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Hybrid laser welding system.

The HLx Series utilizes laser only, laser with cold wire file, or hybrid laser arc welding in a 2-D gantry, 3-D robotic, or custom-mechanized solution with closed-loop weld process control. Hybrid Laser Arc Welding (HLAW) combines the deep-weld penetration and low-heat input associated with laser welding with the power efficiency and superior gap tolerance of GMAW to create a new welding alternative. The deep penetration and fast weld speeds of laser welding reduce heat infusion into the part and reduce the associated distortion that causes plates to buckle and warp. Adding GMAW in tandem with the laser, with the addition of a relatively modest amount of filler metal, creates a wider weld bead capable of bridging much larger weld gaps--up to four times as wide as conventional laser processes can handle. Adding GMAW to the welding mix also enhances a finished part's metallurgical stability, and with GMAW's slower cooling rates, produces welds with greater strength and less brittleness.

A key component of the system is a patented closed-loop control that allows the system to monitor the weld joint in real time and modify the process to accommodate a joint mismatch. The control monitors and adapts the welding process faster than a human operator could, allowing travel speeds that would not be possible with conventional control systems. This technology is available as a robotic system, a portable tractor system, or on a moving gantry. ESAB Welding & Cutting Products, www.

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Title Annotation:product spotlight
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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