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Laser welding. Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/Factory_Easy

13 Different Types of Laser Welding

Xomety X
By Team Xometry
June 24, 2023
 28 min read
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Laser welding is a technique that uses a laser beam to join metals or thermoplastics, creating a weld between the materials. The laser beam provides a concentrated and intense heat source, enabling high welding speeds for thin materials, often reaching meters per minute. This process offers versatility in welding various materials and allows for the precise and efficient joining of components.

There are different types of laser welding techniques, each with its own set of advantages, limitations, working principles, and applications. In this article, we will discuss 14 different types of laser welding. We will briefly describe each process, see how it is different from the other laser welding processes, and give applications of each process in real-world scenarios.

1. Fiber Laser Welding

Fiber laser welding is a welding process that utilizes a fiber laser as the energy source to join metal pieces together. Fiber laser welding employs a focused laser beam to generate heat and melt the metal, creating a weld joint. It operates by harnessing pump light emitted from laser diodes. The emitted light is directed into a fiber-optic cable. Within the cable, optical components are employed to generate a specific wavelength and amplify it. Ultimately, the laser beam produced is carefully shaped and released for its intended application. The process involves the sequential steps of utilizing laser diodes to emit light, transmitting it through a fiber-optic cable, manipulating the wavelength and intensity through optical components, and ultimately delivering the desired laser beam, resulting in a highly efficient and powerful welding tool.

Fiber laser welding has many characteristics that are desirable within the manufacturing sector, including: precision, control, speed, and minimal distortion of the welded materials. The focused and concentrated heat source of the fiber laser enables precise control over the welding process, making it suitable for welding thin and delicate materials. The rapid heating and cooling facilitated by the fiber laser lead to faster welding times compared to traditional welding techniques. One notable advantage of fiber laser welding is its high power density, which allows for deep penetration welding. This makes it particularly well-suited for thick materials and applications that require strong, full-penetration welds.

Fiber laser welding finds application in various industries, including: automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical, defense, and construction. It is commonly used in the automotive industry for joining structural components and chassis parts. In the aerospace sector, fiber laser welding is employed in the manufacture of aircraft engine components and structural elements. It is also utilized in the electronics industry for welding electrical contacts and microcircuits. In the medical and construction industries, it is used for devices like heart stents, and welding tables and window frames, respectively. The defense industry also uses fiber lasers to weld frames and armor plates for armored vehicles and tanks. 

2. Laser Spot Welding

Laser spot welding is a welding technique that utilizes a focused laser beam to create welds in small and localized areas. The laser spot welding process involves directing a high-energy laser beam onto the workpiece, causing the metal to melt and form a weld. The focused laser spot delivers a high power density, resulting in rapid heating and localized melting of the metal. The molten material solidifies to create a weld joint that is strong and reliable.

Laser spot welding offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows for high precision and accuracy, making it suitable for welding delicate or small parts. Laser spot welding focuses the laser beam into a concentrated spot, typically ranging from 0.1 mm to 2 mm in diameter. The small heat-affected zone reduces the risk of distortion or damage to the surrounding material. Additionally, the non-contact nature of laser spot welding minimizes the chance of contamination or surface marks on the workpiece.

Laser spot welding is utilized in a wide range of applications across various industries. One common application is coil welding, particularly in electronics and electrical engineering, in which sub-100-micron spot welds are required. Laser spot welding is also utilized in the medical field for manufacturing medical devices and implants.

3. Keyhole Laser Welding

Keyhole laser welding is an advanced welding technique that involves the formation of a keyhole, or a deep, narrow hole, in the workpiece during the welding process. This technique utilizes a high-power laser beam to create a focused and intense heat source, which vaporizes the metal and forms the keyhole. The keyhole extends through the full thickness of the workpiece, allowing for deep penetration welding. The keyhole is stabilized by the vapor pressure created by the vaporized metal, which prevents the keyhole from collapsing.

