Laser welding or laser-beam welding is always used when components need to be welded at high speed, with minimal thermal distortion and thin seams. The process is highly precise and helps reduce rework costs. Therefore, it is ideal for replacing expensive processes such as milling or casting.
Laser-beam welding also provides additional flexibility as the process is automatically controlled and enables individual, customer-specific planning. A wide range of materials of different thicknesses can be processed, e.g. copper, aluminium, steel and titanium. Even sandwich materials with plastic fillings pose no problem.
Other benefits include easy access thanks to the 3D process, and the ability to process components with complex joint geometries. Due to the six-axis mobility of the robots, overhead welding is also possible.
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Laser-beam welding is always carried out robotically. The parameters are programmed and can therefore be reproduced at any time. Thanks to very small spot sizes, precise positioning and controlled heat input, laser-beam welding is ideal for very small as well as thermally, electrically and mechanically sensitive assemblies. Among other things, laser-beam welding is used in the production of vibration dampers for the rail vehicle industry, which are welded helium-tight without causing damage to internal components. It is also used for lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles and UMTS duplexers in mobile-phone technology. This highly automated process enables the production of big batches.
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In the medium-sized segment, laser-beam welding combines the benefits of small and XL technology. Consequently, a large variety of applications fall into this size category. Photon carries out welding jobs on rotor segments of turbines as well as tailored blanks for the automotive industry. It is also used on already deep-drawn components. Experience has taught us that laser-beam welding reduces the distortion caused by the generation of internal stresses, which lead to severe problems and high tolerances in conventional welding methods.
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Advances in materials science have made it possible to construct welded assemblies from increasingly thinner sheets while improving material characteristics. Again, however, weld distortion is one of the negative side effects. Laser-beam welding offers significant advantages in this size range due to the high welding speed and very precise heat input compared to conventional inert-gas or resistance-spot welding processes. Photon has special equipment and technology to produce even small quantities inexpensively. We can produce sidewalls and roofs for the rail-vehicle industry in the dimensions of 20000 x 3000 x 1000 mm just as easily as thin-walled sheet-metal assemblies for plant construction and mechanical engineering.
The technique of laser-beam soldering is used for components, systems, machines and customer-specific equipment and can be used for soft soldering, brazing or high-temperature soldering. Laser-beam soldering is a substance-to-substance joining process in which the join partners are connected by soldering. The laser beam enables the precise application of high energy to the solder joints, which are heated only minimally in a short space of time. As a result, almost no thermal stress occurs on the components. Laser-beam soldering is a reliable process for ensuring high-quality joints and is particularly well suited for joining highly sensitive components as well as hard-to-reach joints.
Further advantages of laser-beam soldering are the contactless heat application, which prevents contamination by soldering tools, the high level of precision, and high power density. The visible seams are of high aesthetic quality and require no reworking – this flawless surface quality is also important for the next processing stage.
Laser-deposition welding is a welding process in which a workpiece receives a surface layer through the application of another material that is bonded to it. Thermal coating using a laser-based machining process is ideal for producing hardwearing surfaces. The method produces precise results and also reduces thermal distortion.
In industrial applications, laser-deposition welding is mainly carried out fully automatically with powder, while manual laser-deposition systems usually use wire.
The process is also suitable for machining and repair processes – wherever expensive, predominantly large components cannot be inexpensively replaced. Laser-deposition welding is used to repair forming tools, engine parts and turbine parts such as blades, as well as disks and blisks. It is also used for the creation of functional layers (e.g. protective layers against wear and tear).
Photon also enjoys an excellent reputation in the field of conventional welding – and even today, new technologies are not always preferable to the older ones. We would be happy to advise you on which procedure is best suited in your case. The classic welding process at Photon follows a standardised procedure that has been certified by several relevant institutions – including the Federal Railway Authority and the German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement.
Other welding techniques used by Photon, depending on the wishes and requirements of the customer: