Trumpf laser specialists were able to weld copper sheet metal 5 mm deep with a combination of disk lasers of varying laser power in a one-time experimental setup. No one had ever been able to do this before. As a highly reflecting material, copper is extremely difficult to weld. In most cases, undesirable side effects occur, including blowholes in the weld seams.
The three disk lasers with 4 kW, 6 kW and 8 kW laser output were fibre coupled together to provide over 16.5 kW at the workpiece. The resulting welding speed of 1.8 m/min stabilized the extremely dynamic melt pool common to copper. The sheets, each measuring 3 mm in thickness, were welded together 5 mm deep as an overlap joint with excellent seam quality. For this experiment to be both secure and successful, the disk lasers had to be finely synchronized, an accomplishment ensured by the Trumpf Laser Network (TLN).
"Whether this welding application is ready for mass production depends greatly on the welding speed and the chosen focus geometry. More powerful lasers, such as those offered by Trumpf beginning December 2006, permit even greater welding speeds and an expanded process window with consistent seam quality," commented Gerry Jones.
Contact: Gerry Jones