Keyhole laser welding offers several advantages. It allows for deep penetration into thick materials, making it suitable for welding applications that require strong and fully penetrated welds. The high-power laser beam and focused heat source result in rapid melting and solidification of the metal, leading to fast welding speeds and high productivity. Keyhole laser welding also produces weld joints with minimal distortion and excellent weld quality.

This welding technique is commonly used in industries such as: automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. It is particularly useful for joining thick components and materials, such as structural elements in the aerospace industry or heavy machinery components in manufacturing.

4. Laser Seam Welding

Laser seam welding is a welding technique that utilizes a laser beam to create a continuous and highly precise weld along a seam or joint between two or more metal workpieces. The laser beam is focused onto the workpiece using lenses or mirrors. The high-energy laser beam rapidly heats and melts the metal, forming a narrow and well-defined weld pool along the seam. As the laser beam moves along the joint, the molten metal solidifies, creating a strong and continuous weld joint.

Laser seam welding provides high precision and control, allowing for accurate and consistent welds along the entire seam. The focused laser beam enables the welding of thin and delicate materials without causing distortion or damage. Additionally, the high speed of laser seam welding allows for efficient production rates.

This welding technique finds applications in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, and manufacturing industries. In the aerospace sector, it is employed for welding aircraft components, such as fuel lines and structural elements. Laser seam welding is also utilized in the electronics industry for creating hermetic seals in electronic packages, as well as in the manufacturing industry for producing various metal assemblies. 

5. Remote Laser Welding

Remote laser welding (RLW) is a specialized technique used in laser welding in which the laser beam is delivered to the workpiece using fiber optic cables or other beam delivery systems. Unlike traditional laser welding setups in which the workpiece is positioned in close proximity to the laser source, RLW enables welding operations to be conducted at a distance.

In RLW, the laser beam is transmitted through flexible fiber optic cables, allowing for greater flexibility in positioning the workpiece and the welding equipment. This remote operation offers several advantages, including enhanced accessibility to difficult-to-reach areas or complex geometries. RLW is commonly used in industrial applications if the workpiece is large, bulky, or requires precise manipulation.

6. CO2 Laser Welding

CO2 laser welding is a welding process that utilizes a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser beam as the energy source to join metal components together. It is a widely used and established welding method in various industries due to its versatility and effectiveness.

In CO2 laser welding, the CO2 laser beam is generated by exciting a mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and helium gases. The laser beam is then focused onto the workpiece using mirrors and lenses to create a concentrated heat source. The intense heat generated by the laser beam melts the metal at the welding joint, allowing it to fuse and form a strong weld.

CO2 laser welding offers several advantages, such as precise control over the welding process due to the focused and well-defined laser beam. This allows for high-quality and accurate welds, even in intricate or delicate components. The deep penetration capability of CO2 lasers enables the welding of thick materials, making them suitable for applications that require strong, full-penetration welds.

CO2 laser welding finds applications in various industries, including: automotive, aerospace, electronics, and manufacturing. It is commonly used for joining components such as body panels, chassis parts, exhaust systems, and electrical enclosures. The versatility of CO2 laser welding allows for the welding of different types of metals, including: steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.

7. Pulsed Laser Welding

Pulsed laser welding is a welding technique that utilizes laser pulses to join metal components together. It is a variation of laser welding in which the laser beam is emitted in short pulses rather than being continuously applied, typically ranging from nanoseconds to milliseconds in duration. Each pulse delivers a high peak power of energy to the workpiece, rapidly heating the metal and causing it to melt. The pulses are separated by intervals of no laser emission, allowing the material to cool and solidify partially before the next pulse is applied. 

The key advantage of pulsed laser welding is the control it provides over the heat input and the resulting weld. The pulse duration, pulse frequency, and energy level can be adjusted to precisely control the amount of heat transferred to the workpiece. This allows for better control over the welding process, especially for delicate or heat-sensitive materials, as it minimizes the heat-affected zone and reduces the risk of distortion or material damage.

