Laser Processing Machines for Production

Laser is an extremely fast and versatile tool that can be used to process almost any kind of material you throw at it.

Because of its non-contact form of processing, the omission of wear and tear of typical tooling parts has convinced many companies to introduce laser processing machines into their production. Over the years, with the constant advancements in laser technology, industrial laser automation has become increasingly popular, replacing arc welding, machine cutting, chemical treatments and many other applications.

Laser integration is ideal for industries with extremely precise requirements for material processing and micro-material processing. The coherency, high monochromaticity, and ability to reach extremely high powers are all properties which allow for these specialised applications. Laser applications include welding, soldering, cutting, heat treating, marking, scribing etc. To throw in a few examples, Apple’s sapphire glass can be cut from laser.

Aluminium welding, known to be hard to achieve, can also be done by laser.

Hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties can be textured on by laser.

Laser Welding

Laser beam welding is a welding technique used to join multiple pieces of metal through the use of a laser. The high power density of lasers provide high quality and deep welds with small heat affect zones – similar to electron beam welding – without the sky-high price tag. Being more efficient and cleaner than traditional arc/MIG welding techniques, laser welding is the preferred welding method for many mass production industries. They are usually paired with robot arms to maximise welding angles and flexibility. To achieve even better welding quality, laser welding can be combined with arc welding, known as laser hybrid welding. Using a lower power laser beam to pre-heat the material’s welding path also helps to achieve better welds. Besides welding metals, laser can be used to weld many other materials, including plastic.

Similar applications: Laser Cladding and Laser Soldering

Laser Cutting

Depending on your requirements on edge quality, material thickness and cutting area, among others, different lasers will be used for the cutting. Lasers with shorter wavelength tend to get absorbed better, thus less of the power is translated into heat, reducing the heat affect zone greatly. Needless to say, they come with a heavier price tag, and most industries are content with CO2/Fiber/YAG lasers. Surrounding factors such as gases and water vapour can always be optimised for better cut quality.

Laser Texturing

With beam size as small as a few microns, laser texturing is able to achieve many micro-textures. The pictures below are some nanometer bumps and shapes made with laser processing.


 

Laser Marking

Laser can mark on almost all kinds of materials, and can be controlled to create many different effects. With the correct parameters, you can even mark a variety of colours on metal surfaces.

Laser Cleaning

Laser cleaning is a non-contact, thus non-abrasive way of cleaning. It can be used to clean rust from old metal surfaces, stripping paint off old cars etc. It is a generally cleaner and more effective method for cleaning small surface areas, but for large surface cleaning, it would be simpler to use either sandblasting or chemical cleaning. Depending on the power of the laser, even stubborn epoxy paint coatings can be removed in a few seconds.



 

This feature is brought to you by Precision Laser Solutions Pte Ltd. All photos are courtesy of Precision Laser Solutions Pte Ltd.

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