End-point control for laser welding

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Champlin, MN - Prima Power Laserdyne's newly developed SmartRamp provides consistent end-point control during laser welding, eliminating areas where potential weld failure can occur. SmartRamp is the latest feature addition to the company's LASERDYNE S94P control, which controls operation of the LASERDYNE 795 and LASERDYNE 430BD multi-axis laser systems.

SmartRamp produces uniform weld penetration along the entire length of the weld. With standard laser welding practice, the laser power is often ramped down at the end of the weld after the start point has been overlapped. This method leaves a noticeable depression at the end point. In many applications, this depression is undesirable. In hermetic welds, for example, this depression at the end point can be a leak point. Hermetically sealed electronic packages are widely used in the electronics, communications, automotive, computer, and medical industries. The quality and durability of the hermetic seal in these packages must be high as failure of the seal can lead to corrosion of the package contents and premature failure of the device. The end-point defect is also undesirable in welding applications in the aerospace industry. This defect can act as potential stress riser point, leading to reduced fatigue and creep strength of the welded component during its service. Conventional laser welding techniques for controlling the overlap, when used, will often require extensive testing to ensure that the conditions described above are not present.

By comparison, SmartRamp controls laser parameters in conjunction with motion of the beam, eliminating the occurrence of a visible endpoint of the weld. To validate SmartRamp's effectiveness, the company carried out extensive metallographic analysis of welds produced using SmartRamp. These consistently showed the absence of porosity or any other welding defects at the end of the weld.  By comparison, metallographic tests carried out on standard welding samples confirmed that the end point can be the site of some porosity and inconsistent weld penetration.

SmartRamp will be a standard feature in upcoming versions of LASERDYNE S94P software and available as a standard feature on new systems. The software when released will also be available without charge to existing customers.

For more information, please visit www.primapower.com.



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