Laser Welding (LBW)

Definition - What does Laser Welding (LBW) mean?

Laser welding, or laser beam welding (LBW), is a material fusion process that uses a laser beam as the energy source to melt the materials being joined. Laser welding is considered a high energy density beam process, and can be used to join thick materials with deep, narrow welds.

Corrosionpedia explains Laser Welding (LBW)

Laser welding employs a laser beam to provide the energy necessary to join together the materials being welded. To do this, a lasing media is excited through the use of high voltage. This excitation results in the emission of photons, which are directed and focused through the use of mirrors or other apparatus towards the materials to be welded. This focused light energy melts the material.

Proper laser beam shapes and wattages must be used during a welding process or unintentional material severing could occur.

Laser welding is known for its speed and versatility. Laser welding can make welds incredibly quickly because of its concentrated heat input. Compared with some other fusion welding processes such as gas tungsten arc welding or oxy fuel welding, it is much more efficient with regard to the heat that it puts into the part. This concentrated heat has the possibility to increase travel speeds and the material thicknesses that can be welded.

Laser welding does have some disadvantages. Laser welding requires a shielding gas, and inadequate shielding gas can result in weld porosity. The material being laser welded must also not be too reflective. Since laser welding uses light energy to weld materials, reflection of that energy can be detrimental to the welding process.

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