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What is laser welding and how does it work?

Laser welding: technologies, types, advantages and applications
There are several types of welding techniques and applications, including MIG, TIG, electrode and flux-cored wire welding. We have many resources and articles that discuss these welding processes. Today, we will introduce the laser welding process, its working principle, types, advantages and applications.

What is laser welding
Laser (light amplified by stimulated emission of radiation) welding is a fusion welding process that uses a focused laser beam to join metals or thermoplastics. It is the most advanced type of welding used in a variety of industries, from aerospace and medical equipment to fine jewelry making and more.

What is the principle of laser welding technology?
In the laser welding process, a highly concentrated beam of light is focused on the cavities between the materials to be joined. A powerful laser beam melts and fuses the materials at their seams into a weld. With such a highly concentrated heat source, laser welding of thin materials can be completed at high speeds. In thicker materials, laser welding can produce deep and narrow welds.

There are two types of laser welding:
Thermal welding
In thermal welding, the laser beam heats the surface of the material above the melting point of the material. This process is used to produce welds that do not require high weld strength. This type of welding can be done using low power lasers of less than 500W. Thermal conductive welding produces smooth and beautiful welds.

Keyhole welding
In keyhole welding, the laser beam heats the surface of the material to the point of vaporization and penetrates deep into the material. This creates a keyhole containing plasma. The temperature rises to over 10,000K. This type of welding can be done using high power lasers above 105W/mm2.

Advantages of laser welding
Laser welding is versatile and can be combined with arc welding to form hybrid laser arc welding. The resulting weld combines the advantages of laser welding and arc welding. The welds also feature deep penetration welds, increasing tolerances for weld assembly. Undesirable effects like internal pores and cracking are also reduced.

Compared with traditional welding processes, laser beam welding has the following advantages:

Less calories
The highly concentrated laser beam is focused on a smaller area, resulting in a smaller heat-affected zone (HAZ). Compared to conventional welding, laser welding operations require low-temperature input.

Shorter welding times
Although the initial investment is higher, the process has proven to be more cost-effective than traditional welding. This is because laser welding offers faster processing speeds, which improves throughput and turnaround times.

Reduce the risk of thermal deformation
Because the process involves low heat input, there is less thermal stress. The focused beam melts only a small area of the metal, minimizing heat-induced stress and deformation within the workpiece.

High precision
The laser beam can be controlled and focused on a small area. This will improve the welding accuracy of the components. Customizable solder joint size makes it ideal for delicate or thin metals.

Laser welding applications
Laser welding has the advantages of high precision, short processing time, wide material tolerances and consistent welding quality, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Some areas where laser welding can be applied include:

auto industry
Laser welding offers tool-free operation without the need to change welding heads, making it ideal for the automotive industry.

steel structure
Laser technology is used in the steel structure industry because it increases productivity and speeds up production cycles. Laser welding makes it possible to process thick metal sheets at high speeds within high tolerances.

shipbuilding industry
In the shipbuilding industry, laser welding can be used to manufacture control and drive screws and rudders with high precision and required tolerances. This will reduce the ship’s fuel consumption and increase the ship’s speed.

tool making
The high precision of laser welding systems makes them suitable for tool manufacturing. This technology provides solutions for manufacturing high-precision molding, stamping and casting tools.

Laser welding technology uses a laser beam as a highly concentrated heat source to join materials. The applied laser beam heats and melts the edges of the material, forming a weld. Laser welding has the advantages of high precision, fast welding speed, short processing time, wide material tolerance and consistent welding quality. It is suitable for a wide range of applications and is often used for high-precision welding.

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