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How Thick can A Handheld Laser Welding Machine

How Thick can A Handheld Laser Welding Machine

The 1000 Watt laser welding machine can weld stainless steel up to 3 mm.

The 1500 Watt laser welding machine can weld stainless steel up to 5mm.

The 2000 Watt laser welding machine can weld stainless steel up to 8 mm.

dowell-lightweld-1500-laser-welding

For welds greater than 0.3mm it is recommended to use a laser welding machine with wire feed. Material thickness less than 1 mm, it is recommended to use the laser welding without wire feed, because the wire feed welding speed is relatively slow without wire feed, which can easily cause deformation.

What Materials Can Be Welded by Laser Welding?

Handheld laser welding machines can weld a wide range of materials including:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Carbon Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Titanium
  • Nickel Alloys

Additionally, they can handle welding dissimilar materials, which is beneficial for various industrial applications​.

handheld laser welder
Laser weld cleaning

Laser Welding Power, Thickness & Speed Chart

Here’s a simplified chart to illustrate the relationship between laser power, material thickness, and welding speed for common handheld laser welders:

Laser Power Material Thickness Welding Speed
1000W Up to 2 mm High speed, 3-5 m/min
1500W Up to 4 mm Moderate speed, 2-4 m/min
2000W Up to 6 mm Slower speed, 1-3 m/min
2500W Up to 8 mm Slow speed, <2 m/min

Advantages and Disadvantages of handheld laser welding machines.

Advantages

1. The amount of heat input can be reduced to the minimum required, the heat affected zone has a small range of metallurgical changes and the deformation caused by heat transfer is also minimal.

2. 32mm plate thickness single pass welding process parameters have been checked and qualified, which can reduce the time required for thick plate welding and even eliminate the use of filler metal.

3. No electrodes are required, so there is no concern about contamination or damage to the electrodes. And because it is not a contact welding process, the wear and tear on the machine and deformation can be minimised.

4. The laser beam is easily focused, aligned and guided by optical instruments, and can be placed at an appropriate distance from the workpiece and redirected between machines or obstacles around the workpiece, whereas other welding methods cannot be used due to the above-mentioned space limitations.

laser welding strength

Disadvantages

  • Cost: The initial investment for a handheld laser welder is significant. This includes the machine itself, but also the complex laser systems and safety features. Compared to traditional welding techniques, the upfront cost is much higher, and ongoing maintenance can add to the expense.

  • Limited Welding Depth: Due to the nature of laser welding, handheld units tend to have a lower power output compared to stationary machines. This translates to a shallower weld penetration depth. For thicker materials, a more powerful (and industrial) laser welder would be required.

  • Material Pickiness: Laser beams can be quite sensitive to certain materials. Highly reflective surfaces, like aluminum and copper alloys, can deflect the laser energy, making it difficult to achieve a good weld.

  • Safety Concerns: Handheld laser welders concentrate a lot of power into a tight beam. Mishandling or improper training can lead to serious eye injuries or burns. Strict safety protocols and proper personal protective equipment (PPE) are essential.

Laser Welding Parameters

Power Density: High power density allows for efficient material removal and good welding, typically ranging from 10^4 to 10^6 W/cm².
Pulse Width: Critical for determining the properties of the weld, affecting the depth and quality of the weld pool.
Welding speed: Adjust speed to match power and material thickness to ensure optimal welding quality.
Spot size: Smaller spot size provides greater accuracy and facilitates detailed welding tasks.

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