Frequently Asked Questions
A typical 3-in-1 laser welding, cleaning and cutting machine with a 1000 – 3000 W fiber laser can be procured for as low as $5,000 while sophisticated models with higher power lasers can be upwards of $100,000 or more.
Laser beam welding is a versatile process and can be used to create joints in stainless steel, aluminum, HSLA steel, carbon steel, titanium and other metals. At low output powers they can also be used to weld various types of plastics such HDHP, nylon, etc.
Yes. Many laser welders come with built-in air assist feature. An inert gas (air, Argon or Nitrogen) plays a key role in the welding process. During the welding process they can control post weld cooling and significantly speed up the welding process. By controlling the cooling rate the gas stream can also impact positively on the mechanical properties of the resulting joint. In the cutting mode, gas stream helps separate the molten pool creating a ridge (cut) along the trajectory of the laser beam.
The most frequently used shield gases for laser welding are helium, argon and nitrogen.
Although laser welding is most frequently used on mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, fabricators are not limited to these materials. Additionally, materials such as coated steel, copper, or titanium can be joined together. Moreover, one of the key advantages of a laser welder is its ability to create hybrid joints between different types of metals.
Laser welding reduces the risk of contamination because it is much cleaner than a traditional arc or TIG welding. Additionally, it allows for the bonding of much thinner metals and offers significantly higher tensile and bending strength. It is also more precise and simpler to automate. It also allows creating hybrid joints between dissimilar metals.
Fiber, pulsed Nd: YAG, and CO2 lasers are all used in laser welders. With the advancement of fiber laser technology, many manufacturers opt for fiber lasers as the power source given their reliability, compact footprint, and superior beam quality.
The welding temperature is always determined by the melting point of the materials being joined. Therefore the welding temperature will not depend on the welding technology. However, one of the peculiarities of laser welding is the localized nature of heat generation which limits the molten pull region to just a few mm creating very neat joints and avoiding metal warping that plagues other welding technologies. The output power of the laser welder can be adjusted to fit the particular application and materials being welded.
Yes, laser welding creates neat joints that have great depth-to-width ratios, and are characterized with high tensile strength.