Developments in laser-based surface engineering processes: With particular reference to protection against cavitation erosion

C. T. Kwok, Hau Chung Man, F. T. Cheng, K. H. Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


With the increasing demands of economical, reliable and durable hydraulic and pneumatic systems, it is necessary to minimize the material damage from cavitation erosion (CE) when systems are handling cavitating and corrosive fluids. Cavitation erosion is a nausea for many engineering components, such as ship propellers & rudders, turbine, diesel engine, cylinder liner, pump impeller vanes, control valves, hydraulic turbines, bearings, pipes, ultrasonic cleaners and mechanical heart valves, which are exposed to the high-speed flowing or vibratory fluids. This paper reviews the rationale behind the application of laser surface modification for achieving CE resistant surfaces of fluid handling components. The problem of CE may be tackled by enhancing the surface properties of the base materials (ferrous and non-ferrous alloys) with various laser surface modification techniques including laser transformation hardening (LTH), laser surface melting (LSM), laser surface alloying (LSA), laser cladding (LC), laser dispersion (LD) and laser plasma hybrid spraying (LPHS). The CE performance of a variety of laser-surface modified layers/coatings is discussed in this review. In particular, coatings of hard-facing alloys, shape memory alloys, surface metal or intermetallic matrix composites and cermets on ferrous and non-ferrous alloys are included. The mechanisms of the enhancement in cavitation erosion resistance (Re) are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-204
Number of pages16
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • Cavitation erosion
  • Corrosion
  • Laser surface modification
  • Protection
  • Synergism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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