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08 Nov, 2023, Company News

The application areas of laser welding

The application areas of laser welding
  1. Manufacturing Applications

Tailored Bland Laser Welding technology has been widely used in foreign car manufacturing. According to statistics, there are over 100 production lines for laser welding tailored blanks worldwide in 2000, producing 70 million car component blanks annually, with continuous high-speed growth. Some domestically produced car models, such as Passat, Buick, Audi, etc., have also adopted some tailored blank structures. In Japan, CO2 laser welding has replaced flash butt welding for connecting steel coil sheets in the steelmaking industry. In the research on ultrathin sheet welding, such as foils with a thickness of less than 100 microns, fusion welding is not possible, but successful welding can be achieved through YAG laser welding with special output power waveforms, demonstrating the broad prospects of laser welding. Japan has also successfully developed the use of YAG laser welding for the repair of steam generator tubes in nuclear reactors, and domestic researchers like Su Baorong have also conducted research on gear laser welding technology.

  1. Powder Metallurgy Field

With the continuous development of science and technology, many industrial applications have special requirements for materials that cannot be met by materials manufactured using casting and forging methods. Powder metallurgy materials have special properties and manufacturing advantages, and they are gradually replacing traditional cast and forged materials in certain fields such as the automotive, aviation, and tool manufacturing industries. With the increasing development of powder metallurgy materials, the issue of connecting them with other parts has become increasingly prominent, limiting the application of powder metallurgy materials. In the early 1980s, laser welding entered the field of powder metallurgy materials processing with its unique advantages, opening up new prospects for the application of powder metallurgy materials. For example, laser welding is commonly used to weld diamonds in powder metallurgy materials connections. Due to low joint strength and wide heat-affected zone, especially the inability to meet high temperature and high strength requirements, brazing often leads to braze melting and detachment. Laser welding can improve the welding strength and high-temperature resistance.

  1. Automotive Industry

In the late 1980s, kilowatt-level lasers were successfully applied to industrial production, and now laser welding production lines have appeared on a large scale in the automotive manufacturing industry, becoming one of the outstanding achievements in the automotive manufacturing industry. European car manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Volvo were among the first to adopt laser welding for sheet metal welding, such as roofs, car bodies, and side frames, in the 1980s. In the 1990s, American companies such as General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler also introduced laser welding into automotive manufacturing. Although they started later, they developed rapidly. Fiat in Italy has adopted laser welding in the welding assembly of most steel components. Japanese car manufacturers Nissan, Honda, and Toyota use laser welding and cutting processes in the manufacturing of car body panels. Laser-welded high-strength steel assembly parts are increasingly used in automotive body manufacturing. According to statistics from the American metal market, by the end of 2002, the consumption of laser-welded steel structures would reach 70,000 tons, three times more than in 1998. Due to the large-scale and high level of automation in the automotive industry, laser welding equipment is developing towards high power and multi-channel directions. In terms of technology, the Sandia National Laboratories in the United States and Pratt Witney have conducted research on the addition of powder metals and metal wires during laser welding. The Institute of Beam Technology Research in Bremen, Germany has conducted extensive research on the use of laser welding in aluminum alloy body frame welding, believing that adding filler materials to the weld seam can help eliminate thermal cracks, improve welding speed, and solve tolerance problems. The developed production line has been put into production in Mercedes-Benz factories.

  1. Electronics Industry

Laser welding has been widely used in the electronics industry, especially in the microelectronics industry. Due to the small heat-affected zone, concentrated heating, and low thermal stress of laser welding, it has shown unique advantages in the encapsulation of integrated circuits and semiconductor device casings. Laser welding has also been applied in the development of vacuum devices, such as the welding of molybdenum focusing electrodes with stainless steel support rings, and fast-heating cathode filament components, etc. Elastic thin-walled corrugated sheets in sensors or thermostats, with a thickness of 0.05-0.1mm, are difficult to solve using traditional welding methods. TIG welding is prone to burn-through, and plasma stability is poor, while laser welding has excellent results due to multiple influencing factors. It is widely used.

  1. Biomedical

Laser welding of biological tissues began in the 1970s. The successful welding of fallopian tubes and blood vessels by Klink and Jain using laser welding demonstrated its superiority, leading to more researchers attempting to weld various biological tissues and promote welding in other tissues. Current domestic and international research on laser welding in the field of neurosurgery mainly focuses on the study of laser wavelength, dosage, their impact on functional recovery, and the selection of laser welding materials. Liu Tongjun has conducted basic research on laser welding of small blood vessels and skin and further researched bile duct welding in rats. Compared to traditional suture methods, laser welding has the advantages of faster alignment speed, no foreign body reaction during the healing process, maintaining the mechanical properties of the welded area, and allowing repaired tissues to grow according to their original biomechanical characteristics. Laser welding will be more widely applied in future biomedical applications.

  1. Other Fields

In other industries, laser welding is gradually increasing, especially in the welding of special materials. Many studies have been conducted in China, such as laser welding of BT20 titanium alloy, HEl30 alloy, Li-ion batteries, etc. German glass machinery manufacturer Glamaco Coswig and the IFW Institute of Joining Technology and Materials Research have cooperated to develop a new laser welding technology for flat glass.

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