"more" on handheld fiber laser
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    Default "more" on handheld fiber laser

    The handheld fiber laser welders came up before (I forget which sub forum) but I just came upon this video which struck me as mildly interesting.
    In that environment, with everybody wearing the relevent glasses, it didn't look any more dangerous than Tig welding.
    (And just like Tig you'd really like proper screening so passers by don't get flashed.)

    YouTube

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    I think I would want better goggles, especially putting face so close. This vid came into my feed earlier in the week YouTube

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    I think I really could put one to work. But curious like a cat.

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    I'd want better goggles.
    Damn curious about it though, id love to know what kind of power it can output. Id also love to cut and etch any of those joints to see what it looks like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlasmaOnTheBrain View Post
    I'd want better goggles.
    Damn curious about it though, id love to know what kind of power it can output. Id also love to cut and etch any of those joints to see what it looks like.
    I think the power is limited to 1000 watts. There are several brands to choose from on Alibaba. 1000 watts is about a toasters worth on power, but focused onto a pin point. I cut .120 stainless with 1000 watts, kerf is .1mm, or .03937". Nitrogen blows the molten metal away.

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    So the little hand held thingy has half a chance at being useful... Good to know. I'm going on if 1kw will cut, then tuned right 1kw will weld.
    I admit I know more about the arc welding processes vs the directed energy types (laser and electron beam) and I dont have a good scale for comparison, but I know the condensed nature of the energy applied can do a damn good job of melting through various joint's far deeper than the arc welding processes... The only real contender being Plasma Arc Welding... something i've only gotten to read about sadly...

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    Laser welding has been around for quite some time, that said there are some concerns about hand held devises even at low wattage.
    There are hazards not only from beam or specular reflections when viewed directly. As well as direct viewing of diffuse reflections. In addition to eye damage the beam and or it's reflections can also cause skin hazards as well.
    Effective Laser beam welding depends upon absorption of beam energy by the work material. Shiny material surfaces have a higher reflectivity particularly at wavelengths of 10.6um. Temperature also will be a factor in correct laser welding. All welding processes have there inherent dangers that must be addressed. The one thing that stands to me about hand held laser is the danger of beam exposure to the eye, to me this far exceeds the dangers associated with any of the other general welding processes.
    I would say that if one choses to use a hand held laser power source then that extra measure of safety/caution must come into play.

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    dana gear - my one observation is that the laser welder under discussion is probably a fiber laser, and probably 1.06um rather than 10.6 - a little past 1000nanometers rather than just past 10 microns.
    Aside from changing (a little bit) the demands on the googles one would choose, I don't think it changes anything else you talk about.
    (Uh, it might change how much it causes radiation burns...)

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    we have been discussing getting one of these cheapies off of alibaba and playing with it. note the 1000 units do not appear to make seam welds but intermittent spots. pretty interesting.

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    I went to some shows in China to see demos, visited four separate manufacturers, then bought one.

    My evaluation included bringing specific test blanks and having the sales team or engineers configure the system and do a weld for me to take home. I labelled and compared them all, as well as videoing them during their welds, before making my choice.

    The unit itself works great. The third party el-cheapo wire feeder it came with isn't properly configured and fails constantly despite our best efforts.

    Versus MIG/TIG, with which I have very limited experience but also own and have had recent fabrication done with, the equipment is more expensive and less portable.

    However, it's substantially faster, easier for novices to pick up, seems way cleaner and uses less consumables.

    It does do seam welds.

    The big issue is getting the setting right for each material type and thickness, this is really important as is your angle of incidence. If you have the wrongs settings or vary the angle too much, the weld fails.

    It's a system that's therefore best for robots, but is still good hand-held.

    Note you can mount a handheld unit on a robot arm and it will do the same job as an expensive robot. If you think you may do this in future, ask your vendor for extra length when you buy the hand-held, so you don't have to buy extra cables when you automate.

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