As technology continues to advance we take a look at the differences between conventional welding versus laser welding.
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding and MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding, the two most common forms of conventional welding, work by using a shielding gas to create an inert atmosphere around the welding head. This inert atmosphere allows the welds to be isolated from other gases in the surrounding area which helps to stop the welds from becoming porous. An electric arc heats up the metal and metal filler, once melted it joins the material together to create a strong weld.
Laser welding uses a tightly focused laser beam to conduct the welding. Short bursts of the laser heat up the material which creates a high-quality weld. Some projects may require a metal filler similar to TIG Welding.
Laser Welding Advantages
Weld Strength- The weld strength is truly better than TIG and MIG Welding as the laser weld is narrow and has an excellent depth-width ratio.
Heated Area- The heated area of the weld doesn’t spread to the rest of the material and due to rapid cooling, the material can be handled almost instantly after the job is complete.
Metals- Laser welding can weld a whole array of metals such as: carbon steel, high strength steel, stainless steel, titanium, aluminium and precious metals.
Precision- Laser Welding offers a much more precise weld in comparison to TIG and MIG welding. With 0.025mm precision you will find it hard to match a weld as precise as that. Laser Welders also don’t require the skill that conventional welding does. Laser Welding works from computer input whereas conventional welding requires somebody to operate the machine.
Deformation- Due to the process used for laser welding there is minimal deformation and shrinkage in the material.
One-sided- Laser welding can replace spot welding (which requires access to both sides of the material) as it only needs access to one side.
Scrap- Laser welding, due to high precision, produces less scrap as there’s rarely any errors.
Conventional Welding Advantages
Less precision- With laser welding the two materials being welded together need to have a good fit up due to the little to no filler used in the weld. With conventional welding, due to filler being used there is room for the fit up to be somewhat imperfect.
Cheap Machines- In comparison to Laser Welding Machines, Conventional Welders cost considerably less.
Laser Welding- Areas to work in
Due to its unique properties, Laser Welding can be used in many different industries.
Precision Parts- Due to the high accuracy of laser welding it can be used for precision parts, an area where Conventional Welding often fails. Laser Welding also helps to reduce stresses in the material due to its low heat output.
Medical Devices- The laser welding head has no contact with the material which helps to keep a clean and hygienic surface.
Aesthetics- Laser welds create an aesthetically pleasing look which is ideal for when welds are prominent to the public eye.
Jewellery and High Precious Materials- The precision and minimal heat output means that laser welding is ideal for working on high precious materials.
If I had to choose between the two, I’d have to go with Laser Welding. Laser Welding, although the machines cost more, provide unrivalled precision. Laser Welders can be used in a multitude of areas such as Medical, Automotive and Aerospace. Laser Welding Machines can also be portable which helps to reduce downtime by taking the machines on site.
Harrisons Laser Technology provides high quality, precision welds. We offer Laser Welding, Laser Engraving and Mould Repair services. For more information, check out our services here.