The applications of pulsed laser welding are diverse. It is widely used in industries such as: automotive, aerospace, electronics, and medical devices. Pulsed laser welding is suitable for joining thin sheets, fine wires, and small components. It is employed for welding applications in which precision, control, and minimal heat input are critical.

8. Laser-Hybrid Welding

Laser-hybrid welding is an advanced welding technique that combines the advantages of laser welding and arc welding to create a highly efficient and precise joining process for metal components. It involves the simultaneous use of a laser beam and an arc welding method, such as gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).

In laser-hybrid welding, the laser beam acts as the primary heat source, delivering a concentrated and intense energy beam to the joint. The laser beam rapidly heats the metal, causing it to melt and form a weld pool. At the same time, an arc welding process, typically GMAW or GTAW, is employed to supply the filler material and add heat to the weld pool.

The combination of laser and arc welding in laser-hybrid welding offers several advantages. The laser beam provides a precise and localized heat source, resulting in deep penetration and fast welding speeds. It also contributes to reduced distortion, improved control over the welding process, and enhanced joint quality. The arc welding method complements the laser by providing filler material, shielding gas, and additional heat, resulting in better control over the weld pool and improved metallurgical properties.

Laser-hybrid welding finds applications in various industries, including: automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, and heavy equipment manufacturing. It is commonly used for joining thick materials, large structures, and complex geometries. The process is particularly beneficial when high welding speeds, deep penetration, and superior weld quality are required.

9. Conduction Laser Welding

Conduction laser welding is a type of laser welding process that utilizes the principle of heat conduction to join metal components together. It is a commonly used technique for welding thin materials or components with low heat conductivity.

In conduction laser welding, a laser beam is directed onto the joint between the metal components. The laser beam's energy is absorbed by the workpiece, causing localized heating. As the heat spreads through the material, it conducts along the joint, gradually melting the metal and forming a weld.

The key characteristic of conduction laser welding is the relatively low laser power and longer interaction time with the workpiece. The laser beam's energy is adjusted to a level that allows for controlled heat conduction along the joint without excessive melting or vaporization. This helps minimize distortion and heat-affected zone size, making it suitable for welding thin or delicate materials.

Conduction laser welding offers several advantages. It provides precise control over the welding process, as the heat conduction allows for gradual and controlled melting of the metal. The process produces welds with minimal porosity and reduced risk of defects. It is also less prone to spattering compared to other welding techniques.

This welding method finds applications in various industries, including: electronics, medical devices, and jewelry manufacturing. It is commonly used for joining components with thin walls or dissimilar materials that require precise and controlled welding without compromising their structural integrity.

10. Nd:YAG Laser Welding

Nd:YAG laser welding is a welding technique that utilizes a solid-state laser known as a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser to join metal components together. It is a widely used laser welding method known for its versatility and capability to weld a variety of materials.

In Nd:YAG laser welding, the Nd:YAG laser generates a high-energy laser beam that is focused onto the joint between the metal components. The laser beam rapidly heats and melts the metal, creating a weld pool. As the laser beam moves along the joint, the molten metal solidifies, forming a strong and continuous weld.

Nd:YAG lasers emit light at a wavelength of around 1,064 nanometers, which is well-suited for welding metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and other alloys. The Nd:YAG laser beam is applied to the workpiece using fiber optic cables or articulated robotic arms, offering flexibility in positioning and access to the weld joint.

Nd:YAG laser welding offers several advantages. It provides precise control over the welding process, allowing for high-quality welds with minimal heat input and reduced distortion. The high power density of the laser beam enables deep penetration welding, making it suitable for thick materials. Nd:YAG welding offers precise control over the power, duration, and shape of laser pulses. It is specifically optimized for pulsed mode operation. However, it's important to note that laser beams can emit pulses with varying wavelengths, and not all of these wavelengths reach the intended target. As a result, some of the energy is dissipated as heat.

