Demands for materials processing are changing fast with automobile parts and aircraft parts being made from an assortment of alloys requiring welding of asymmetric parts and even welding of dissimilar materials. Civan Lasers, available through Raymax PTY Ltd, offer flexibility of materials processing with their high power dynamic beam laser (DBL).
Standard lasers using diffractive optical elements lack the flexibility required for these tasks, but Civan’s system has been developed to keep pace with change. The DBL system uses optical phased arrays (OPA) a method of coherent beam combining. By combing many single mode laser beams into one large beam it becomes easy to manipulate the beam shape in real time – somewhat like using a pencil to draw whatever shape you want!
There are four attractive capabilities of a Civan laser: beam shaping, shape frequency, beam sequencing and focus steering, all of which impact the welding process. Beam shape has a direct effect on the material being processes, so Civan make it easy to design the desired shape and upload it to the laser software. The effect on the weld can be seen by using cross-section analysis, all within a relatively short period of time. The simplicity and speed of this process makes it possible to test multiple shapes in order to optimize the best shape for the specific weld. Testing beam shape and frequency was undertaken by Valeo, one of the world’s largest car battery suppliers in Europe. With greater demand on battery life, Valeo needed to improve the manufacture of their battery cooler to accommodate larger batteries. Seeking a more environmentally friendly system and more cost effective with reliable strong welds, Valeo discovered the Civan system could meet all of these requirements and importantly, demonstrate no leakage of sealed cooling plates.
Another example of DBL is welding dissimilar metals as it allows for the use of two laser spots moving at the same time to provide the homogenous weld needed. So, once you have designed the beam shape you desire, you can now set the shape frequency. The frequency can be changed to test different speeds, as is commonly known a less optimal speed can cause defects such as splatter. These are avoided with fast frequencies.
Beam sequencing adds to the flexible functionality of the Civan laser – you can switch between beam shapes in a microsecond. This enables sequencing to be programmed to change from one beam shape to the next where welding different layers or the material changes. Focus steering, the fourth advantage of a Civan is highly beneficial when welding thick materials as a smooth consistent weld can be achieved. This is due to being able to change the focal position of the Z axis at any time and any speed during the process.
Civan direct beam lasers offer real benefits including strong welds of crack-sensitive materials, reduced pores and spatter, due to keyhole stabilizing beam shapes, controlling processing of properties of dissimilar materials and efficient welding of asymmetric materials. Check out the Civan OPA, at 7kW – 28kW a single Mode CW with dynamic beam shaping at the link above – it is suitable for cutting, welding, metal AM and drilling.