Laser gas assisted melting of high strength low alloy steel surface is carried out. The alloy surface is pre-prepared to contain 5% B4C particles in a 40 mu m thick carbon film prior to laser treatment process. Metallurgical and morphological changes in the laser treated layer are examined by using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The residual stress developed and the microhardness of the resulting surface is measured. It is found that B4C particles remain in solid phase in the surface region due to their high melting temperature. The dense layer consisting of fine grains are formed at the surface and the feathery like structure is observed below the surface vicinity, which consists of martensite and nitride precipitations. The use of nitrogen at high pressure causes the formation of nitride compounds at the surface, which contributes to the volume shrinkage in the dense layer. Surface microhardness increases considerably because of attainment of high cooling rates, formation of nitride compounds, and presence of B4C particles at the surface. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.