This welding method finds applications in various industries, including: automotive, aerospace, electronics, and medical devices. It is commonly used for joining components such as sheet metal, tubes, and other intricate parts. In the aerospace industry, Nd:YAG laser welding can be utilized for joining thin and lightweight materials in the construction of aircraft structures. The focused laser beam ensures accurate and controlled welding, while the minimal heat input helps preserve the material properties. This process allows for strong and reliable welds without compromising the integrity of the aerospace components.

11. Transmission Laser Welding

Transmission laser welding of polymers is a welding technique that utilizes laser energy transmitted through a transparent upper component to join two or more polymer parts. It involves the absorption of laser energy by the lower component, typically made of an opaque material, which then generates heat and melts the interface between the parts. The laser beam passes through the transparent upper component without significant absorption or melting, allowing for precise and localized heating at the joint interface. Once the laser energy is removed, the molten material solidifies, resulting in a strong and reliable weld.

This technique is particularly suitable for joining thermoplastics, as the laser energy can be selectively absorbed by the lower component. The choice of transparent and opaque materials, as well as laser parameters such as power, duration, and wavelength, are crucial for successful transmission laser welding.

Transmission laser welding offers several advantages, including: precise control, minimal thermal damage to surrounding areas, high welding speeds, and the ability to join dissimilar materials. It is widely used in various industries, such as: automotive, electronics, medical devices, and consumer goods manufacturing, in which high-quality and efficient welding of polymer components is required.

12. Continuous Wave Laser Welding

Continuous wave (CW) laser welding is a welding technique that utilizes a continuous laser beam to join metal components together. The high-energy laser beam rapidly heats and melts the metal, creating a weld pool. Unlike pulsed laser welding, which uses short bursts of laser energy, CW laser welding emits a continuous beam of laser light throughout the welding process and allows the molten metal to solidify behind it, forming a continuous weld.

CW laser welding offers several advantages. The continuous beam provides a constant and consistent heat source, resulting in a smooth and continuous weld seam. The steady heat input enables deep penetration, allowing for the welding of thicker materials. CW laser welding also offers high welding speeds, making it suitable for high-volume production.

This welding method finds applications in various industries, including: automotive, aerospace, electronics, and general manufacturing. It is commonly used for joining components such as sheets, tubes, and structural parts. CW laser welding is valued for its efficiency, reliability, and versatility in producing high-quality welds. In the automotive industry, CW laser welding can be employed for joining body panels or structural components.

13. Deep Penetration Laser Welding

Deep penetration laser welding is a welding technique that utilizes a high-power laser beam to achieve significant penetration depth into the workpiece. It is specifically designed for welding thick materials or achieving robust weld joints with excellent depth-to-width ratios.

In deep penetration laser welding, a focused laser beam with high power density is directed onto the joint between the metal components. The laser energy rapidly heats and vaporizes the material, creating a keyhole or cavity within the workpiece. The keyhole is formed by the intense laser energy, which causes the metal to vaporize and create a void that extends deep into the material. The laser beam moves along the joint, maintaining the keyhole, and the vaporized material solidifies to form a strong weld.

The key feature of deep penetration laser welding is the formation and control of the keyhole. The keyhole provides a pathway for the laser beam to penetrate deep into the material, allowing for substantial weld depth. The process requires precise control of laser parameters, such as power, focus, and travel speed, to ensure proper keyhole stability and control of the welding process.

Deep penetration laser welding offers several advantages. It enables the welding of thick materials with a single pass, eliminating the need for multiple welding passes or complex joint preparation. The process offers high welding speeds, excellent weld quality, and reduced heat input, resulting in minimal distortion and a small heat-affected zone. Deep penetration laser welding is also known for its ability to join materials with high melting points and dissimilar materials.

The application of deep penetration laser welding is found in various industries, including: automotive, aerospace, and heavy equipment manufacturing. It is commonly used for welding thick structural components, such as chassis, engine parts, and turbine blades. The process is particularly valuable in applications in which strong and reliable welds with deep penetration are essential.

Which Type of Laser Welding Is Ideal for Connecting Stainless Steel Components?

