Handheld Laser Welding Machines: Revolutionizing Efficiency and Precision in Welding

handheld laser welding machine

Handheld Laser Welding Machines are becoming of interest to companies that want to improve productivity and reduce costs in the welding operation. Laser welding is more accessible and affordable than ever — offering much faster travel speeds than other welding processes and weld consistency in automated welding applications. Because skilled welders are harder to find and keep, handheld laser welding offers a practical and cost effective welding solution. Individuals with no previous welding experience can easily be trained to operate and produce welds that otherwise could have taken years to train in the tig welding and mig welding processes.

Understanding Handheld Laser Welding

What is Handheld Laser Welding and what kind of machine do you use?

Handheld laser welding involves the use of a portable laser welding machine that emits a focused beam of high-intensity light. This laser beam generates heat that melts and fuses metals with exceptional precision. The operator holds the handheld device, allowing for unparalleled control and accuracy, even in hard-to-reach areas.

The Handheld Laser Welding Machines Behind the Magic

Several advanced machines make handheld laser welding possible. These machines integrate cutting-edge technology to ensure optimal performance:

  1. Fibre Laser Source: The heart of the machine, it produces the laser beam with high power and stability.
  2. Optics System: Focuses the laser beam to a pinpoint spot for precise welding.
  3. Cooling System: Prevents the machine from overheating during extended usage.
  4. Control Panel: Allows the operator to adjust settings and monitor the welding process in real-time.
  5. Safety Features: Including shields and sensors to protect the operator’s eyes and skin from the laser.

Are Laser Welds Strong?

Laser welds are known for their exceptional strength. The precise and concentrated heat generated by the laser beam creates a weld that often exhibits higher strength than traditional welding methods. This is due to the minimal heat-affected zone and reduced distortion in the welded material. Additionally, the fast cooling rate of laser welding contributes to the strength of the weld joint. However, the strength of a laser weld also depends on factors such as the type of material being welded, the welding parameters, and the skill of the operator. When performed correctly, laser welds can result in strong and reliable joints, making them a preferred choice for applications that require durability and structural integrity.

image

 

PICTURE 1 Butt joints in 304 stainless steel plates of 0.036 in
PICTURE 2 Butt joints in 304 stainless steel plates of 0.075 in   
PICTURE 3 Butt joints in 304 stainless steel plates of 0.120 in

 

“The findings from the third-party evaluation of the samples by Sturbridge Metallurgical Services indicate that LightWELD produces welds that meet rigorous industry standards, including critical aerospace applications; offering both efficiency and quality in welding applications. In summary, LightWELD offers a faster and more efficient welding solution compared to traditional MiG and TiG techniques, thanks to its high power density that enables deep penetration and faster welding speeds. Furthermore, when parts fit up well, filler wire can even be eliminated, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and strong weld.”

 

Is Handheld Laser Welding Machine Safe?

 

The safety of handheld laser welding is really a big question. In recent months, there are loads of Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok videos of people where their summer shorts and t-shirts welding stainless making professional-looking welds with little or no safety/PPE protection. As a result, many of our customers think it’s as easy as buying a laser welding and presto you can start to weld.

 

When you purchase a laser welder, you must do your due diligence and like any other piece of machinery you bring into your workplace a health & safety risk assessment must be done. Laser welds create radiation, hazardous emissions, potential for fires or explosions, skin damage and potential cancer risks.

 

I recently spoke to laser expert and he pointed out that if something goes wrong with a laser welder there is the potential that an operator or someone in the area could lose their eyesight in less than 1/10 of a second and it’s not repairable. Company owners and operators really need to understand how dangerous these machines can be if the proper safety procedures aren’t in place or adhered to – the personal and financial costs would be life-changing.

 

There is an excellent article written by Matthew Dale of Laser Systems Europe called Questioning the Safety of Handheld Laser Welders. Mr Dale speaks to two experts in the field of laser welding and covers all the points and steps that someone buying or considering buying a handheld laser welding machine should consider making to ensure everyone is protected and safe when using the machine.

Norsemen Safety & Industrial Supplies A.K.A Welder’s Choice, makes welding safety our priority. Because of our years of welding and safety experience, let us help you with all your laser welding requirements from planning, testing, machine purchase, and safety equipment.  Email jackie@welderschoice.co.uk

 

The 1000 Watt laser welding machine can weld stainless steel up to 3 mm.

 

The 1500 Watt laser welding machine can weld stainless steel up to 5mm.

 

The 2000 Watt laser welding machine can weld stainless steel up to 8 mm.

For welds greater than 0.3mm it is recommended to use a laser welding machine with wire feed. Material thickness less than 1 mm, it is recommended to use the laser welding without wire feed, because the wire feed welding speed is relatively slow without wire feed, which can easily cause deformation.

How much does a handheld laser welding machine cost?

The cost of a handheld laser welder can vary widely based on several factors, including the brand, specifications, power output, and additional features. Generally, you can find entry-level handheld laser welders starting around £15,000 to £35,000. Keep in mind these prices don’t include safety enclosures, extraction equipment or safety/PPE.

Norsemen Welding & Safety works with a two handheld laser manufacturers supplying APPROVED equipment in Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland. Please get in touch to discuss your welding requirements or upcoming projects and we will be happy to provide information and arrange a demonstration to show you what handheld laser welding can do for you.

Conclusion

Handheld laser welding has redefined the landscape of welding technology. Its precision, portability, and cost-efficiency have made it a sought-after solution in industries pursuing excellence in fabrication. With its superior weld quality, reduced wastage, and long-term savings potential, handheld laser welding is more than an investment—it’s a strategic advantage.

FAQs

Q1: What Are the Core Advantages of Handheld Laser Welding? Handheld laser welding offers precision, portability, versatility, reduced material waste, and lower labor costs, ultimately leading to long-term cost savings.

Q2: Are Laser Welds Stronger Than Traditional Welds? Yes, laser welds often exhibit higher strength due to minimized heat-affected zones and reduced distortion. However, material, parameters, and operator skill play roles in determining strength.

Q3: Is Handheld Laser Welding Safe for Beginners? No, safety is paramount in laser welding. Adequate risk assessment, protective measures, and operator training are essential to ensure safety.

Q4: How Does Material Thickness Affect Welding? Handheld laser welders vary in their capabilities based on power output. Thicker materials may require different machines or techniques.

Q5: What’s the Overall Cost of Handheld Laser Welding? The cost ranges from £15,000 to £35,000, excluding safety measures and additional equipment. It’s essential to consider these factors when budgeting for handheld laser welding projects.

Q6: Where can I buy a handheld laser welding machine with excellent aftersales support? Call Welder’s Choice/Norsemen Safety 028 9046 0541 Ext 201 or email jackie@norsemensafety.co.uk

 

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