of the laser cladding (LC) process, process models can be of aid. Presently, the correct parameters settings for different manufacturing processes, such as machining, casting, etc. are based on simulation tools that can evaluate the influence of the process parameters for different conditions. However, there are no comprehensive, focused simulation process planning tools available for the LC process. In the past, most of the research has focused on the experimentally based optimization strategies for a process configuration, typically for a single track bead in steady state conditions. However, an understanding of realistic transient conditions needs to be explored for effective process planning simulation tools and build strategies to be developed.
A set of cladding experiments have been performed for single and multiple bead scenarios, and the effects of the transient conditions on the bead geometry for these scenarios have been investigated. It is found that the lead-in and lead-out conditions differ, corner geometry influences the bead height, and when changing the input power levels, the geometry values oscillate differently than the input pulses. Changes in the bead geometry are inherent when depositing material; consequently real time adjustments for the process setting are essential. The dynamic, time varying heating and solidification, for multiple layer scenarios, leads to challenging process planning and real time control strategies.