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Archive for the Laser Category

AHI Discusses Diode Laser Welding in Tube Production

AHI Discusses Diode Laser Welding in Tube Production

When one improves upon already top-notch engine and car parts (and the process therein), the results are something that most people wouldn’t expect. This is applicable for any advancement in production. Updated technology makes huge improvements in manufacturing.

We here at American Hydroformers love new technology. We respect and revere those who innovate and adapt, those who have an expanded vision to take something that works well and make it even better. There is something greater that can be said for people who take an existing idea and improve on it. They are pioneers.

Take the recent advancement in laser welding, how it has helped tube production, hydroforming, and how it has aided in making better parts and lighter automobiles by producing continuously welded tubes.

European company Plimet has taken a conventional way of welding, induction welding, and improved its completion rate and reduced its heat transfer, while exhibiting a drastic decrease in energy output.

Currently, laser welding machines are being used and they are becoming a respected alternative. Plimet has been using CO2 laser welding machines for several years with good results, as weld seam quality has increased rapidly. Welding speed over 10m/min can be achieved and the process stability is comparable to the robust induction systems.

The 8.5kW fiber-guided diode laser being used also uses less power than the traditional induction method, which traditionally uses a CO2 laser.

Further, the diode laser can work with larger areas, allow for higher tube tolerance, and brings a much stabler end product result.

As tests have proven, the tube durability and weld seam quality can expand to 20-percent of its diameter without cracking. Further, there is no spatter inside the tube. All advancements, all positive.

This process, which was recently adopted into Plimet’s production line in their European plants, is currently available to consumers. It offers high quality, low-cost, and a reduced running cost.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time.

American Hydroformers Laser Cutting Applications

American Hydroformers Laser Cutting Applications

In terms of material processing here at American Hydroformers, laser cutting is one of the many applications in use. It allows us to quickly and easily cut flat-sheet material in addition to piping and structural materials.

Because laser cutting is one of the most a state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies used in industrial metal forming techniques, we can achieve a high-quality surface finish that is unmatched by other cutting techniques.

Type of Laser Cutting

Laser cutting can be broken into three types, two of which work the same:

  • CO2 lasers, like fast axial flow, slow axial flow, transverse flow, and slab. This type of laser cutting is normally used in boring, engraving, and straight cutting. CO2 lasers work when electric is “pumped” through a gas mix or radio frequency (DF-excited and RF-excited, respectively).
  • Neodymium (Nd) and neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd-YAG) lasers, which are similar in style, but differ in overall application. Nd is mostly used for boring because of its high energy and its low rate of repetition. Whereas the Nd-YAG laser is used when a very-high power is needed. Both can also be used in welding.

Laser Cutting Advantages

The advantages to laser cutting versus something like plasma cutting are numerous. They include:

  • Reduced contamination of workpieces due to a lack of a cutting edge which, in turn, has the potential to become contaminated by the material it’s cutting.
  • Increased precision because a laser beam can not wear.
  • Because lasers have a lower “heat-affected zone,” the chance of warping the material is lessened dramatically.
  • The ability to cut materials with precision that may not have been able to cut previously due to their hardness and thickness.

Currently, AHI emplyes 3 different laser cells.  We operate 2 3-dimensional 5-axis lasers and one Trumpf sheet laser cutter.

For more information on hydroforming, laser cutting, and other metal fabricating solutions, please contact us any time.