Laser welding titanium, ultimate technology meeting with ultimate metal

Usually, a laser welding titanium process will almost certainly require a more expensive equipment choice, both from the aspect of initial capital cost and for maintenance and welding supplies.

The benefit of this technology is that very little heat is generated at the weld point, allowing users to easily weld away from the most complicated and intricate component parts without damaging heat sensitive materials.

There are some critical points in developing titanium when choosing such an expensive solution is unavoidable, as the welding requirements cannot be met any other way. The positive aspect of this rather unpleasant situation is that due to the high end price of the final product the net manufacturing cost of laser welding is actually lower per part than for other joining processes.

The most noteworthy examples of the situation are titanium medical implants that also contain energy cells and sensitive electronics equipment. All these – defibrillators, pacemakers, pain suppressors - have to be hermetically sealed in a light-weight, hypoallergenic titanium case and placed in someone’s body.

Electrically based welding processes such as inert gas, plasma or electron beam are unsuitable due sensitiveness of these internal electronics. Any other joining solution other then welding, would not even come close to the strength and endurance parameters that laser welding titanium offers.

Moreover, do you remember what we talked about titanium machinability? That titanium and its alloys are conduct heat about ten times as worse as steel? This low thermal conductivity combined with a high rate of laser beam absorption makes laser welding perfect for titanium.

One other important use for laser welding titanium is in shape memory alloy applications. This is a nickel-titanium alloy, usually called National, mostly used in eyeglass titanium frames. Because of its high cost, it is often desirable to limit the use of nickel-titanium to the actual moving parts of a device, while fabricating supporting members of such materials as stainless steel

The difficulty of joining this material, both to itself, and to other materials has been a major limitation in the use of this alloy. But laser titanium welding can prove to be the appropriate solution to overcome this shortcoming.

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