In the last 5 years or so, pulse laser welding has made significant gains in power and efficiency. Exotic and lucrative industries like the automotive or aerospace have long enjoyed the advantages of Pulse Laser Welding, and now you can too. Growing acceptance of pulse laser welding has increased because of new capabilities in power and efficiency that further justify the investment.
Laser welders fire a series of short pulses that melt metal to create a very precise and high-quality weld. In case you’re still on the fence about switching some or all of your processes over to laser, here’s what you need to know.
You can feel the difference – laser welders have controllable heat output.
Conventional Tig welding or Micro Tig welding have long been criticized for their large Heat Affected Zone (HAZ). It has become the norm, so manufacturers have come to accept that extreme heat is a necessary evil of welding. Conventional welding creates a HAZ almost 0.100” deep. This results in a softened workpiece in the affected area up to 20 Rockwell points in the C Scale!
Laser welding heat input can be controlled using just enough heat to melt the welding wire and attach it to the workpiece. The HAZ is very shallow to the point that, immediately after the weld, you can physically touch it with your bare hand. This is important, because tiny precise, and delicate workpieces are expensive to replace, Traditional welding would simply melt or distort pieces like this beyond use.
It’s the little things that matter – laser welders can control the weld spot size.
Lasers can also control their weld spot size and the amount of energy that is discharged into the weld independently while traditional arc welders can only control the energy. Heat drives grain particle growth, resulting in softening and altering of the original design intent of the welded material. The unparalleled control delivered by pulse laser welding gives the user confidence that the finished workpiece component can be repaired without sacrificing durability or design. This essentially extends the life of welded materials, stacking up the return on investment.
A stitch in time saves money – repair defective parts with a laser welder.
Repair of various parts and components rely on the precision and control of pulse laser welding. This is the preferred method for repairing plastic injection molds, blow molds, stamped components, and virtually anything made of steel alloys. With the extremely high price of molds, you want to be sure that you can extend the life of the mold to its full potential. Using pulse laser welding to repair molds that develop flash on the plastic parts greatly reduces the risk of damaging the mold by controlling the heat input.
Precision saves lives where the accuracy of laser welding is essential
Precision of design may not matter to everyone, but it sure does to medical equipment or aerospace component manufacturers. When precision or distortion of design can literally be the difference between life and death, clients will want to know that their production specs can be met without a shadow of a doubt. Aluminum, titanium, and virtually any tool steel have proven to have a superior quality weld with Pulse Laser Welding over traditional Tig welding.
If you can see it you can laser weld it.
One of the biggest advantages of the laser is because it is a beam of light, if you can see a surface you can weld it. This flexibility allows you to go where no TIG welder has ever gone before (pun intended). Pulse Laser Welders can get into very tight places, and here’s a few reasons why that’s so important.
In advanced tooling and mold repairs, molds used to have to be removed from the press wiring and water lines and moved so the immense heat of Tig welding wouldn’t damage the entire machine. With the ability to hone in on small crevices that would otherwise be unreachable, molds can now be repaired on location instead. This takes a process that used to take weeks and makes it possible over a single weekend with little to no downtime. Think how much money that would save, just in this single application!
Do away with downtime.
Pulse laser welding greatly reduces machine downtime. You can accurately weld only the surface that requires repair, and the surrounding surfaces will be virtually unaffected. This practically eliminates costly rework and reassembly time.
Another time saver is the fact that when a tiny component causes system slowdown, manufacturers used to have to send away for a special order part. It could take weeks to get a replacement part fabricated and shipped to the plant. All the while the manufacturer is losing precious time and money.
With pulse laser welding, manufacturers have switched to repairing the component in house. This completely replaces the need to suffer downtime while specialty parts are in transit from another vendor. This wouldn’t be possible for many applications where Tig welding is the only method of welding the manufacturer has at their disposal.
Light years ahead of TIG welding
Laser Pulse Welding solves many engineering problems. In one case, components that are sensitive to the effect of excessive heat input, like magnets, benefit from the low and controlled heat output. Tiny parts that are susceptible to distortion or disintegration can be repaired without a sweat due to extremely precise welding.
Are there any parts of traditional welding you hate? Do you have any questions on when and why Pulse Laser Welding makes more sense than conventional Tig or Micro Tig welding?
- The heat affected zone is limited, and the surrounding material is not softened
- No need to send out for replacement parts – you can repair them in-house
- Greater precision of welding intricate and delicate surfaces of parts
- Can weld magnetic pieces and tiny components
- Higher quality welds
- Can weld carbon steel, titanium, aluminum, and virtually any tool steel
- Minimal deformity, distortion, and shrink
Reach out to us – we’d be happy to answer your questions!