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Metal Repairs: Laser Welding


light amplification by stimulated emission

of radiation.
Electrons are atomic particles that exist at specific
energy levels. These energy levels are unique and are
different for every atom or molecule.
Electrons in outer rings are at higher energy levels than
those in the inner rings. A flash of light can bump
electrons to higher energy levels by the injection of
energy. When an electron drops from an outer ring to an
inner ring or level, the excess of energy is given off as
The wavelength or the color emitted is related to the
amount of energy released.

I. The LaserStar Workstation

The LaserStar Workstation is an
Nd:YAG laser. The host material is a
cylindrical crystal of yttriumaluminum -garnet (Y3Al5O12), YAG
doped by weight with neodymium
(Nd3+) ions. Laser emission takes
place at 1.064 m (infrared).

Part of the laser light passes through

the semi-reflecting mirror and performs
the welding function.
produces a very high energy density
light beam, many times higher than is
possible with normal light
The energy -hot light- created at the
focal point in a relatively short time
(0.5 to 20 ms) heats the metal beyond
its melting point and thus enables a

Laser Power
Joules: The hot light energy
output is measured in joules.
This industry term by
definition is the capacity
for doing work. Hot light
energy output is determined
by the amount of voltage and
pulse-length selected by the

Welding effects:
When a pulse of hot light
energy penetrates an
alloy, the resulting affect
creates gaseous, liquid,
and molten zones in the
bombardment area

Effect parameters while welding metals

is as follows:
The voltage first influences the welding
The pulse length predominantly influences
the diameter of the welding point.
The focus influences the welding depth as
well as the diameter of the welding spot.
When increasing the diameter, the welding
depth is reduced at the same time.

Parameter Adjustments-Bombardment
Zone Results

ON SYSTEM ON: This light comes on when the main
switch of the product is turned on and the key
switch is set to the ON position.
CLOSE SHUTTER: This key closes the shutter. A
continuous indicator light indicates that the
shutter is closed.
O OPEN SHUTTER: This key enables the opening of
the laser shutter. Green indicator light flashes
when the shutter is ready to open; continuous
when the shutter has opened.
ENTER KEY: To enter or accept system variables
and/or navigate menus.
OK Green light indicates laser is ready, Red: no pulse
can be released (recovery time) or the system is
still in the startup phase after being switched on.
! FAULT: System fault (yellow light). To reset fault
must be corrected.
/ To change system variables and navigate menus.
MENU To enter the menu mode.

Welding chamber/area controls

Gas Flow Control These controls used to control the flow of inert gas. Right control for center
tube, left control for left tube.
Beam Expander: Focus setting: This changes the diameter of the focal spot (model dependant)
Safety Shutter (Open Shutter) Used to open laser shutter from inside the welding
Brightness This control allows you to control the brightness of the lights in the welding
+ / - When the joystick is pushed toward the + , this will increase the value in the display for the
parameter flashing. When the joystick is pushed toward the - , this will decrease the value in the
display for the parameter flashing.
< Menu The joystick is pushed toward the < Menu symbol to select the parameter to be changed
going to the left in the display.
Menu > The joystick is pushed toward the Menu > symbol to select the parameter to be changed
going to the right in the display.

Joining Metals

Joint Preparation: To ensure a

strong laser welding joint it is
important to properly evaluate your
application and material thickness
first before selecting one of the joint
preparation methods
Bonding the joint: Strong

homogenous allow flow is achieved using

the appropriate parameter combinations
and the 50% overlap firing method. This
ensures a structurally sound joint while
virtually eliminating the possibility of
gaseous pockets or cold welds

Surface filling the joint: laser

welding vaporizes some of the alloy.
Filler material is used to fill these
voids. The filler material should be the
same alloy if possible. Filler wire
diameter should be no lager than
0.50mm or .020.

Welding a Connector

Keyhole Weld- used for thick connectors

is a deep core penetrating weld that will
hold the part together. A proper keyhole
weld will penetrate at least halfway into
the gauge of the parts to be welded

Surface Weld- used for tin connectors.

Thin connectors need less penetration.
Therefore, a Surface weld is

Quadrant Method

Quadrant Tacking
Metal contracts and expands during the
welding process. For this reason we must
tack the connector in diametrically
opposed quadrants.

Quadrant Welding
To maintain equal, consistent heating
and equal metal displacement of the
structure, we must weld the connector
in diametrically opposed quadrants as
well. This prevents distortion of the
metal during the weld process.

Filler Materials

Large gaps: Require fabricating a

large insert (often thick wire or
casted piece) of the same material
Small gaps: often require a quick
application of a thin filler wire to
correct or complete the laser
welding application

Shallow blemishes: require a

quick application of a thin filler wire
to correct the laser welding


Deep porosity: can be repaired

in two steps: first using high
voltage-short pulse duration with
a tight beam diameter, burnout
any investment remaining and
expose the complete porosity
pocket; Second, use the filler
material to refill the porosity

Hammering and Smoothing

After the core laser welding

process has been completed, it
is recommended to adjust to a
lower power, wide laser pulse
diameter and medium to fast
auto-pulsing setting. This will
smooth over or hammer the
surface which eliminates most
rough surfaces and reduces
secondary finishing techniques
to the laser welded area.