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Closing the Gap | Superior Joining Technologies

June 01, 2019 | by : Thom Shelow

The most recent challenge to the welding industry involves deep penetration welds for small to midsize assemblies with varying geometry and fit characteristics. There’s s a void between traditional micro laser beam welding (LBW) systems and large format CO2 lasers that could not compensate for the poor fit-up assembly details and tight tolerance components required for laser welding. 

In this video, we see how the high power (500 - 5,000 W) of a CO2 laser provides deep penetration welds and the joining of different materials. However, the uncontrollable heat input produces weaker and inconsistent parts, especially among smaller and complex assemblies. Smaller micro lasers, or yags, generate minimal heat (5 - 140 W) that narrows the heat affected zone (HAZ) necessary for thinner and smaller assemblies, but they fail to achieve the depth of penetration that our customers require. 

SJTI’s newest investment in laser beam welding (LBW) with powder deposition introduces filler metal into the laser weld joint and helps close this gap between traditional laser welding systems and customer demands for greater controlled depth of weld penetration applied to smaller, thinner, and intricate assemblies. 

The process involves a laser beam directed through a processing head with focusing optics. The processing head delivers a powder substance in a conical shape right into the beam path. The powder then liquefies at the precise location of the laser beam and generates a small pool of molten base, or filler material, with minimal heat input. This advantage limits distortion of the substrate and reduces additional corrective machining on thinner materials and smaller assemblies.

SJTI continues to provide economical solutions that accommodate variations in customer provided assemblies, presenting customers with accurate and consistent results, and connecting those within the welding community to entirely new markets and manufacturing methods.