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How does the laser welding market develop?

Today, laser manufacturing technology is increasingly being introduced into production lines in different industries, with laser cutting, laser marking, laser engraving and laser welding being the main applications. In addition, laser cleaning also has some applications. Laser welding has long been considered to have huge market potential. However, due to insufficient laser power and low automation level, the laser welding market did not develop well in the past.

In the past, laser welding machines mostly used traditional YAG lasers and CO2 lasers. This type of laser welding machine has low power and is mostly used for mold laser welding machines, advertising laser welding machines, jewelry laser welding machines, hardware laser welding machines, etc. They are low-end laser welding machines and their applications are limited to their respective industries.

Development Trend of Laser Welding

Breakthroughs in laser welding machines require breakthroughs in laser technology and laser power. The power of YAG laser is generally around 200W and 500W. Its laser power rarely exceeds 1000W. Therefore, the limitations of laser power are quite obvious. Although the power of CO2 laser can reach more than 1000W, it is difficult to achieve precision welding because its wavelength reaches 10.64μm and the laser spot is larger. In addition, limited by the light transmittance of CO2 laser, it is difficult to achieve 3D flexible welding.

At this time, the laser diode appears. It has two modes: direct output and fiber coupled output. Laser diodes are very suitable for plastic welding, metal welding and soldering, and their power can reach more than 6KW for a long time. It has some applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. However, due to its relatively high price, few people choose it. Compared with laser diodes, the price of fiber lasers is relatively low. Once a fiber laser welding machine is introduced to the market, its power increases year by year. At present, the fiber laser welding machine has reached 10KW+, and the technology is quite mature. At present, fiber laser welding machines are widely used in many high-end fields such as motors, batteries, automobiles, aerospace, etc.

After solving the problems of laser and laser power, automation is the next problem to be solved in the development of laser welding. In the past two years, handheld laser welding machines have experienced considerable shipments due to significant price reductions. Due to its fast welding speed, delicate welds and excellent welding performance, handheld laser welding machines have become the best choice for people in the hardware processing industry. However, handheld laser welding machines require manual labor after all and do not have any automation. The traditional laser welding machine is a stand-alone device that requires manual work to place the workpiece on the welding table and take it out after the welding is completed. But this approach is very inefficient. In the future, industries such as batteries, communication components, watches, consumer electronics, and automobiles will require more automated laser welding production lines. This may be one of the development trends of laser welding machines in the future.

Power batteries promote the development of laser welding technology

Since 2015, my country has vigorously promoted the development of new energy vehicles, mainly electric vehicles. This move will not only reduce air pollution but also stimulate the economy by encouraging people to buy new cars. As we all know, the core technology of electric vehicles is undoubtedly the power battery. Power batteries have also brought huge demand for laser welding – copper materials, aluminum alloys, battery cells, battery sealing, etc. These require laser welding.

Laser welding machines need to be equipped with stable circulating laser chillers

Power batteries are just one of the broad applications of laser welding. I believe that more industries will use laser welding machines in the future. Laser welding often requires reliability and stability. There is also temperature control – this refers to the addition of a circulating laser cooler unit.

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