Laser technology came to the forefront of industrial applications during the middle of the twentieth century. Over the years, this technology has been perfected by the continuous efforts of numerous technicians and scientists. Today, several industrial applications of laser technology have become extremely popular and achieved significant economic importance. Laser technology now plays an active role in developing technology, natural science, and the progress of the economy.
What is Laser Technology?
Laser processing technology involves focusing light’s energy through a lens to create a beam of laser with high energy density. The properties of the laser beam are then utilized for surface treatment, welding, cutting, micro-machining, and punching. Laser processing is an advanced manufacturing technology used extensively in electronics, automobile, aviation, machinery manufacturing, metallurgy, and several other sectors. The use of this technology has been proven to be extremely useful in terms of improving labor productivity, product quality, automation, reducing pollution, and managing material consumption.
Applications of Laser Technology:
Laser welding, marking, and cutting are the most frequently used forms of laser technology.
Laser Cutting: In this process, focused high-density laser beams are used for the illumination of the workpiece, ensuring that the irradiated material melts, vaporizes, and reaches its ignition point. At the same time, the molten material is blown with high-speed airflow to cut off the workpiece. A hot cutting method, laser cutting is categorized into melting, oxygen, vaporization, and scribing and rupture control cutting.
Compared to the traditional technologies for cutting, laser cutting is more advantageous because it offers high efficiency, faster-cutting speed, wider machining range, and good repeatability. Some other benefits of laser cutting include high utilization rate, minimal sheet deformation, no shear burr, CNG programmability, etc.
Laser Welding: This is one of the most important segments within the field of laser technology. In this technique, a material is heated in small areas utilizing high energy laser pulses. The laser radiation’s energy gets diffused into the material via heat conduction. This results in melting down the material completely to create a molten metal pool. This technology is used mostly for precision parts welding of thin-walled materials.
Some important features of laser welding include fast welding speed, minimum deformation, precise control, no gas hole, high positioning accuracy, small weld width, etc.
- This process doesn’t require any electrodes. Also, it is possible to minimize the deformation and loss of the fixture.
- Using an optical instrument, the laser beam can be focused, guided, or aligned easily.
- It is possible to place the workpiece in enclosed spaces.
- It is possible to focus the laser beam on a small area
- Works with many different weldable materials
- Easy to weld automatically and in high speed
- Not affected by the magnetic field.
- Possible to weld two metals with completely different properties.
- High precision is required in terms of positioning of the welding parts
- Extremely low energy conversion efficiency
- The welding properties of materials with high thermal conductivity gets changed by the laser
- The weld bead tends to solidify too fast
Laser Engraving: This technology involves the use of a laser engraver machine to mark a surface. The surface is irradiated with a high energy density laser beam to vaporize or melt it so that it can be marked with the required logo or text.
Also known as laser marking, this is the most popular technique for marking and is extremely suitable for advanced manufacturing processes. Some of the important benefits of laser engraving include beautiful design, high efficiency, and speed, zero pollution, non-contact mode, high repetition, and precision, etc.