When it comes to connecting stainless steel components, one of the ideal types of laser welding is typically solid-state laser welding, specifically using an Nd:YAG laser or a fiber laser. Both Nd:YAG and fiber lasers are capable of providing the required power levels and beam characteristics to effectively weld stainless steel. The choice between the two may depend on specific requirements such as power levels, welding speed, or the particular stainless steel grade being used. Stainless steel grades can be categorized into four main groups based on their material properties. Each grade has specific considerations and requirements for laser welding. For example: austenitic stainless steels are well-suited for both pulsed and continuous wave (CW) laser welding. Duplex stainless steels generally exhibit good weldability, but it is recommended to perform testing to ensure satisfactory results due to the variety of available materials.

Which Type of Laser Welding Is Best for Thin Aluminum Sheets?

Both CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers are commonly used for welding thin aluminum sheets, although they have different characteristics and are suitable for different applications. CO2 lasers are commonly used in industrial applications for welding aluminum. They operate in the infrared range and have a longer wavelength (10.6 micrometers) compared to Nd:YAG lasers. CO2 lasers are highly absorbed by aluminum, which makes them effective for welding this material. They provide a high power output and can deliver continuous wave or pulsed beams. CO2 lasers offer good penetration capabilities, which can be advantageous for welding thick aluminum sections. However, they may also generate more heat, which can potentially cause distortion in thin sheets.

Nd:YAG lasers, on the other hand, operate in the near-infrared range (around 1.06 micrometers). They are known for their high beam quality and can deliver both continuous wave and pulsed beams. Nd:YAG lasers have a shorter wavelength compared to CO2 lasers, and their absorption in aluminum is relatively lower. This means that Nd:YAG lasers may require additional techniques, like using an assist gas to enhance absorption and improve welding efficiency. Nd:YAG lasers are often preferred for precision welding applications due to their ability to deliver fine spot sizes and high control.

What Type of Laser Welding Is Best for Copper Components?

When it comes to laser welding copper components, the most suitable type of laser welding is typically conducted using a solid-state laser, particularly a high-power fiber laser. Fiber lasers operate in the near-infrared range and have a wavelength of around 1.06 micrometers, which is better absorbed by copper compared to other laser types. The higher absorption of the fiber laser enables better energy coupling into the copper material, resulting in improved welding efficiency.

In addition to the laser type, the choice of welding mode also plays a role in copper welding. Continuous wave laser welding, with a steady beam of laser light, is commonly used for copper welding to achieve deep penetration and high-quality welds. Continuous-wave lasers typically result in a keyhole weld. This method has been shown to reduce cracking compared to the constant heat/cool cycle of a pulsed laser, which can exacerbate cracking in copper.

Which Type of Laser Welding Is Best for Titanium Alloys?

There are several laser types that are appropriate for welding titanium: CO2, Nd:YAG, and fiber lasers. All of these lasers are effective for titanium welding, and the selection of the method used is primarily based on operational cost rather than weld quality. All these laser types have unique characteristics that make certain lasers more suitable for specific joint configurations and applications. Regarding laser operation, two main approaches exist for titanium welding: pulsed laser welding and continuous wave (CW) laser welding.

What Is Laser Welding?

Laser welding is a high-precision welding technique that utilizes the intense heat generated by a laser beam to join two or more materials together. It is a non-contact process in which the laser beam is focused on the desired welding point, causing the material to melt and form a bond when it solidifies. The laser beam used in welding is generated by amplifying and directing a highly concentrated beam of light through optical elements.

The key advantage of laser welding lies in its ability to produce extremely precise and controlled welds. The focused laser beam allows for a concentrated heat source, resulting in minimal heat-affected zones and reduced distortion in the surrounding areas. This makes it particularly suitable for welding small, intricate components or materials with high melting points.

The applications of laser welding are extensive across various industries. It is commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, and medical fields, where precision and reliability are paramount. Laser welding finds application in joining components, sealing hermetic packages, repairing parts, and even in the production of microdevices.

