Laser beam welding (LBW) is a material-joining technique that applies laser radiation to melt the base material and create the welding joint. Laser beam welding process is related to other traditional welding methods, such as electron beam welding (EBW), tungsten plasma arc welding (PAW), or inert gas tungsten arc welding (TIG).
Laser beam welding applies a high power industrial laser to create a narrow and deep melt pool between the parts to be welded. Laser is a highly concentrated heat source that can be easily automated and installed on industrial welding cells or mounted in a handheld gun like our wobble-3, providing high welding speeds for many industrial applications.
Nevertheless, factors such as the laser beam quality or the processed materials have a great influence on the resulting geometry, microstructure, and residual stress distribution. Therefore, final results are directly dependent on the process input parameters, which means that process parameters must be carefully selected for achieving the desired quality.
Laser welding uses high-energy laser pulses to locally heat the material in a small area.
The energy of the laser radiation diffuses into the material through heat conduction,
and the material is melted to form a specific molten pool.
It is a new type of welding method, mainly for the welding of thin-walled materials and precision parts,
which can realize spot welding, butt welding, stack welding, sealing welding, etc.
The welding speed is fast, no treatment is needed after welding, and the quality of the weld is high.
The weld can be precisely controlled, small focus spot, high positioning accuracy, easy to automate.
Standard welding heads are designed to focus a collimated laser beam to a required spot size, keeping the beam path static through the beam delivery and a static spot at the focal plane. This standard configuration limits each setup to a specific application.
Wobble heads, on the other hand, incorporate scanning mirror technology inside a standard weld head.
By moving the beam with internal mirrors, the focal spot is no longer static, and can be dynamically adjusted by changing the shape, amplitude, and frequency.
Standard welding heads limits each setup to a specific application.
Wobble welding heads incorporate scanning mirror technology inside a standard weld head.
The wobble welding head is equipped with a rotating lens "weaving". By moving the beam with internal mirrors, the focal spot is no longer static, and can be dynamically adjusted by changing the shape, amplitude, and frequency of various patterns. This allows the laser beam to circle within a defined radius and makes it possible to reliably bridge larger gap sizes than were possible in the past. This both with and without a welding rod, even within the same part.
The result is that less material is deposited, the heat input is reduced and precisely defined weld edges that require almost no retouching are achieved.
Thanks to the use of the Wobbling weaving technique, it is possible to bridge gaps that are up to 30%~50% wider than is possible using conventional laser welding systems while retaining the same high quality or even achieving better quality.
500W / 1000W / 1500W / 2000W
Larger Wobbling Spot Size helps bridging bigger gaps
The required tolerance for fit-up is reduced
The lower tolerances needed reduce the machining costs
Non tolerance parts can still be used : less scrap, less losses = big savings
Maximum yield and quality of welded part
The ability to create products using different metals and alloys greatly increases both design and production flexibility. Optimizing properties such as corrosion, wear and heat resistance of the finished product while managing its cost, is a common motivation for dissimilar metal welding.
Joining stainless steel and zinc coated (galvanized) steel is a one example. Because of their excellent corrosion resistance, both 304 stainless steel and zinc coated carbon steel have found widespread use in applications as diverse as kitchen appliances and aeronautical components.
The process presents some special challenges, particularly since the zinc coating can present serious problems with weld porosity. During the welding process, the energy that melts steel and stainless steel will vaporize the zinc at approximately 900⁰C, which is significantly lower than the melting point of the stainless steel.
The low boiling (vaporization) point of zinc causes a vapor to form during the keyhole welding process. In seeking to escape the molten metal, the zinc vapor may become trapped in the solidifying weld pool resulting in excessive weld porosity. In some cases, the zinc vapor will escape as the metal is solidifying creating blowholes or roughness of the weld surface.
With proper joint design and selection of laser process parameters, cosmetic and mechanically sound welds are readily produced. As shown below, the top and bottom surfaces of an overlap weld of 0.6 mm thick 304 stainless steel and 0.5 mm thick zinc coated steel exhibit no cracking, porosity, or blowholes.
- left : Bottom bead (back side) of lap weld of 304 stainless steel and zinc coated steel. Shown is the zinc coated steel surface.
- right: Top bead of lap weld of 304 stainless steel and zinc coated steel. Shown is the stainless steel surface.
A material’s weldability is a factor. Most common materials a fab shop will process—be it carbon steel, stainless, or aluminum—have been successfully laser welded for years, using both continuous wave and pulsed modes. Lasers have performed dissimilar-metal welding ( Sample picture is copper joined with stainless steel by fiber laser welder), and specialized weld joint designs in galvanized material have even accounted for zinc outgassing. Moreover, a multikilowatt fiber laser has been shown to successfully weld even the most challenging of materials, including copper
- Materials are joined without the addition of extra materials which requires the highest level of fixturing and joint preparation. Since no material is added, it is necessary for the materials to be welded to remain in intimate contact during the welding process. Any significant separation of the materials can result in an unacceptable weld profile or complete failure of the welded joint. Wobble-3 prevent this to happen!
- Fixturing to ensure consistent fit-up of the weld joint is a key to successful fiber laser welding. An important benefit of fiber laser is welded joints with exceptional cosmetic appearance. In some cases, these welds are almost perfectly blended with the surrounding material. Depending on the fixturing and joint fit-up, some welds may have small amounts of concavity (which may not be acceptable for product designs that require fatigue properties similar to those of the base material) or convexity. Again Wobble-3 avoid this problems!
Material is added to the weld joint usually in the form of metallic wire or powder. Three reasons for adding material to the weld are:
- Joint fit-up: By adding extra material, the joint becomes more tolerant to joint mismatch. Acceptable welds may be produced from joints with less than perfect fit-up.
- Weld geometry: Addition of filler metal is used to control the shape and size of the weld. Maintaining a crown (convex surface of the weld) creates a reinforcement which is important for joints requiring mechanical strength and fatigue life in the overall product’s design performance.
- Dissimilar metals: Filler metal is added to facilitate welding of dissimilar metals and alloys which are otherwise metallurgically incompatible.
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WOBBLE-PRO Series+ & Wobble-R+: Affordable high Quality Handheld Fiber Laser Welding Machines
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