Welding with the laser: advantages and solutions by Elettrolaser
Using the laser to carry out welding operations allows industries and artisan laboratories to exploit all the potential offered by laser technology to improve their performance and obtain results that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.
The use of lasers applied to the industrial sector is a well-established reality. Already in the sixties lasers were used for metalworking - initially especially in the military field - and the understanding of the great potential of this technology led to a rapid and profound development of laser machines, up to the current tools.
Today lasers are versatile tools capable of responding to multiple needs in terms of number of pieces processed per minute, power, dimensions and types of materials that can be processed, and can therefore adapt to both the needs of mass production and the contexts in which one operates in small-scale and artisanal way.
Laser welding: how it works
The term "laser" is the acronym of the English term "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".
This is precisely the operating principle of laser machines, which emit a very thin beam of monochromatic light (i.e. with a wavelength) capable of transferring energy - in the form of heat - to the atoms of the object towards which the ray is directed. In this way, the laser beam allows a very small portion of the object to be heated extremely quickly and precisely, bringing it to its melting temperature. Once this condition has been reached, the material can be easily welded, in a short time and with very satisfactory results from an aesthetic point of view: the quantity of material that is melted is in fact minimal, the welding can therefore be almost invisible, without the object undergo deformations.
The laser welding process is simple to describe, but the technology behind it is extremely refined. Over time, in fact, different types of laser beams have been developed (YAG laser, CO2 laser, fiber laser ...), able to guarantee different performances and to reach different powers depending on the material to be treated. Each material, in fact, absorbs the energy transferred by the laser beam in a different way, and for the welding to be precise it is necessary to make a correct assessment of the absorption capacity of the metal being worked: reflective materials such as silver , for example, require to be treated with higher powers than metals such as steel.
Another aspect to take into consideration concerns the level of precision of the laser beam: as we have said, the smaller the firing surface of the laser the more precise the welding is obtained, since to be effective the laser must hit a very small surface (called keyhole) melting the material in a very short time. To obtain this result, the laser beam, once emitted, is conveyed through a lens, which allows to minimize the diameter of action and to speed up the welding operation.
The advantages of using the laser
Choosing to use laser technology to carry out welding operations allows to obtain accurate results very quickly, responding to all the different needs that arise in the artisan and industrial fields.
In fact, the laser is a tool:
- Simple, because over the years technology has led to the development of increasingly user friendly machines, which can be used with satisfaction even after a very short training period
- Accurate, because it allows to obtain accurate results that could not be achieved using other technologies. The laser action spot, in fact, can be calibrated in a range from 0.2 mm to 2 mm, and allows you to reach parts of the object that could not be welded using other tools, such as microflame or arc welding
- Effective, because it minimizes working times without affecting the accuracy and quality of the result
- Versatile, because it allows you to handle a great variety of materials and, if correctly sized, can adapt to both the needs of mass production and those of artisanal work
- Safe, because the characteristics of the laser mean that this tool allows welding without heating or deforming the object and without subjecting it to trauma
- Sustainable, because it consumes very little energy and guarantees excellent performance even in the long term, minimizing the need to replace individual components
All applications of laser welding
Laser welding can be applied to a large variety of industrial fields, thanks to the characteristics of this technology. The versatility of the laser is due precisely to the ability to calibrate and adjust the beam according to different needs, evaluating the type of power to be used and the amplitude of the shot based on the processing that is being completed.
For this reason, the laser allows you to successfully weld a large amount of metals, such as:
- Steel (also stainless steel)
The laser can therefore be used with great success in the field of goldsmithing, eyewear, sensors, orthodontics and in general in all industrial areas where there is a need to make precise joints without deformation. such as in the field of industrial mold repair (link to https://www.elettrolaser.com/en/products/die-repair).
Finally, it should be remembered that the laser can also be used in combination with other welding systems, and that it plays a very important role in the Research and Development phase of new products. In fact, the laser helps to create prototypes to be used for effectiveness and resistance tests, acting on very small areas of the product and allowing to weld even extremely thin or fragile components. In addition to industry and crafts, therefore, the laser can also be used successfully in laboratories and research centers for the development and optimization of objects to be produced on a large scale.
Elettrolaser machines and services for the world of welding
Elettrolaser provides its customers with user friendly laser machines equipped with the best technological solutions, capable of guaranteeing excellent performance in terms of usability and durability, and accompanies them over time with a series of services designed to best meet their needs.
We accompany our customers in all phases of choosing the most suitable tool for their needs, installation at their headquarters and training of operators, to enable them to immediately take advantage of all the potential associated with the use of lasers. Operator training can be carried out via video or in person, depending on the customer's needs and the type of instrument installed, and can be repeated over time, where necessary, in the event of a turnover of operators, modification of the customer's production methods and etc.
Elettrolaser welding machines are tools in constant evolution, thanks to our continuous Research and Development activity. We work to allow our welding machines to become more and more performing from a technical and technological point of view, improving the optics and software solutions in order to make our lasers intuitive, precise and capable of processing an increasing number of materials. We are also very attentive to the management of our customers' production processes and we are working on a series of solutions that make them more stable, repeatable and automated, to improve the efficiency of processing, reduce work times and take advantage of the possibilities of auto detection systems.