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Laser welding

Joining process by melting the material with lasers.

Illustration of Laser welding

The process

A gas is supplied to the welding area [1] with a view to protecting the melt from contamination and to achieve increased welding speed. A laser beam [2] is focused on and melts the portion of the workpiece to be welded.

There are two ways to apply this method. One approach, "Conduction mode welding", using a laser of lower power, generating the laser welds only on the surface of the workpiece. The second method, "keyhole welding" [3], using a laser with a much higher power to penetrate further into the workpiece, creating a so-called "keyhole", which joins the product with a deep and narrow weld zone.

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Advantages and disadvantages
In comparison with alternative methods
Suitable for welding high-alloy metals without difficulty
Useful in the open atmosphere
transmission over long distance possible
Low heat affected zone
Low heat input
Welding of non-identical materials possible
No need for filler
Exact process
Can be used for welding of complex geometries of the weld seam
Less distortion of the welded joint
weld with high quality
cavity free joints
Requires little time for subsequent processing of the weld seam
Rapid cooling can cause cracking of certain metals
High investment
High cost underhållnings
Expensive filling materials used
Requires tight-fitting welds.