Having clarified at the start of our small series what exactly a diode laser is, today we look at the application fields. These are, as already mentioned, broadly diversified even though there are certain key areas in which diode lasers can clearly attract attention. One of them is the metal welding process. Diode lasers play a decisive role in various industrial areas, from the wafer-thin electric contact-sheet to the centimeter-thick side of ships made of steel and countless metal components joined by welding. Today, diode lasers cover a complete array of joining spectrum and offer suitable tools for different welding applications. Compared to classic arc welding methods like MIG/MAG or WIG welding as well as other laser-based welding techniques, welding with diode lasers is often superior.
In fact, diode lasers are actually meant for industrial welding processes. This are several reasons for it. First, the combination of high power output and comfortable spot sizes allows for an optimal gap bridgeability. Second, the energetic homogeneity of the spot and the high absorption capacity of a typical wavelength mix generate unusual calm melt pools that leave almost no impurities by spatters or wavelets at the adjoining areas of the seams. This guarantees excellent seam qualities. Third, diode lasers provide the highest energy efficiency of any industry lasers, which also qualifies them along with their low maintenance costs – for welding in series production. Fourth, with these lasers, heat conduction as well as keyhole welding applications can be executed.