How much laser power do you need for welding?

Brad Nagy —  October 11, 2010 — 1 Comment

The rapid advancement of solid-state laser technology (fiber lasers and disk lasers for example) has peaked the interest of a lot of companies who are looking for increased welding productivity.  One of the most common questions that I receive from our customers is ‘So how much laser power do I need to weld my parts?’  This is a good question considering that the cost of a laser is heavily dependant on how much power it is capable of producing. 

My answer to most of these people is ‘it depends’. There are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about exploring laser welding as a production process.  For example, what type of materials are you welding, how thick is the material, what is the joint configuration, do you need full-penetration or partial-penetration, and too many more to list in this blog. 

The good news is that there is a general ‘rule-of-thumb’ that can be used to make an estimate on how much laser power you need to weld most carbon and stainless steels.  Here it is:  At 2 meters/minute (80 IPM) travel speed, you will need about 1-kW of laser power for every millimeter you need to penetrate.  For example, if you are making a butt-weld on 6-mm stainless steel, you would need around 6-kW of laser power to get the job done if traveling 2 meters/minute.  

Again, there are a lot of factors to consider, but if you are just looking to get a feel for how much power you might need for carbon and stainless steel this information should get you close.

Brad Nagy

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One response to How much laser power do you need for welding?

  1. Great Post! The content which you have shared in this blog is beneficial for all of the welders. I think after visiting here, every welder will get an idea regarding how much laser powder they should use for welding. Thanks for sharing.

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