Fiber Laser Applications: #3 Laser Welding
Fiber Lasers are incredibly versatile and capable of many different industrial manufacturing applications from cutting and welding, to additive manufacturing. In this range of articles we focus on a specific application each month, providing useful insight into a variety of aspects related to the application. This month we focus on the application of welding with a Fiber Laser.
Laser Welding is an important process for many industries around the world, from the medical sector to battery welding for electronic applications, Fiber Lasers are used due to a number of factors which set them apart from other methods. This article explores how Fiber Laser welding works, the benefits it has for industries around the world and examples of applications.
To see all our Laser Welding applications content, visit our Applications area by clicking here!
Fiber Laser Welding: An Introduction
Fiber Laser welding is used to join pieces of metal together to form a strong bond between the two materials. This is achieved by using the laser beam to concentrate extreme heat in the area of the join. A number of different welding techniques are possible including;
Laser welding is usually done without filler metals so parts need to have good fit with a gap that’s less than 15% of the thickness of the thinnest component. Parts should be relatively clean since welding is very fast with no time to burn-out contaminants. Shield gas is required for more reactive metals but many alloys can be welded in air.
At SPI Lasers, we have developed a patented process for welding with nano-second pulses, which previously had not been associated with welding. The nanosecond welding process offers multiple options in the join design—for example, it is possible to produce a single large spot or multi-spot arrays. Read more…
Dissimilar Metal Welding
A common question that we are asked by our customers here at SPI Lasers is “what is dissimilar metal welding?” Given that the term dissimilar suggests that the metals in question are extremely different, one is forgiven for thinking that it must surely be a complicated and difficult process to weld these metals together.
This is a process which involves the joining together of two metals that possess different chemical or mechanical properties, and so aren’t necessarily a natural fit for each other. The reason the term can sometimes be slightly confusing is because it doesn’t only involve two completely different metals, such as aluminium and steel.
In fact, two metals with the same name can be welded together, but if they have different core properties, they are classed as dissimilar metals. For example, you can weld two austenitic steel metals together, but they may still be different enough to be considered dissimilar.
What are the advantages?
To help new users understand why Laser technology is the best welding solution for manufacturing companies, we have compiled a list of benefits for you here:
1) Ultimate precision
One of the main benefits of Laser welding is that it offers a high level of accuracy and control. The fact Laser technology is so precise means that it can be used to weld the smallest of parts together, without causing any damage to them.
2) Capable of creating complicated joins
Laser technology is capable of handling complicated joins. Using Laser welding technology you can weld dissimilar materials, as well as areas which would be too difficult to reach using more traditional welding techniques.
3) Low heat application
The fact Laser welding technology uses a low heat application, minimises the distortion of the components. This is why it is the preferred method of welding for those creating luxury products, such as bespoke jewellery. Lasers use very localised energy, allowing for contact-free application which results in less thermal strain being placed on the parts.
See Laser Welding in action!
Our redENERGY G4 Fiber Lasers have produced some stunning results in our applications laboratories with welding applications.
Visit our YouTube channel to see more of our latest videos on welding applications including Fiber Laser Spot Welding of Stainless Steel and Copper (see right) and many more!
Find out more!
To see more details on which lasers are most suitable for each applications including specific laser parameters, check out our Applications Postcards on our website including;
For more information on Fiber Laser Welding take a look at our collection of Application Insights giving an in depth overview of the topic written by experts in the field, articles include;
Our team of Fiber Laser experts have produced a number of whitepapers on the subject of welding with Fiber Lasers. These technical papers focus on our Pulsed Fiber Lasers incredible abilities in nano-second joining of dissimilar metal welding, a key application across many industries.
To read our collection technical whitepapers click on the links below!
The use of conventional CW and Long Pulsed Laser for welding is well known, but the use of ns Pulsed Lasers represents a new direction offering both commercial and technical benefits. More commonly used for marking and engraving the use of these Lasers for welding is relatively unknown, but the parametric flexibility of today’s MOPA based Pulsed Fiber Lasers can enable a broad capability for a range of welding and joining applications.
For the chance to listen to our hugely popular webinar on ‘Welding with ns Pulsed Fiber Lasers’, delivered by our very own Dr Jack Gabzdyl, click here!
Catch up on past months of applications
Missed last months applications content from SPI Lasers? Don’t worry, you can find all our previous content in the links below so you can catch up on all the content provided so far…anytime!
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