Laser Welding Overview

Laser Welding is another type of Welding. Learn Welding and about Laser Welding.

Laser Welding is also called Laser Beam Welding and it is a commercial process and is used when you want to fuse together several pieces of metal. The way it works is that a laser beam is pointed to a joint and then the beam is moved along that joint. The process will melt the metals into a liquid, fuse them together, and then make them solid again.

This is generally a process that is used when you want a linear continuous seam or at times when you want spot welds in a certain area. There are basically two types of laser welding. Laser conduction welding focuses the beam on a specific area and relies on the conductivity of the metal it is melting to conduct the heat into the joint. As this happens, the material being welded changes from solid to liquid, and then they turn back into solid and they are welded.

In laser penetration welding, the laser beam is pointed into a certain area and at a stack of material that needs to be melted all together. This single location creates a space for the beam to concentrate on the specific needs of the metals to be melted.  Some of this material will then vaporize and create a hole that is as thick as the material that was heated.

After the heating and cooling down of the metal it is welded; this is similar to a spot lap joint. The two types of lasers that are used for this process are the Gas Laser that uses a mixture of several gases that can include helium, nitrogen or carbon dioxide for its media, or a Solid State Laserthat uses a solid media like a synthetic ruby aluminum oxide or gas. Both type so lasers can be used as continuous streams or pulsed modes of operation.

The Laser Welding process is very versatile and it can be used on many different steels including carbon, HSLA, stainless, aluminum or titanium. In some instances like the carbon steels, you will need to guard against cracking because of the cooling rates. This type of welding does gain a high quality weld and it can be a very fast process, depending on the thickness of the piece you are working on.

The automotive industry uses Laser welding for much of what it does and the gas lasers are usually the most readily suitable for this type of high volume.

There are several advantages of laser welding. You can send the laser beam through the air rather than having to place it in a vacuum and robots can easily do this type of work. You can get a higher quality in your welds.

There is also another hybrid type of laser welding that is called laser hybrid welding and it combines both laser beam and arc welding so you get more flexible positions and welding speeds are higher, and undercutting is reduced.

A few of the advantages to laser welding are that you can do deeper or more narrow welds than can be done with other processes, you don’t have to worry about distortions because they aren’t created with the laser.

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