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Solidification Cracks on Electroless Nickel Plated Steel Pulsed Nd:YAG Laser Welds

September 27, 2011

There can be a difference between the pulsed Nd:YAG laser weldability of electroless nickel plated steel and electroplated steel. Solidification cracks in pulsed Nd:YAG laser welds have different causes depending on the metals being welded and the joint design. Platings can cause solidification cracks. How the plating was applied can also influence solidification cracking.  Electroplated parts can perform better when pulsed Nd:YAG laser welded. The process of electroless nickel plating can leave residual elements such as phosphorus in the plating that can create solidification cracks as shown below. This does not mean that electroless nickel plating will always cause cracking. However, when pulsed Nd:YAG welding nickel plated materials, simply switching from electroless to electroplating can reduce weld defects such as solidification cracks.