Laser welding system. Laser-hybrid welding process. Laser Welding
Image Credit: GE | Welding technology magazine | Rpmwelding
Laser welding services use high-powered laser welding equipment to fuse materials together. Laser beams provide a very narrow, concentrated energy source that melts a narrow region, resulting in a minimal heat-affected zone. Laser welds can be made without filler metals or consumable electrodes.
Laser Welded Materials
Laser welding can work with many types of materials. Weld quality will vary depending on the properties of the material or materials being welded.
- Aluminum is a silvery-white, ductile, metallic element with good conductive and thermal properties. It is used to form many hard, light, corrosion-resistant alloys.
- Copper is a ductile, malleable, reddish metallic element that is one of the best conductors of heat and electricity.
- Stainless steel is a family of corrosion-resistant steels that contain a minimum of 10% chromium. Nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium and other elements may also be present.
- Structural steel is large, part-strength steel used to build structural components.
- Tool steel is a group of high-carbon steels that provide combinations of high hardness, toughness, and resistance at elevated temperatures.
- Plastics are synthetic organic resins used in the manufacture of industrial products. Thermoplastics are types of plastics that can be welded because they do not undergo a chemical change when heated.
Laser Cladding and Laser Welding
The GlobalSpec SpecSearch database provides information about suppliers with laser cladding and laser welding capabilities. Both of these manufacturing processes provide distinct advantages.
Laser cladding is a process in which material is deposited on the surface of a workpiece. The implementation of a laser to melt the material onto the workpiece offers several advantages over standard or traditional weld cladding or hardfacing processes.
Laser deposition technology. Video Credit: rpmandassociatessd
- Denser coatings can be produced with little porosity, fine surface finishes, consistent layer thicknesses, and precise clad placement.
- Low heat input results in low dilution, fine microstructures, small heat affected zones, and low distortion.
- Corrosion and wear resistance is improved during the cladding process.
- Process time can be reduced due to improved efficiency.
Laser welding uses a laser beam to join two pieces of material together. It offers several advantages to other methods of welding.
Laser welding steel sheets. Video Credit: LightMarkTM
- Small heat affected zone due to the high energy density of the laser is produced. This creates deep and precise welds and allows welding to be done closer to heat sensitive components.
- High weld quality due to equipment precision and the high resulting yield strength of the weld.
- High efficiency due to reproducibility offers advantages for high-volume industrial application such as the automotive industry.
- No contact welding means that laser welding does not induce unnecessary vibration, direction, collapse, or marking to the weld, material, or other components.
Laser Welding Applications
Laser welding services are used in an increasingly wide range of industrial applications; however, their use is limited in other areas because of cost. Products produced by laser welding and cladding include cars, pipes, heat exchangers, medical devices, and microelectronics.