Laser diode welds deep into steel

Dec. 6, 1999
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institut für Lasertechnik (ILT; Aachen, Germany) have, in what they believe is a first, succeeded in deep-penetration welding a 2-mm stainless-steel sheet.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institut für Lasertechnik (ILT; Aachen, Germany) have, in what they believe is a first, succeeded in deep-penetration welding a 2-mm stainless-steel sheet. Until now, laser-diode welding has been restricted to ordinary welding by melting, which leads only to superficial, pot-shaped seams with an aspect ratio (depth/width) of typically 0.5. Conversely, deep-penetration welding, as achieved by CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers, is very useful for generating deeply welded connections with improved mechanical solidity and, in comparison to welding by mere melting, a reduced heat-affected zone.

Welding depths up to 6 mm were reported in more recent samples, achieved by applying a 2.5-kW, broadband 900-nm laser diode (Rofin Sinar; Hamburg, Germany). Thus, the ILT team expects rapid development in laser-diode deep welding. Improvements should come in the form of better beam shape and controlled processes, including control of the gas supply.

About the Author

Uwe Brinkmann | Contributing Editor, Germany

Uwe Brinkmann was Contributing Editor, Germany, for Laser Focus World.

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