Category Archive: Aerospace Industry
Laser welding has become an increasingly popular service for applications in the aerospace industry that require fast assembly and quality precision. The use of welding in the aerospace industry has faced restrictions in the past due to a lack of fully weldable aluminum alloys. However, thanks to the introduction of new materials, technologies and applications throughout the years, laser welding has not only gained momentum, but has proven to be an extremely valuable service in aerospace applications, both by minimizing heat-affected zones and preventing damage to packaged components.
In particular, glove box welding is an effective method for numerous aerospace applications. Also known as an inert gas chamber, a welding glove box can be integrated using tungsten inert gases (TIG), vacuums or YAG-laser welding systems. Glove boxes provide alternative energy sources and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and designs, proving to be a vital tool in the aerospace sector.
The Benefits of Glove Box Welding
Glove box welding is a proficient service that plays a part in delivering reliable and repeatable process quality for welded aerospace materials. The top three benefits of glove box welding include:
- Clean welds – Weld chambers help prevent oxidation of materials (i.e. aluminum and titanium) by creating an atmosphere free of oxygen and moisture to safely produce aerospace parts.
- No defects – Glove box welding eliminates cracking due to atmospheric contamination, which leads to creating high quality welded joints.
- High cost-effectiveness – Parts can be transferred efficiently to the main chamber without manufacturers needing to manually operate expensive shielding gas systems.
How Laserage Can Help
Laserage can support your aerospace applications with full in-house laser processing capabilities. We offer application welding under a shield gas, or employ the use our Glove Box systems for vacuum baked and hermetically sealed packages in an inert atmosphere. Process protocols compliant with AWS D17, and MIL-STDs 202, and 883, we offer gross and fine Helium leak detection capabilities, and embrace ESD handling, all of which are implemented in-house to assure ultimate quality and reliability for hermetic weld applications.
Our ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 certifications ensure that we meet all the requirements to successfully provide laser cutting, welding, drilling and other quality services. To learn more about the benefits of laser welding, be sure to download our eBook, “A Guide to Laser Welding: Conventional Welding vs Laser Welding.”
Lasers are an incredibly versatile tool, especially in the aerospace industry. Though they are most commonly thought of as a cutting medium, they can actually perform a wide variety of functions for various applications.
Aerospace Capabilities of Laser Processing
One unique aerospace application for a non-cutting laser capability is hermetic laser sealing of electronic and optoelectronic packages.
Of the utmost importance for the proper functioning of planes, jets, and helicopters, electronic and optoelectronic packages are found throughout the electrical systems, critical and secondary alike, of aircraft. Packaging is used to protect delicate electronics from a wide range of potentially harmful elements, including:
- Physical and mechanical damage caused in flight or during maintenance
- Electrostatic discharge
- Sudden or extreme fluctuations in temperature
- Electric and static electric discharge
- Radio frequency noise
- Airborne contaminants
Laser hermetic sealing is a highly specialized form of laser welding, developed specifically for high sensitivity applications such as package sealing. At Laserage, all of our package hermetic sealing is performed in our inert environment weld chamber — the enclosed laser equipment allows us to achieve precision seals while maintaining unparalleled contamination prevention.
While package hermetic welding is an excellent example of the benefits of laser processing over traditional manual processing in the aerospace industry, it is far from the only beneficial laser capability. There are a large number of other laser processes that the aerospace industry can use to their advantage, including:
- General laser welding — Laser welding can be performed at higher temperatures than traditional welding and, thanks to its automated nature, produces highly consistent welds
- Laser coating — Many powdered metal coatings for aircraft and satellite components can be laser fused, allowing for better coatings and improved component design adaptability
- Laser drilling — Compared to standard mechanical drilling, laser drilling offers lower costs, shorter processing time, and greatly expanded capabilities, include high precision and complex geometries.
Benefits of Laser Processing
Laser processing offers many benefits to the aerospace industry: flexibility in design and manufacturing, fabrication of lighter components, reduced costs, and more.
Laserage, an ISO 13485 and ISO 9001 certified company, is a recognized leader and innovator in the laser processing industry. Our two facilities — located in Waukegan, Illinois and Milpitas, California — use fiber, disk, Femto, Nd:YAG, and custom designed C02 lasers offer a vast array of laser processing services for small, medium, and high volume jobs.
To learn more about the advantages that laser processing can offer the aerospace industry, specifically processes such as laser welding, download our latest eBook: A Guide to Laser Welding.
Laser welding serves a wide range of industries, including aerospace, industrial, medical and nuclear, among many others. For the aerospace industry in particular, laser welding capabilities have played an integral role in everything from flight components to airport security procedures. Because laser-enabled welding provides precision from start to finish, it serves as an effective process for not only an impressive array of industry projects, but especially for materials used in proven aerospace applications.
The 5 major advantages of laser welding are:
1. Strength – Laser welding technology is durable enough to make high strength welds. Lasers provide quality and clean processing, which is why they’re favored among manufacturers.
2. Consistency – Laser welding is not only a faster and more versatile process compared to other techniques, but it also provides more consistency. Therefore, laser welding is the ideal option for handling material when repeatability is needed, all without compromising cost.
3. Precision – Laser welding offers strong accuracy and control. Precision small laser beams can be used for welding even the tiniest of parts together, all without creating any damage to any of the parts.
4. Complex Joins Handling – Unlike traditional welding techniques, laser welding makes it possible to weld varying materials that do not have to be similar to one another.
5. Low Heat Application – With minimal heat input, laser welding noticeably reduces any improper alterations to components. Because of this, laser welding is the preferred method of welding options for meeting the high-demanding needs of the aerospace industry to achieve effectiveness.
Laserage meets the regulations required in compliance with ISO as well as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), ensuring that we provide quality services with a “focus on excellence” to all industries we serve, including aerospace engineering. Laserage successfully meets the rigorous demands of the aerospace industry by having over 35 years of expertise in working with materials such as stainless steel, titanium, Nitinol, Inconel, aluminum, MP35N and more.
We utilize state-of-the-art laser machines to fulfil the needs of a range of applications for the aerospace industry. Some of those applications include pressure vessel welding, orifice drilling, proximity sensors welding, leading-edge hole drilling, battery welding and sensitive electronics glove box welding. The glove box welding process consists of welding under an inert gas shield while sealing packages in a low atmosphere. Sometimes heating or bake out is required and ESD procedures are part of the process.
Speak with a representative today to learn more about how our laser welding capabilities can benefit your project.