Welding makes it possible for different metallic materials to be joined solidly and reliably, and is essential to modern industry. Among the many available welding methods, laser welding is emerging as a cutting-edge technology that offers major advantages in precision and quality.
In this article, our industrial machinery repair experts take a detailed look at laser welding, highlighting its basic principles and applications and the benefits of relying on a welding subcontractor.
Laser welding: definition and advantages
Laser welding is an advanced welding technique that uses a laser beam to fuse and join metallic materials. The process involves generating a coherent laser beam and precisely applying it to the surfaces to be welded.
A laser beam is generated by either a solid-state, gas or fiber laser system, which provides an intense, concentrated light source. This energy is focused onto a small area where the material absorbs it, reaching temperatures high enough to melt and fuse the parts together, forming a strong, durable weld.
Laser welding offers several significant advantages over other techniques. First, it offers extreme precision, making it possible to make fine, delicate welds. Laser welding can also be done quickly and can be used in automated manufacturing. Finally, this process guarantees high weld quality, with a reduction in defects such as porosity or cracks.
Whether for complex industrial applications, high-precision assemblies or welding heat-sensitive materials, laser welding is a versatile and reliable solution. HARtech specializes in industrial welding: we master all welding techniques and can respond to the needs of your specific industry.
Laser micro welding
Laser micro welding is a specific branch of laser welding. This advanced technique is widely used for tiny, precise, high-quality welds, often less than a millimeter in size.
As when welding larger components, a focused laser beam is used to melt the materials, creating strong, durable welded joints.
Laser micro-welding is used in a variety of sectors, including the manufacture of medical devices, miniature electronics, optical components and high-precision jewelry.
Laser welding process
The laser welding process involves several stages, from preparation of the parts to completion of the final welds. Understanding these steps and associated key parameters is crucial to the success of a laser welding project.
1. Preparing the parts
Before beginning the welding process, it’s important to prepare all parts. This usually involves cleaning surfaces to remove any potential contaminants like rust, grease or particles, to facilitate fusion.
2. Focusing the laser beam
The laser beam must be correctly focused on the welding zone. This is usually achieved using optical lenses to focus the beam on a specific area. Precise focusing is essential to obtain a quality weld and avoid problems such as excessive part deformation.
3. Selecting welding parameters
Several parameters need to be taken into account when setting up a laser welding operation. These include laser power, laser head travel speed, pulse frequency, pulse duration, beam diameter, working distance and more. Optimum settings depend on what material you are welding, how thick the weld is and any specific requirements of the project. It is always a good idea to turn to a machining company that specializes in industrial welding to get the job done properly.
4. Choosing a type of laser
Different types of laser can be used for laser welding, each with its own advantages and specific uses. Solid-state lasers, gas lasers and diode lasers are the most common.
Solid-state lasers, such as YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) and fiber lasers, offer exceptional welding precision and quality. Gas lasers, such as CO2 lasers, are better suited to higher-power applications. Diode lasers are compact and flexible, suitable for micro-welds and portable jobs.
Laser welding applications
Laser welding has many uses in a variety of industrial fields, offering significant competitive advantages over other traditional welding methods. Let’s explore the main industries that benefit from this technology, and the specific advantages it offers.
- Automotive industry: In the automotive industry, laser welding is used to assemble various components including bodies, chassis and exhaust systems. The advantages of laser welding in this field include high precision, reduced weight of welded parts and increased weld strength. Laser welding also enables complex welds to be made on materials of different thicknesses, which improves vehicle quality and durability.
- Aerospace industry: Laser welding is widely used in the aerospace industry to assemble critical components like aircraft structures, fuel tanks and piping. The key advantage of laser welding in this field is its ability to deliver light, strong, high-quality welds while minimizing thermal distortion. Laser welding is precise, making it possible to use when welding parts in hard-to-reach areas.
- Electronics industry: In the electronics industry, laser welding is used to assemble microelectronic components, printed circuit boards and miniature electromechanical The advantages of laser welding for this industry include a low heat-affected zone, high precision, non-contact welding and the ability to weld different materials without the use of additional filler materials.
- Jewelry and related industries: In the jewelry and related industries, laser welding is used to make precision welds on precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. Advantages include clean, burr-free welding, low part deformation and high precision, which together help to maintain jewelry integrity.
Laser welding subcontracting
When you subcontract laser welding services, your company benefits from the advantages of laser welding without having to invest in expensive equipment and specially trained personnel.
This approach provides access to professional expertise, reduces investment costs and offers greater production flexibility. In this section, we’ll explore the benefits of outsourcing laser welding and share tips for choosing a trustworthy welding partner.
- Access to specialized expertise: Outsourcing laser welding enables companies to benefit from the expertise of qualified professionals. These specialists have in-depth knowledge of processes, parameters and best practices, and can guarantee high-quality welds. By entrusting laser welding to experts, companies can concentrate on their core business and be confident in getting consistently high-quality results.
- Reduced investment costs: Investing in laser welding equipment can be costly for many companies, especially those that don’t need to use the technology on a consistent basis. Outsourcing makes it possible to avoid expenses like the purchase of laser equipment, installation and maintenance, and staff training.
- Production flexibility: When you outsource laser welding, you gain invaluable flexibility in terms of production capacity. Subcontracting partners generally have a high production capacity, meaning they can meet fluctuating customer demands without compromising delivery times.
3 tips for choosing a welding subcontractor
Laser welding outsourcing can be a real advantage for your company. Let’s check out 3 factors to consider when choosing a welding partner.
Experience and knowledge
Look for a partner with proven experience in laser welding and recognized training in your specific field of activity. Check references, certifications and previous projects to assess their skills and reliability.
Technology and equipment
Make sure that your subcontractor, like HARtech, has the necessary resources to efficiently manage the required production volumes, including modern equipment and a qualified team.
Evaluate your subcontractor’s production capacity to make sure they can meet your volume requirements and deadlines. Adequate production capacity is essential to ensure smooth project execution.
HARtech: a trustworthy laser welding partner
Laser welding is an advanced technology that offers considerable advantages in terms of welding precision, speed and quality. Whatever the industry, laser welding plays an essential role in assembling critical parts and components.
HARtech is a leader in industrial mechanics and welding. With our in-depth expertise and a proven record in subcontracting, we are perfectly positioned to meet the needs of companies looking for high-quality laser welding solutions. Our commitment to excellence, reliability and customer satisfaction make us partners you can trust.
Contact us today to discuss your project.