Laser welding?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Chip Sylverne, Dec 3, 2019 at 6:28 AM.

  1. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,741
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    I've seen a couple short demo vids. It looks like a hand held torch, similar to a conventional MIG, connected to a power unit via fiber optics. Does anyone have any experience using one? does it require gas shielding? Any special material prep? I would think it would have a smaller heat affected zone, less warpage, and be less likely for welds to crack later on in thin sheet or pipe, like exhausts and such. And no sparks!

    Probably absurdly expensive, but no doubt will get cheaper over time.
     
  2. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2018
    Messages:
    2,578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kenny Phillips
    I've never seen a hand-held laser welding torch. And you'd need shielding gas, for sure. Lasers are hideously inefficient; if one didn't need the tiny heat zone, it would likely be a waste of time.
    I don't get sparks when I TIG weld, and it's relatively inexpensive.
     
  3. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    6,764
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cap'n Jack
    Make sure you have the correct safety glasses, whatever those might be.
    <-- do not look at laser light with remaining eye ;)
     
  4. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2019
    Messages:
    79
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Arturo
    FYI the latest EAA Sport Aviation has an article on aircraft welding and the author strongly prefers gas welding.
     
  5. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,606
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    Geezers. :frown2:
     
  6. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,017
    Location:
    Miami
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    alfadog
    I used to be the the weld inspector at Pratt & Whitney's government research lab in West Palm Beach and I certainly saw lots of different types of exotic welding. Including laser welding but that was a long time ago. They also used to do plasma flame spray and that was pretty cool.
     
  7. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,017
    Location:
    Miami
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    alfadog
    Hmm, I might be thinking of electron beam welding because I remember it was done in high vacuum.
     
  8. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,741
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    If you want to see a hand held laser in action, there's a bunch posted on YouTube. Looks fast, and great for thin material, no warpage. I would think you'd get real precise heat control. That would be great for welding aluminum.