Cladding Guidelines

Process Compatibility

Kennametal Conforma Clad wear protection can be applied to virtually all types of steel substrates, as well as many other materials. Refer to the guidelines below for a general description for applications, but there are many other options available - contact us with questions, as our Conforma Clad experts have solved complex and diverse wear issues.

Cladding Application Details

  • Standard cladding thickness ranges from 0.020 to 0.125 inches.
  • Most cladding is applied by hand.
  • In cases where there is not sufficient hand access, mechanical aids may be employeed. Inside diameters (ID’s) as small as 1/4" and 6” long have been clad with the aid of an application rod.
  • Chamfers and radii as small as 1/8” can be clad.
  • Sharp edges (where cladding is required on both sides) will be clad with two types of cloth. The side experiencing greater wear will be clad with the more wear resistant cladding. The other side will be clad with a more ductile material. This combination helps relieve excess stresses that can cause fracturing during the cool-down portion of the cycle. 

Cladding Process Guidelines


Maximum size for furnace brazing: 144" L x 50" W x 44" H. Larger components can be brazed in external furnaces.

Custom clad liners can be manufactured to protect larger parts.

Size limitations are typically a non-factor in determining application compatibility. Custom solutions can be engineered for nearly any size.


Maximum weight for furnace applications: 6,000 lbs.

Operating Temperature & Conditions

The Conforma Clad process brazes components to temperatures around 2000° F. Materials such as aluminum, bronze and plastics with lower melting points cannot be clad.

Tungsten begins to oxidize at temperatures above approximately 1200° F. Environments that expose the cladding to temperatures in this range, under oxidizing conditions, should be avoided.

Substrate Compatibility

Virtually all steels, including wrought and cast, can be clad. Certain cast irons can also be clad.

The brazing process changes the metallurgical properties of the substrate material. Post-braze heat treating may be required to restore mechanical properties.

The substrate must be permeable by a nickel base braze alloy. As a result, materials such as titanium, glass, graphite and ceramics cannot be clad.

We recommend submitting a component sample for process testing if any questions remain.

Distortion Tolerance

Because the cladding process produces a bimetallic structure, some substrate distortion is hard to avoid.

Parts requiring machined tolerances should be submitted for cladding in a blank or semi-finished state, not finish ground or machined.


Normal processing includes procedures to remove surface contaminants. Painted parts, parts with heavy grease, and parts covered with field service debris will be cleaned or stripped before processing.

The substrate cannot contain volatile constituents that will vaporize at brazing temperatures. This includes materials such as lead, sulfides, phosphorous, tin, zinc and nitrogen. Additional steps (pre-braze burn off) may be required.

Conforma Clad is compatible with low-carbon steel weld materials. Pre-braze burn off is required to remove trapped gases and oxides. Despite this precaution, cladding defects may occur over welds.

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