Significant changes to the wettability characteristics of a common engineering carbon steel(EN8) were effected after high power diode laser (HPDL) surface treatment. These modifications havebeen investigated in terms of the changes in the surface roughness of the steel, the presence of any\ud surface melting, the polar component of the steel surface energy and the relative surface O2 content of the steel. The morphological and wetting characteristics of the mild steel and the enamel were determined using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis and wetting experiments by the sessile drop\ud technique. This work has shown that HPDL radiation can be used to alter the wetting characteristics of carbon steel so as to facilitate improved enamelling. Furthermore, standard mechanical, physical and chemical testing of the HPDL-fired enamel glaze revealed the glaze to possess similar properties to those of a conventionally fired enamel glaze in terms of bond strength, rupture /impact strength, wear and corrosion resistance. Such similar performance can be attributed to the two glazes possessing the same mechanical properties and similar amorphous structure, despite their very different firing techniques
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