Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Laser welding as an engine of innovation

30.04.2013
Lasers have long been able to do what traditional welding guns can. Nevertheless, many manufacturers did not dare employ the delicate technology in the raw environment of their assembly floors. At LASER 2013 (Hall C2, Booth 330), researchers will be demonstrating that lasers are robust enough to take over welding duties in fabrication.

Can lasers perform welds precisely and reliably in the midst of thundering machinery? The prototype of a new laser welder developed by an international team of researchers has now withstood the worst.


The new technology allows to project 400 images per second and create 40 three-dimensional images per second. © Fraunhofer IOF

At INTEGASA and ENSA, two companies in Spain that produce heat exchangers for heavy industry, the prototype proved itself precise and reliable under the difficult conditions of routine daily use.

“Manufacturers of heat exchangers were skeptical of laser anything until now,” confirms Patrick Herwig from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden. TIG-welding guns have traditionally been employed in assembly operations for welding thousands of tubes to the perforated tube sheets. This process, which is based on arc-welding technology, is very time-intensive however.
The gun must be manually inserted into every hole and removed again after welding. As a result, the fabrication process is tedious, prolonged, and expensive. European manufacturers can hardly hold their ground today against competition from countries with low labor costs. Materials researchers, software specialists, production engineers and numerous users joined forces in the EU ORBITAL Project to jointly search for a cost-effective alternative. And found one.

Engineering that meets the most demanding requirements

Instead of conventional TIG-welding guns, a laser does the job – tube sheets and tubes are welded to one another rapidly, precisely and accurately. In seconds, the tube is circumferentially welded in place and the robotic arm transporting the welding head can move on to the next hole. The welding head is designed so it anchors itself in the holes and is seated there so firmly than not even vibrations of the shop floor can disrupt the welding process.
Precise guidance of the optical beam is handled by software-controlled mirrors that continuously direct it to the right location. Engineers and users from Italy, Spain, France, and Germany have been fine-tuning the process for two years. “The prototype we are exhibiting now at LASER 2013 facilitates the production of heat exchangers, and not just through its speed, but through its flexibility as well. It can even melt materials together that were considered difficult to weld until now,” according to Herwig, who was responsible for designing and testing the welding head during the EU project.

It is exactly these exotic combinations of materials that are needed by manufacturers of heat exchangers. They have to withstand extreme conditions in actual use. Heat exchangers are used in the chemical industry, ship engines, and power plants to remove heat from high-temperature, aggressive solutions of liquids. The tubing these liquids are passed through must therefore be corrosion-resistant.

However, the liquid in the tank outside the tubing that absorbs the heat is chemically inert. Cost-effective materials can be employed here. Where tank and tubing meet, differing materials must be joined. “Traditional welding techniques hit their limits here, whereas the job can be handled with the laser,” says Herwig. The researchers are confident that laser welding can be implemented so effectively in production that European companies remain competitive internationally.

PatrickHerwig | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2013/april/laser-welding-as-an-engine-of-innovation.html

Further reports about: Laser arc-welding technology laser system power plant welding process

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht New Process Technology Unlocks Boost in Laser Productivity
18.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht OLED microdisplays as high-precision optical fingerprint sensors
09.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

“Pregnant” Housefly Males Demonstrate the Evolution of Sex Determination

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>