However, laser welding does have some limitations. It requires precise alignment and control of the laser beam, necessitating skilled operators and sophisticated equipment. Moreover, the initial setup cost can be relatively high compared to traditional welding methods. 

What Is the Purpose of Laser Welding?

The purpose of laser welding is to join two or more pieces of material together using a focused laser beam. It is a technique that offers several advantages over traditional welding methods such as arc welding or resistance welding. The primary purpose of laser welding is to create strong and precise welds in a variety of materials and applications.

What Laser Is Used in Laser Welding?

In laser welding, various types of lasers can be used, depending on the specific requirements of the welding application. The most commonly used lasers for laser welding include: solid-state lasers, CO2 lasers, and diode lasers. Solid-state lasers use a solid gain medium, such as a crystal or glass, to produce the laser beam. Examples of solid-state lasers used in welding include neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) lasers and fiber lasers. CO2 lasers are gas lasers that generate a laser beam in the mid-infrared spectrum. Diode lasers produce a laser beam using semiconductor diodes. 

What Are the Advantages of Laser Welding?

Laser welding offers several advantages over traditional welding methods. Here are some of the key advantages of laser welding:

  1. Precision and Accuracy: Laser welding allows for highly precise and accurate welds. The focused laser beam can achieve narrow and deep welds with minimal heat-affected zones, resulting in minimal distortion or damage to the surrounding material. This is particularly beneficial for applications requiring intricate or complex welds.
  2. Speed and Efficiency: Laser welding is a high-speed welding process, enabling rapid production rates. The concentrated energy of the laser beam allows for quick and efficient fusion of the materials, reducing overall production time. This is especially valuable in industrial manufacturing where time efficiency is crucial.
  3. Versatility: Laser welding can be used to join a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites. It offers versatility in welding dissimilar materials, which can be challenging with other welding methods. This flexibility makes laser welding suitable for various applications across industries.
  4. Non-contact Process: Laser welding is a non-contact welding process, meaning the laser beam does not physically touch the workpiece. This characteristic makes it ideal for joining delicate or sensitive materials that could be damaged by other welding methods. It also eliminates the need for additional consumables like electrodes or filler materials.
  5. Weld Quality: Laser welding can produce high-quality welds with excellent strength and integrity. It offers precise control over the welding parameters, resulting in minimized defects, porosity, and distortion. The consistent and reliable weld quality makes it suitable for applications with stringent quality requirements.
  6. Automation and Integration: Laser welding can be easily automated and integrated into production lines. It can be combined with robotics and computer control systems to achieve seamless and efficient welding processes. This allows for improved productivity, repeatability, and consistency in welding operations.
  7. Reduced Heat Input: Laser welding typically involves low heat input compared to other welding methods. This reduced heat input minimizes the heat-affected zone, reducing the risk of material distortion, cracking, or other heat-related issues. It is particularly beneficial for welding heat-sensitive materials.
  8. Environmental Friendliness: Laser welding is a cleaner process compared to traditional welding methods. It produces minimal fumes, gases, or spatter, reducing the need for post-weld cleaning or additional treatments. This advantage contributes to a cleaner and safer working environment.

What Are the Limitations of Laser Welding?

While laser welding offers numerous advantages, there are also some limitations to consider, including:

