Laser Welding Overview.
Laser welding utilizes the heat from a high-power concentrated laser beam to melt thin or thick metal interfaces. Due to the high energy density of the laser beam, it has an excellent penetration characteristic and is generally used for producing narrow and deep joints of depth-to-width ratio ranging between 4 and 10.
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LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) welding is a manufacturing process that utilizes a concentrated beam of photons (light) to join metal or thermoplastic materials (laser plastic welding).
Because the laser energy is pure energy (photons) that can be focused, it is much better at concentrating heat at the weld joint. This concentration of light allows for a highly efficient process. The efficiency comes from the fact that less heat (energy) is needed to make the weld.
Types of Laser Welding.
Laser beams can be extracted by using gas, solid, or liquid as a medium. Of these methods, welding lasers use gas or solid as the medium. Therefore, the types of lasers used for laser welding can be generally divided into gas lasers or solid-state lasers.
Broader welding capabilities. The laser welding process can accommodate multiple weld joint configurations. From autogenous to non-autogenous. From thin to thick gauge materials. It also can accommodate dissimilar welding materials, galvanized metals, and even magnetized materials.
Laser welding is known for its speed and versatility. Laser welding can make welds incredibly quickly because of its concentrated heat input. Compared with some other fusion welding processes such as gas tungsten arc welding or oxy-fuel welding, it is much more efficient with regard to the heat that it puts into the part. This concentrated heat has the possibility to increase travel speeds and the material thicknesses that can be welded.
Laser Welding Research
To reduce the amount of heat generated while welding.
Reducing the effect of the heat-affected zone can alleviate problems like corrosion, cracks, embrittlement, etc. These will make the component much stronger. Ideally, by selecting proper welding and cutting operation, the heat-affected zone should be minimized. But it may not be always possible to reduce the HAZ to the extent required. Hence, various methods can be applied to reduce the heat-affected zone as mentioned below:
Because autogenous laser welding requires a tight fit between the parts to be joined, in many cases it is best to redesign the joint locations to present overlapping surfaces to the laser (to use its piercing capability). More manufacturers are willing to invest in better upstream processes and tooling in order to take advantage of laser’s higher throughput.
Lasers produce a highly concentrated heat source, capable of creating a keyhole. Consequently, laser welding produces a small volume of welded metal, and transmits only a limited amount of heat into the surrounding material, and consequently samples distort less than those welded with many other processes. Another advantage resulting from this low heat input is the narrow width of the heat-affected zones on either side of the weld, resulting in less thermal damage and loss of properties in the parent material adjacent to the weld.
Improving the quality of welding.
Laser welding may lower the costs of weld production. High welding velocity results in increased productivity, and higher quality and less scrapping are typically achieved. Laser welding reduces thermal deformations and stresses, and the dimensions of the item remain practically unchanged after welding. At the same time, you achieve a finer surface quality with less spraying and a narrower weld seam.
With laser welding, it is possible to weld thinner or thicker materials than by any other method. In addition, you save time on finishing and money on less scrapping. Laser welding may increase productivity by its speed and, due to automation laser welding ensures a consistent, low error rate.
Compared to traditional MIG/MAG and TIG welding processes, laser welding gives you.
One last vote for traditional welding: With the exception of a few specialized cases, laser welding must be automated, given safety concerns. And that leaves plenty of work for human welders, as Hansen explained. “You can’t have a robot go up scaffolding or climb into the bilge of a ship. We can dream about such super robots, but in practical terms, they won’t be here for the near future.”