Using an intense energy beam of light as its heat source, the laser welding process operates at very high speeds with low heat generation and little or no distortion. Since it requires no filler material, laser welding also reduces costs and naturally lends itself to automation for a stable,repeatable weld process.
With their well defined beams, lasers are excellent tools for welding thin materials, performing hermetic welds, or operating in close proximity to heat-sensitive components. Even hard to reach areas can be laser welded if a line-of-sight exists.
The process can be used with just about any materials that are commonly welded using conventional welding equipment. However, lasers can also join difficult to bond materials such as high carbon stainless steels and titanium as well as for welding dissimilar materials that otherwise may not be compatible.
Preco has a wide variety of high power lasers from 500W-12,000W and equipment that has pulsed Nd:YAG capabilities for welding thin materials and producing hermetic welds.
Hybrid Laser Welding
Hybrid laser welding combines a laser with other heat sources, such as arc welding or induction. Typically, hybrid welding refers to combining the laser with gas metal arc welding (GMAW, sometimes referred to as MIG or MAG). The intense energy supplied by the laser in combination with the efficient melting of wire by GMAW results in high welding speeds that can bridge significant gaps between joining surfaces.
This process provides considerable advantages over GMAW alone in that it offers significantly less distortion and is able to join components Gina single pass that reduces cycle time and rework.
Materials commonly hybrid laser welded include aluminum alloys and carbon steel sheet and plate.
Remote Laser Welding
Remote laser welding differs from traditional laser welding in that the laser beam is manipulated from above the work piece by rotating 2 galvo mirrors which are oriented at 90º to one another. Small movements in the mirrors result in large movements of the focused beam, resulting in beam speeds over 500 ips (13 m/s). Remote welding is typically applied to thin or sheet materials which require a series of stitches or spots to obtain adequate joint strength.
The galvo's fast and precise positioning of the beam in between welds significantly reduces overall cycle time, yielding a beam on time approaching 100%. The process area (or field of view) varies but can be as large as 40 in. x 40 in. (1 m x 1 m). Applications range from spot welding of electronic devices to stitch welding of automotive sheet steels.
- Minimal heat input, therefore small heat affected zone (HAZ)
- Fine grain structure with excellent weld quality
- High energy density and high weld speeds
- Oftentimes no filler material necessary
- Line of sight access for hard to reach areas
Preco's experienced applications engineering staff can assist improper material selection and joint design. Preco also has the capability to perform metallurgical evaluations and our staff is experienced in destructive and non-destructive techniques (e.g. ultrasound, x-ray, helium leak detection) for assessing weld quality.
Preco has experience in hybrid and induction-assisted laser welding as well as cold wire feed welding, sometimes necessary if the weld chemistry requires alteration in order to meet design requirements. More info is available on our laser welding systems, including the SL Series, ST Series, and RT Series . Contact us today to find out if laser welding is an ideal option for your material processing needs.
- Marine / Ship building
- Power Train
- Oil and gas
- On and off highway transportation
- Power generation
- Alternative energy (fuel cells, solar power, wind turbines)
- High carbon alloy steels
- Stainless steels
- Cast irons
- Aluminum alloys
- Nickel-based alloys
- Dissimilar metals