In addition to the core features of laser beam welding, application of vacuum conditions significantly improve performance and quality of laser welds and the overall welding process.
The following aspects focus on laser in vacuum welding properties.
The laser beam consists of photons and can therefore also weld magnetic materials. Magnetic clamping devices for fixing and positioning the workpieces in the process chamber can be applied. Demagnetization of the workpiece prior to the laser welding is unnecessary which reduces the cycle time and shortens the process chain. Even inductive heating is possible during the welding process.
Laser Beam Welding (LBW) in atmosphere conditions (non-vacuum) is in general a versatile process:
capable of welding stainless steel, carbon steels, HSLA steels, aluminum, and titanium.
In most of these cases, shielding gas needs to be applied. The weld quality is high regarding precision and similar to that of the electron beam. However, metallurgical properties of laser beam welding are not matching those of EB welding.
Laser enables higher weld quality and significantly higher welding speeds than arc welding: in comparison to GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) only one pass is needed and the weld rate is significantly lower.
The welding speed is proportional to the laser power and depends on the material and its thickness. The high power capability and good beam quality of fiber lasers make them especially suitable for high volume applications.
Laser beam welding systems are widely applied in the automotive industry and their supplier network. Further industries amongst others are: aerospace, fabrication of electrical devices (e.g. sensors, etc.) and medical technology.
Laser welding and electron beam welding have following commonalities:
The differences between both these technologies are:
When comparing laser in vacuum welding with electron beam welding, including process performance, CAPEX (capital expenditures), OPEX (operational expenditures) as well as space and safety requirements, there is no clear winner at first glance.
The decision has to be based on the application (materials, mechanical properties and dimensions) and expected results as well as scope of different workpieces to be welded in that respective machine. Taking into account the long life time of electron beam welders and laser beam welders (>20 years), both can be very cost effective.
In addition to the electron beam systems, Evobeam offers laser beam welding systems in order to be able to supply the optimal solution for the weld tasks.
Laser in Vacuum Welding - Systems & Options
Versatile range of laser in vacuum machining solutions supported by our scope of services