Metal cladding is a type of protective coating, where the protective material such as metal powder or foil is bonded to a substrate by applying heat and/or pressure. The study of metal cladding is significant because this method of corrosion protection and wear protection is generally very reliable and cost-effective. In addition, the process parameters can be optimized for different metals and composites in various critical applications.
Metal cladding is a method of protecting one metal (or composite) by forming a layer of a second metal to its surface by using techniques such as diffusion, deformation and lasers.
The advantage of cladding is that the process as well as the material can be chosen as per the needs of the application and the bond strength required. The laser beam method of cladding can be used for ceramic coating as well as metallic coating. Effective cooling in such cases ensures better micro-structure, and hence only a smaller area is thermally affected. With metal cladding, the surfaces can develop adequate wear resistance. The method is suitable for complex shapes as well.
Copper-clad aluminum wires are extensively used in electrical applications due to the cost advantage as well as an improved electrical conductivity. Metal cladding is also used on the outer surfaces of structures as well as buildings for corrosion and abrasion protection. Aluminum cladding is advantageous for buildings as it is self-cleaning. The earliest type of metal cladding used in buildings was called "corrugated sheeting," which was used for roofs and walls. In some cases, the cladding is chosen for its aesthetic advantage.