Energy Efficient Laser Beam Welding of Metals with a Ultra-High Brightness Direct-Diode Laser System
The rising level of automation in the automotive industry also involves the use of more and more machines and with that an increase in power consumption. This requires the employment of more efficient production processes with higher efficiency. Laser beam welding offers the opportunity to substitute conventional laser sources like solid state lasers with ultra-high brightness direct-diode laser systems which have the advantage of less power consumption at a comparable beam quality. However, the absorption of laser radiation on metallic surfaces depends on the wavelength, thus the effect of the direct-diode laser wavelength on the welding process has to be investigated. In our research the effect of the laser wavelength on energy efficiency was studied by means of numerical simulations. Furthermore, experimental investigations were carried out to validate the numerical solutions. Different aluminum alloys and steel materials which are used in the automotive environment were investigated within the experiments. Due to the current lack of direct-diode laser systems with a laser power comparable to conventional laser systems, numerical simulations were also used to analyze these future systems. Thus we were able to assess the increase of efficiency in laser beam welding which will be achievable with future high-power direct-diode laser systems.
Jörg Franke and Sven Kreitlein
A. Laukart et al., "Energy Efficient Laser Beam Welding of Metals with a Ultra-High Brightness Direct-Diode Laser System", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 805, pp. 162-170, 2015