BASICS OF LASER WELDING
by Major Welding ∙ May 15th, 2017
ADVANTAGES OF LASER WELDING
Laser stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. This type of weld is great for difficult projects. Allowing for precise welds in hard to access areas. It also a non-contact weld, able to transmit across distances with minimal power loss.
Because of the high work volume and easily automated laser, the car industry is an ideal user of laser welding. It’s ideal method for big
MORE ADVANTAGES ARE:
- It can be used on any material
- Laser welding doesn’t physically touch the material
- There’s a low scrap volume compared to other methods
- It has a high strength potential
- It has rapid cooling and heating times
The only reason it’s not widely used today is it’s extremely expensive. Brian Simonds of theNational Institute of Standards and Technology has this to say: “Although laser welding has the potential to replace 25 percent of existing welding activities, it is currently only used in about 0.5 percent.”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Laser welding like solar power is more powerful when the source is concentrated. With a focused density beam, welders can cut through extremely strong materials. It’s the highest concentration of welding energy.
Beams can range from 0.2 mm to 13 mm wide, allowing for high quality work! Using both the pulse and continuous laser techniques to control penetration.
DIFFERENT TYPE OF LASERS
There are a lot of differentlaser technologies out there. There’s gas laser, solids state lasers, fiber lasers, twin beam lasers, and soldering lasers. Each of these has different properties and is used in different scenarios.
Fiber lasers are extremely powerful hitting up to 50 Kw! Twin beam lasers use two beams for precise geometrical projects. Soldering laser is used in welding electronics boards. And lastly, Solid state lasers operates on a unique wavelength which is detrimental to the human eye – workers must use proper eye protection.
FUTURE OF LASER WELDING
Companies are now looking to make further technological advancements. Some of the future trends are:
- Faster process speeds resulting in minimized heat distortion
- Stronger joint capacity
- Reduce laser width
Another advancement to look forward to is laser hybrid welding. This technique will combine laser and arc welding to create a high welding speed, minimal distortion, and reduced heating problems. This technology has the potential to solve many constructional problems. With its precise and controlled heat outputs, the welds are top notch.