viernes, 19 de marzo de 2010

Metal Welding

In metal processing, diode lasers are used in various applications throughout volume manufacturing. The applications include precision and spot welding of electronic components, welding of car body parts in the automotive industry; and heat conduction welding in the consumer goods industry or the welding of pipes.

laser metal welding


Always a Step Ahead: Diode Lasers

Laser joints are characterized by high welding speed, high levels of stability and very low distortion. At the same time excellent weld seam surfaces can be obtained.
If the requirements with regard to process stability and consistent product quality are high, the laser is the right tool.
An almost maintenance-free operation, a lifetime of more than 30,000 operating hours and the best efficiency of all lasers make the diode laser clearly superior in welding of thin sheet metals.
In metal welding applications, Laserline diode lasers can be used in conjunction with welding heads of various manufacturers.
graph weld speed
laser beam welding


Clearly Advantageous: Diode Laser

As a comparison: lamp-pumped Nd:YAG lasers require a lamp change approximately every 1,000 operating hours, resulting in operating costs a magnitude higher than those of diode lasers.
Up to 2,300 W, the size of diode lasers is comparable to that of conventional welding systems such as TIG or MIG. Mobility and compactness make the diode laser the number one choice for a wide variety of metal welding applications as a particularly flexible tool in production.

Hardening and Heat Treatment

Different techniques of surface hardening allow for the use of cost-effective materials, also in components that are subject to high mechanical stresses.

If necessary, diode lasers can be used to harden the material in very localized areas, so that only the stress zones of a part are hardened; thus used i.e., in steel and cast iron for tool manufacturing.

heat treatment


Advantages of Diode Lasers

A unique advantage of the diode laser hardening process over conventional heat treating processes is the possibility to adjust its spot ideally to the contour requiring hardening and, therefore, to achieve extremely high throughput.
Its easy mode of operation allows the diode laser to be integrated easily into production processes and, if desired, to be used with an industrial robot.


Local and Selective Heat Treating

Compared to other lasers used for hardening, diode lasers have the advantage of a shorter emission wavelength better absorbed by metals, and superior process stability.
Additionally, diode lasers do not require special absorption layers that can prevent temperature control by a pyrometer and also may result in the contamination of the surface.
hardening surface treatment
diode laser hardening


Hardening with Diode Lasers

Simply put, the advantage of diode lasers compared with conventional technologies is: Better quality.
In hardening, both direct and fiber-coupled diode lasers are used in conjunction with special homogenizing optics and pyrometers.

Plastic Welding

Welding of plastics by diode laser supplements traditional welding processes, such as ultrasonic, vibration or heat plate welding.


Welding of Plastics with Diode Lasers

It combines the advantages of non-contact welding, without forming fluff or excess melting, with the ability of a measurable setting path.
Laser welding is unique in allowing for high freedom of design in the development of new components and housings.
quasi simultaneous welding
plastic contour welding


plastic welding TPE

Diode Lasers with "Top Hat"

Laser technology facilitates non-contact welding with low thermal and mechanical load. This is especially advantageous to plastic housings with built-in electronic components that may be damaged in conventional procedures, such as vibration welding or ultrasonic welding.
Compared with conventional solid state lasers, the diode laser has an advantage because of its wavelength and its "top hat" beam profile without intensity peaks. This avoids local overheating that might damage the welded components.

Cutting

Whereas in the past, mechanical and thermal processes – such as punching or plasma cutting – were used exclusively, in recent years laser technology has fundamentally changed the methods of sheet metal cutting. In particular, laser procedures offer unmatched flexibility. A broad range of cutting operations is therefore carried out with the use of lasers.


Cutting with Laser

The advantages over conventional procedures include the non-contact cutting process at high cutting speeds. Complex parts with the highest requirements regarding dimensional accuracy and freedom from burr can be produced very economically using diode lasers, even for small batches.
laser cutting cw welding
cutting laser joining
Because of the wavelength in the middle infrared range, CO2 lasers can be used only in combination with mirror systems. They are therefore essentially restricted to 2 D applications. At the same time, this type of laser has a lower efficiency than diode lasers.
cutting seam welding.

Cladding & Coating

There are many different ways of surface treatment to protect against corrosion and wear, but diode lasers provide an increasingly popular solution.


Better Quality with Diode Lasers

The range of possible applications is vast, and the technology has been proven to enable innovation.
The simple advantage of diode lasers compared with conventional technologies is: Better quality.
Laser Auftragsschweißen
wear resistance coating laser


repair welding

Repair Welding with Diode Lasers

Traditional processes in cladding and coating often lead to high heat input causing component distortion, development of coarse grain structure and poor adhesion to the base material.
The diode laser, however, allows for low heat input and consistently high quality.


Economically Advantageous Diode Lasers

Diode lasers offer advantages to conventional lasers both in the technological and the economical realm: Their cost effectiveness and their robustness. Therefore, complex coating applications can be reduced to this equation: quality + profitability = diode laser

Brazing

Brazing – and the related process of welding with filler wire – are modern techniques for the joining of metal components.
laser sheet metal joining


Laser Brazing in Automotive Industry

In addition to the requirements of high strength and a small heat affected zone, particularly high demands are made on the appearance of the weld seam in the case of visible seams.
Therefore, in the automotive industry, laser brazing is used for joining the visible, external parts of vehicles, for example trunk lid, roof seams, doors or C pillars.


Low Space Requirements

Greatest process stability and high availability of equipment in three-shift production are requirements in the automotive industry which are ideally met by the diode laser that is considered proven technology in many applications.
The diode laser is clearly superior to other laser beam sources because it is almost maintenance-free with a lifetime of more than 30,000 operating hours and excellent efficiency. As a comparison: Lamp pumped Nd:YAG lasers require lamp changes by trained maintenance personnel approximately every 1,000 operating hours, resulting in considerable down time.
body in white welding
laser brazing in automotive industry


Almost Maintenance Free

Increasingly, floor space reduction has become a must when designing new production lines. One advantage of diode lasers is their small footprint, which is only about a fifth of the footprint of other lasers in the same performance class.
Being compact and robust allows for the diode lasers to be mobile, enabling entirely new backup strategies. For maintenance work or in the case of a malfunction, the laser can simply be exchanged and replaced.
Maintenance or repair now can take place in the maintenance area instead of on the production line, not causing production stoppages and enabling a more flexible approach to service by either the customer or Laserline service personnel.

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