Why Laser Welding

Laser welding is a fusion process where metal is melted to join components together or a filler wire is melted onto the surface to build up areas. Heat is produced and there will be a heat affected zone (HAZ), but generally the heat input into a laser welded job is a small fraction of that produced using conventional welding techniques.

The huge energy density of laser (usually NdYag) is the essential reason why laser is so precise and neat a process; a 2mm penetration weld performed with a laser will typically result in a 60% narrower weld and an 80% smaller molten weld pool compared with TIG welding.

Where do you gain with laser welding?

  • Very low distortion due to low heat input = lighter gauges can be utilised
  • Deep penetration without high heat input = high aspect ratio e.g. 3mm wide but 8mm deep
  • Minimal dilution when welding dissimilar metals = low propensity for cracking
  • Welding dissimilar thickness materials is possible
  • Better control on aluminium welding
  • Very high precision

Performance comparison

TIG MIG Laser
Weld pool size 2-10mm 4-15mm 0.2-3mm
Heat input High Medium Miniscule
Penetration max. 5mm max. 5mm 0.1-10mm
Filler Wire Handfed, or up to 5m/min. Up to 20m/min. Autogenous or hand fed