  1. Cost: Laser welding equipment, particularly high-power lasers, can be costly to purchase and maintain. The initial investment and ongoing maintenance expenses may be higher compared to traditional welding methods. 
  2. Material Limitations: While laser welding can join a wide range of materials, certain materials may be challenging to weld using lasers. For example, highly reflective materials like aluminum or copper can reflect a significant portion of the laser beam, making it difficult to achieve efficient welding. Additionally, materials with high thermal conductivity can dissipate heat rapidly, affecting the welding process.
  3. Thickness Limitations: Laser welding is generally better suited for thin to moderate material thicknesses. Welding extremely thick materials may require multiple passes or specialized techniques, which can increase production time and complexity.
  4. Joint Accessibility: Laser welding requires line-of-sight access to the joint being welded. The laser beam must have a clear path to the weld area, which can limit its applicability in situations in which the joint is not easily accessible or if there are obstructions that block the laser beam's path.
  5. Skill and Expertise: Operating laser welding equipment and optimizing the welding process requires a certain level of skill and expertise. Setting up the correct parameters, such as laser power, pulse duration, and beam focus, requires knowledge and experience. Adequate training and skill development are necessary to ensure successful and efficient laser welding.
  6. Safety Considerations: Laser welding involves the use of high-power lasers, which can pose safety hazards if not handled properly. Safety measures such as wearing appropriate protective gear and ensuring proper laser containment and interlocks are essential to protect operators and maintain a safe working environment.

What Are the Common Applications of Laser Welding?

Laser welding finds applications in various industries in which high-quality welds, narrow heat-affected zones, and precise control over the welding process are required. Some common applications of laser welding include:

  1. Automotive Industry: Laser welding is extensively used in the automotive industry for joining various components, such as body panels, chassis parts, exhaust systems, and engine components.
  2. Aerospace Industry: Laser welding is employed in the aerospace industry for joining critical components, such as turbine blades, fuel nozzles, and aircraft structural parts. 
  3. Electronics Industry: Laser welding is used in the electronics industry for joining small and delicate components, such as microelectronic devices, sensors, and connectors. 
  4. Medical Device Manufacturing: Laser welding is widely used in the production of medical devices, such as surgical instruments, implants, and dental appliances.
  5. Jewelry and Watchmaking: Laser welding is employed in the jewelry and watchmaking industries for precision welding of precious metals and delicate components. 
  6. Tool and Die Industry: Laser welding is utilized in the tool and die industry for repairing and modifying molds, dies, and other tooling components. 
  7. Energy Sector: Laser welding finds applications in the energy sector for joining components in power generation systems, such as solar panels, batteries, and fuel cells. 

Can Laser Welding Be Effective for Welding Plastic Components?

Yes, laser welding is commonly used to weld plastic components. It is a highly efficient and precise welding process that is well-suited for joining thermoplastics. The specific welding process used is laser transmission welding.

The success of laser transmission welding depends on the selection of appropriate plastic materials. The laser needs to be able to transmit through one component while being absorbed by the other. Typically, one component is transparent or partially transparent to the laser wavelength, while the other component is opaque and absorbs the laser energy.

Can Laser Welding Be Appropriate for Welding Medical Implants?

Yes, laser welding is widely used in the medical industry for welding medical implants including plastic components used in medical devices and implants. However, it's important to note that the specific welding processes employed in the medical industry can vary depending on the materials and requirements of the implant.

In the case of plastic medical implants, laser welding can be utilized to join various thermoplastic materials. Medical implants that are commonly welded using laser welding techniques include orthopedic implants (such as hip and knee prostheses), dental implants, cardiovascular stents, pacemakers, and various surgical instruments.

Is Laser Welding Suitable for Welding Automotive Body Panels?

Yes, laser welding is commonly used in the automotive industry for joining automotive body parts. It offers several advantages over traditional welding methods, such as improved precision, reduced heat-affected zone, and faster processing times. There are different laser welding processes employed for automotive body parts, including: laser spot welding, laser seam welding, and laser remote welding.

The choice of laser welding process depends on factors such as the material being welded, the joint design, and the desired weld quality. Automotive body parts are typically made of steel or aluminum, and laser welding offers excellent results for these materials.

Summary

This article presented types of laser welding, explained them, and discussed when to best use each one. To learn more about laser welding, contact a Xometry representative.

Xometry provides a wide range of manufacturing capabilities, including sheet cutting and other value-added services for all of your prototyping and production needs. Visit our website to learn more or to request a free, no-obligation quote.

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Xomety X
Team Xometry
This article was written by various Xometry contributors. Xometry is a leading resource on manufacturing with CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, 3D printing, injection molding, urethane casting, and more.