Augmentation of the wear rate and wear life characteristics of an Al2O3-based refractory within both normal and corrosive (NaOH and HNO3) environmental conditions was effected by means of high power diode laser (HPDL) surface treatment. Life assessment testing revealed that the HPDL generated glaze increased the wear life of the Al2O3-based refractory by 1.27 to 13.44 times depending upon the environmental conditions. Such improvements are attributed to the fact that after laser treatment, the microstructure of the Al2O3-based refractory was altered from a porous, randomly ordered structure, to a much more dense and consolidated structure that contained fewer cracks and porosities. In a world economy that is increasingly placing more importance on material conservation, a technique of this kind for delaying the unavoidable erosion (wear) and corrosion that materials such as the Al2O3-based refractory must face may provide an economically attractive option for contemporary engineers
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