Sumitomo finds fibre delivers smaller welding spot size

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The welding of diesel injectors and airbag initiators with a fibre laser has been studied by the mechatronics division of Japanese engineering firm Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) in an effort to deliver improvements such as reduced spot size.

Initial results have revealed that a fibre laser provides the necessary high speed and high quality welds needed for a range of industrial applications that would include diesel injector and airbag initiator welding.

Compared to the 600µm spot size previously attainable using a continuous wave Nd:YAG laser, a more focused 50µm to 200µm spot size could be achieved with the fibre laser. When keyhole welding stainless steel for example, the fibre laser achieved nearly 2mm penetration at 3.5m per minute and 3mm penetration at 0.5m per minute. SHI’s trials demonstrate that the penetration depth of the laser is insensitive to defocus in the range of ±1mm.

The mechatronics division of SHI used a JK Lasers’ 1kW fibre laser, the JK1000FL, for the trials. The mechatronics division has worked closely with JK Lasers for over two decades, integrating the manufacturer’s range of Nd:YAG and fibre lasers into its machines.