Fiber Laser Welding FAQs
Laser welding using a fiber laser has helped to further transform many production processes, thanks to its ability to complete applications that previously were difficult, or even impossible. Looking for some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about laser welding? We’ve got everything that you need to know below.
What is fiber laser welding?
This is the process of creating a strong joint between two materials. More often than not this will be two metals, of the same or different nature, although other materials can be welded together too.
The process works by focusing the laser beam onto the material being worked with. The high intensity of the light beam will vapourise and melt the material, allowing for another material to be joined. After time, this will solidify, leaving a strong bond behind.
There is more than one way of completing this process, and we have covered the various methods in separate questions below.
What is keyhole welding?
Keyhole welding, also called deep penetration welding, is the process of creating a deep hole within the material being worked with.
The other material will essentially be inserted into this, and the melted material will fill the cavity around this, creating a high depth, low width joint.
What is spot welding?
Also known as micro welding, this works in a similar way to keyhole welding as listed above, except a much smaller hole is created.
What is conduction welding?
The aim here is to create a strong joint between the two materials at surface level, and so the depth of the weld will be no more than 2mm. This will be a high width, low depth weld.
What is dissimilar metal welding?
Dissimilar metal welding is the process of joining together two metals which are dissimilar in nature. It may mean that they are entirely different metals, such as aluminium or copper, or it may simply mean that they are two different metals of the same category. Such as two different types of steel.
What are the advantages of this process?
This is one of the most common questions that we get here at SPI Lasers. There are many advantages to using fiber laser welding. You’ve already read from the above that there are multiple ways of applying this process to materials. This allows several different types of joints to be created to suit all needs.
Furthermore, the joints that are created are extremely strong in nature, designed to be long-lasting.
But it’s not just strength that welding with lasers brings to joints, but versatility too. It is capable of performing and completing complicated joints that other more traditional methods are unable to do. It also works at a faster rate than these other processes, and produces more consistent welds too, which is very beneficial in high-repeat industrial applications where absolute precision is required.
The welding process can easily be integrated into manufacturing either through a stand-alone fiber laser used for welding or by using the lasers other capabilities for other processes such as marking, engraving and drilling, etc.
The low heat transfer of laser welding means that materials surrounding the welded area are left untouched providing zero substrate wear.
Finally, the welding process itself is highly efficient. It delivers ultimate precision, accuracy and control to its users, all while emitting an extremely low level of heat output. This makes it a more environmentally friendly process, while ensuring that no excess heat damages the rest of the material that is being worked with.
Why use a fiber laser over other types of laser?
The benefits that we have listed above more-or-less applies to all types of laser welding, but a fiber laser offers additional advantages that these other processes don’t. For a start, a fiber laser offers these advantages in greater quantities. It is generally more powerful than its counterparts, offers better accuracy, and is also more cost-effective as it does not require any servicing, it is what we call ‘fit and forget’ technology.
But, it also offers a new range of benefits too. It is more than adept at working with reflective metals, such as aluminium and copper, something that other laser processes struggle with. This, and the above benefits, have been crucial for industries which are looking to become faster and more efficient, while maintaining quality and safety.
The use of reflective metals has been increasing rapidly in recent years, particularly in batteries for electronics or for the various parts of automobiles. A fiber laser, therefore, has naturally become the go to choice for many industries operating around the world.
What industries is this method used in?
You will find this process being used in many industries, including:
- Automotive – welding of many parts such as air bag initiators, batteries and fuel injectors
- Aerospace – working with a variety of metals is important in this industry, which particularly embraces dissimilar metal welding
- Electronics – welding is used in the production of various electronic pieces of equipment such as LEDs, mobile phones, TVs, etc.
- Medical– high integrity hermetic seals and welding of many delicate pieces of medical equipment and
- Semiconductors – small intricate welds are created with often micro sized semiconductor parts
Some of our favourite products are created thanks to this process
What materials can be welded?
A whole range of materials can be worked with in this process
A whole range of materials can be worked with in this process:
- Plastics, including clear plastics
- Silicon and
- Various metals, including steel, copper, gold, silver and aluminium
What are some of the applications of this process?
Given the numerous benefits that we have listed above, as well as the materials that can be worked with and the industries that it operates in, it’s hardly surprising that this process can be used for many applications.
We’ve listed some of these here:
- The welding of plastics
- The joining of fuel cells
- Working with lithium-ion battery cells
- The dissimilar metal welding of copper and aluminium and
- Using a continuous wave laser to weld medical devices
- The wobble welding of copper and
- Precision micro welding
For more information on what this process can do, please find our contact details below.
Read the SPI Lasers series of FAQ guides
This is just one of a number of FAQ guides, others to view are:
- Additive manufacturing / 3D printing – FAQs
- Laser ablation – FAQs
- Laser cleaning – FAQs
- Laser cutting – FAQs
- Laser drilling – FAQs
- Laser engraving – FAQs and
- Laser marking – FAQs
Looking for more answers?
As you can see, welding is an incredibly important and useful process, and we hope that this article has answered some of your burning questions about the method.
If you can’t find what you need listed above, then we would be more than happy to speak about it further.
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