In light of new medical industry opportunities, Estes is using laser technologies to adapt fabricated sheet metal products to hospital standards. Outside of cutting and marking, laser welding is one of the many ways in which manufacturers can utilize such technology for alternative operations. Laser welding can be used in place of more standard welding approaches, such as electron-beam, ultrasonic, and electric resistance. The use of lasers in general allow for more efficient manufacturing and use of plant space as many operations can be done using one laser system or cell.
How It’s Done
Simply put, welding consists of heating materials to a melted state to then fuse together permanently. Laser welding is different than traditional welding techniques, however. Lasers generate light that creates heat when absorbed into targeted materials. They are inefficient converters of electricity, achieving only two to fifteen percent energy conversion depending on the laser used. Ironically, despite the inefficiency through transformation of electricity to heat, lasers make up for that through their speed and precision. By heating up the point of laser focus above boiling point, a hole is created in the metal called a keyhole. This keyhole, filled with ionized metallic gas, absorbs the metal around it and solidifies as the laser moves along the piece, creating a smooth finish and seal.
Advantages of Laser Welding
- More flexible and versatile in performing multiple operations
- No filler metals required
- Faster welding rates
- Online programming and processing
- Welds impossible geometries and designs
- Minimal heat input in small areas
Medical Industry Benefits
Medical devices and equipment are typically more compact, and laser welding allows for intricate heat placement and fusing. In addition, laser technology’s automated programming precision addresses more efficient waste management through use of raw materials and accurate operation. Fewer mistakes are made with laser systems and cleaner, more detailed designs can be cut.
For more information on Estes laser welding medical solutions, please contact Chad Montgomery.