An increasingly advantageous and widespread welding technology that requires great precision and competence.
In sheet metal processing where it is necessary to obtain resistant, deep but at the same time thin welds with high aesthetic quality, laser welding is the solution that should be adopted.
This welding technology, in fact, unlike other metal welding techniques, is defined as autogenous as it does not bring additional material to the sheet metal, and therefore avoids seams and other visible residues, such as burrs or impurities.
A significant advantage that makes it an increasingly widespread technology adopted in industrial sectors with high production volumes, such as the automotive sector, is the high execution speed (about 10-12 m / min).
A robotic welding and effective process monitoring solution integrated into an industrial automation system is the best solution to achieve maximum performance and aesthetic quality in sheet metal working.
In summary, what are the advantages of laser welding?
- great precision and excellent results from an aesthetic point of view, even on very light materials
- High welding speed with minimal energy investment and without sequential heat treatment
- the high versatility in being used both on very small objects and on large thicknesses and different materials
- the welding effectiveness thanks to the mechanical resistance of this process and the solidity of the final result
- the safety of the treatment even of small or delicate products, without risk of deformation
- the high possibility of automation and control of the entire process
- flexibility in the production process and low costs
- welding of heterogeneous joints
- extremely limited molten and thermally altered areas
- high reproducibility
- possibility to correct inaccuracies and minor defects in the material
Steels offer the best results in terms of precision and speed of execution, while other metals such as copper and aluminum absorb less wavelengths with solid-state laser welding.
The laser welding of the steel allows a finishing of the welded joints without the need for further processing, with a consequent saving of time and lower costs.
Aluminium welding is also increasingly widespread, thanks to the characteristics of strength and lightness of this material that see it increasingly widespread in the transport industry. In the case of aluminium, a hybrid laser-MIG welding technology is often adopted, which combines the strong penetration and reduced thermally altered area of the laser beam, with the filling capacity of the MIG arc.
How does laser welding technology work?
This technique is based on the transfer of energy in the form of heat by a laser beam to the atoms of the material to be welded. The material heats up quickly reaching the melting temperature and causing a deformation of the material almost imperceptible to the eye, which however makes the processing resistant and precise.
The laser beam can also be directed in difficult to access points and modulated according to the surface to be welded, with high specific energy on smaller areas or with lower energy intensity on larger areas.
The laser beam is emitted at different frequencies, depending on the type of source. For a good final quality it is important to choose the correct type of source to ensure the precision of the process and choose optical components of excellent quality.
Laser welding is a very delicate process that must be performed with competence and extreme precision:
- the parts to be welded must have a perfect alignment to obtain a good result, so the preparation of the flaps must be absolutely accurate,
- the choice of lenses must ensure the minimization of the diameter of action and make the welding process as fast as possible,
machinery and process parameters must be properly regulated: the laser beam must be calibrated to the correct power for the type of material treated and its degree of energy absorption.