THREE COMMON QUESTIONS CONCERNING LASER WELDING IN SHEET METAL FABRICATION

(featured in Fabricating & Metalworking – 6/16; written by Dr. Philip Rettenmeier)

Many sheet metal fabrication shops still hesitate to invest in laser welding. They are missing out on the numerous competitive advantages and opportunities that it offers over conventional welding processes. Here are some insights that they need to know.

Laser welding has been widely accepted by the automotive industry for decades, but in sheet metal fabrication many shops are still hesitant to take the leap. The latest advancements have made laser welding a more viable solution, reducing the cost of entry and providing sheet metal fabricators greater access to the numerous advantages laser welding offers compared to conventional welding processes. Here we address the common questions sheet metal fabricators as when looking to add laser welding to their shop.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT LASER WELDING BEFORE I LOOK TO INVEST?

In sheet metal fabrication, a solid state laser emitting light at a wavelength of approximately 1┬Ám can be used to join materials. The focused laser beam melts the material locally and with minimal heat input resulting in minimal distortion of the material. Three main parameters determine the laser welding process: ┬álaser power, weld speed, and focal positioning.

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