Fiber lasers weld small

Jan. 16, 2012
Rugby, UK – Industrial laser welding has been effective in solving some of the increasing complexity that manufacturing microelectronics, medical, and engineering devices has placed on assembly techniques. A particular challenge is how to achieve the power levels necessary to laser micro weld accurately without distortion.

Rugby, UK – Industrial laser welding has been effective in solving some of the increasing complexity that manufacturing microelectronics, medical, and engineering devices has placed on assembly techniques. A particular challenge is how to achieve the power levels necessary to laser micro weld accurately without distortion. JK Lasers says an effective way to weld very small parts is by using fiber lasers.

The company has demonstrated how excellent beam quality, low power (100–200W) continuous wave (CW) fiber lasers with modulation consistently achieve high quality spot welds on thin stainless steel foils (20–150 micron).

Used in the manufacture of hard disk drive flexure arms, these foils help to hold ferrite readers above spinning magnetic media. The high positioning speed and ultra-close proximity of the ferrite reader mean flexure arms must be accurately assembled. Their design must accommodate resonances, stiffness, and overall component accuracy in three planes.

Spatter-free welds are critical to ensuring the reliable operation of hard disk drives. Any brittle oxide or melt spatter on the surface may flake off and contaminate the drive, rendering it useless.

During trials, a single mode fiber laser with Gaussian beam profile produced spatter-free spot welds between 76 and 175 micron in diameter. A flat top beam profile, an optional feature offered by JK Lasers’ fiber lasers, achieved spatter-free welds between 150 and 270 micron in diameter. The high levels of laser accuracy modulated enables high quality, shallow conduction mode spot welding with excellent top bead profile that are tailored to the target.

JK Lasers is a global company that provides innovative industrial lasers and laser processing solutions for the medical device, aerospace, automotive, electronics and semiconductor industries.

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