Esab Cutting Systems says its line of hybrid laser arc welding (HLAW) machines combine the weld penetration and heat input of laser welding with the power efficiency and gap tolerance of gas metal arc welding (GMAW).
Using GMAW eliminates a major problem associated with traditional laser welders, which have trouble producing acceptable weld fusion in weldments with wide gaps between parts. This is a side effect of deep penetration designed to reduce heat infusion, which can cause buckling and warping. However, GMAW— along with a modest amount of filler metal—allows the HLAW machines to create wider weld beads capable of bridging gaps as many as four times as wide as conventional laser processes can handle. In addition, GMAW’s slow cooling rates can enable the production of stronger, less brittle welds.