Laser welding uses a converging beam of laser radiation to create a spot of high-energy density. This spot can melt superalloys and fuse materials. The spot size is small and high cooling rates can be achieved. Although laser welding machines use only moderate amounts of power (2 kW is a normal value), it can offer high welding speeds.
Laser welding is typically used for:
- Welding of sensitive alloys
- High-precision, repetitive repair jobs
- Deformation-free joining of sheet metals
Laser welding can be used for build-up welding (cladding). In this case, weld filler material is added while the weld spot travels over the surface being built up. Cooling rates are very high because of the high travel speed (500 to 1,000 mm/min). Contrary to normal welding, such as argon arc or metal-inert gas welding, this process can create fine-grained deposits with a homogeneous structure.
Laser welding is a great advantage in hard facing applications. It protects against water droplet erosion and therefore extends the lifetime of your machinery
The weld pool of laser welding has a diameter of about 2 mm. An automated process allows fast repetition of preprogrammed contours with high precision. Tip welding of worn gas turbine blades is a common application.