Laser welding is getting more robust and energy-efficient with each passing day. Its future is undoubtedly bright.
FREMONT, CA: Laser welding is one of the most advanced forms of welding. Its applications are spread across a broad range of industries from aerospace to fine jewellery making.
Laser cutting forms the foundation for laser welding since it includes melting the metal without punching through it.
The process of laser welding
Laser welding makes use of a significantly concentrated beam of light on a very small spot to make the area under the laser beam absorb the light and turn highly energetic. The usage of powerful beams makes the electrons in the area get excited to a level where the material melts as the outcome of the atoms separating from each other.
Laser welding is also very beneficial in joining plastics.
The melting of the two materials at their extremes leads to its fusion to join them. To obtain these kinds of powerful laser beams, the laser welding machine makes use of numerous parts that direct and amplify the laser.
Solid-state lasers, gas lasers, and fiber lasers are most commonly used lasers in the laser welding machine.
Generally, the laser beam gets supplied to the laser welding machine through the usage of optical fibers. There is the availability of both single and multiple fiber welding machines. In the multiple fiber welding machines, the laser is connected to every fiber, and each fiber increases the strength of the laser.
In order to focus the beam to a point prior to its leaving the machine, a collimator lens along with a focusing lens is usually used.
Benefits of laser welding method
Laser welding offers numerous benefits that other welding methods often don’t provide. The following are some of the defining characteristics of laser welding.
• No usage of an electrode in the process
• No occurrence of any form of tool wear
• Obtainment of high-quality welds
• Automation of the entire welding process by using a CAD/CAM setup
• Highly specific in targeting
• The usage of processing gas in laser welding
The usage of processing gas in laser welding
Cutting gas or Process gas is the flow of gas, which is commonly carbon dioxide that is directed towards the weld location to prevent the weld surface’s contact with the atmosphere.
Without any usage of cutting gas, there are only two choices left for weld atmosphere, which is a normal atmosphere or vacuum. In a vacuum, laser welding is plausible due to its high cost, the need for a speciality setup.
However, laser welding without processing gas in a normal atmosphere can result in negative outcomes. Since nitrogen is present in very high concentration in the air, it can get mixed with the molten metal and cause the formation of holes or voids within the weld. Such circumstances can lead to weld failures.
Weld machines possess cutting gas attachment that shoots gas to the weld surface and makes sure that no impurities are mixed with the weld.
Laser welding with other weld processes
Generally, laser welding is utilized along with arc welding for creating something known as Hybrid Laser Arc Welding. In this kind of welding, any one of the arc welding procedures, like TIG, MIG or SAW is used with deep penetration laser welding.
The resulting weld has the benefits of both the arc welding and laser welding. The weld will also have deep penetrating joints because of the laser weld and will have improvised tolerance to joint fit-up. Other unfavorable effects, such as cracking and internal porosity are also decreased.
The final words
The use of laser beam welding is done for high precision welds. As it doesn’t employ an electrode, the resultant weld is light but strong. Though the initial investment might be costly, the characteristics and quality of a laser weld cannot be replicated.
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