This process reportedly reduces material costs by up to 85% and also cuts down on the amount of nickel used.

Alloy 625 is a high-strength material used in the flanges of pipelines to stop added corrosion. The team, from the University's Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is also identifying new opportunities for laser deposition, as well as producing samples and prototypes that could be used in the offshore oil and gas industry. To do this, it is working with Evernort, a producer of flanges and other pipeline products for the oil and gas industry which have to be machined to very tight tolerances from highly alloyed corrosion-resistant materials.

"By using laser deposition technology, we can clad the flanges with a suitably thick corrosion-resistant layer but given the complex shape of these products this is not a straight forward process,” said Professor Alan Smith.
"The savings in terms of materials cost has been estimated to be between 50 and 85%, depending on the complexity of the product. This also has an environmental benefit because far fewer precious metals are required in the manufacturing process."

"By applying a laser-deposited section of Alloy 625 to the wetted surfaces of the product, the amount of the costly alloy in the component is much reduced,” said Craig McKay, general manager for Evernort.