Application of three laser processes in the automotive industry

12, 2018

by Oreelaser

Since the early 1980s, the automotive industry has been one of the main drivers of the high-power laser industry because it has strict requirements on the quality and reliability of laser sources. Compared to traditional manufacturing techniques, laser technology can bring greater benefits in the areas of cutting, welding and marking. Because laser technology is more flexible and easy to automate than traditional technology, it can meet the core requirements of the entire industry.


At the beginning, the laser was only used for simple cylindrical part welding, such as the automatic transmission components of automotive. Nowadays, Lasers are commonly used in processes that process vehicle structures. For example, Roof welding, door welding, three-dimensional cutting of hydro formed parts, door spring annealing, instrument panel welding, marking, etc. With the development of lightweight vehicles, new materials, new structures and new processes are constantly emerging, and the safety performance of automobiles is continuously improved. So what are the applications of laser technology in automobiles?


1.Laser welding

The adoption of laser technology welding for its advantages of high welding speed, stable welding quality, high welding precision, small thermal deformation of materials. Besides that it is easy to integrate into the automation operating system, which is an advanced welding method that is widely used in modern industrial production and has excellent reputation. Laser welding has been widely used in automobiles, such as welding of automobile bodies, pipe welding, welding of automobile batteries, and plastic welding of instrument panels. Lasers have unique advantages in terms of welding strength and welding precision and speed.


2. Laser cutting 

Laser cutting is also one of the most frequently used laser applications. Fiber lasers and CO2 lasers can be combined with standardized 2D and 3D cutting systems to cut carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum and other metals. When processing different parts of a car, car manufacturers take advantage of the advantages of laser cutting, such as high cutting edge quality, low heat input, and fast processing speed. Automotive parts and materials, including a variety of metals, which can be cut by the laser such as airbag fabrics and composite materials used in automotive interiors. As a flexible processing tool, the laser can be easily integrated into robots and other automation devices and provides solutions for cutting various automation components and materials.


3. Laser surface treatment

In addition to traditional processes such as laser cutting and laser welding, lasers can also be used in a variety of surface treatment applications such as laser hardening, laser de-layering, surface activation, and laser surfacing. In the laser surfacing process, the most well-known is laser cladding. The basic materials such as metal wire or powder can be melted by laser radiation to achieve metallurgical bonding. The dilution rate of the metal of the parent component is less than 5%. . The automotive processing industry usually uses powder for laser surfacing, which can be used as a protective film for workpieces to prevent wear and corrosion, as well as high temperature and corrosion resistance (liquid). In the automotive industry, the minimum distortion rate and high flexibility of the workpiece are two important criteria. Thermal micro cracking and porosity are also avoided due to reduced heat input and the use of additive materials. Laser surfacing with filler wire can be used to repair workpieces, improve material wear resistance, achieve small design improvements, and correct manufacturing defects.


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