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Components of a Handheld Laser Welding Machine

Every handheld laser welding machine contain the following components:

· Laser source

The laser source is the most important component of a handheld laser welding machine, and it directly affects the machine's final weld area and life span. The most common sources are a solid-state laser and a fiber laser delivery such as EASTSONG handheld laser welder. Both emit high-power laser beams and can weld thicker materials. They are more compact and provide higher welding speeds.

· Optical Cavity

The optical cavity surrounds the laser source. It consists of two reflective mirrors placed above and below the gain medium. The mirror surfaces serve as an amplifying system for the laser beam. As the laser beam bounces back and forth, they increase the length of the gain medium.

Furthermore, the degree of reflectivity varies between both mirrors. The first mirror reflects all light into the laser cavity. However, the mirror on the opposite side permits a small beam to exit the cavity to interact with the material.

· Cooling System

Laser welding is heat intensive. If heat is not removed or appropriately dissipated, it deforms thin materials. As a result, a cooling system is a critical part of the machine.

Experts use two main types of cooling systems when welding: liquid cooling and air cooling. Liquid cooling uses coolants, including water and other coolant fluids, which are transported directly to the parts generating heat. This provides a more efficient cooling medium.

· Power Supply

The electrical system provides the power that runs a handheld laser welding machine. The electrical current gets transformed into laser light that interacts with the materials. Controlling and monitoring the power density is important during welding as any change (even minute) can irreversibly damage the laser optics.

Furthermore, some handheld laser welding machines can be battery-operated. The battery type may vary based on the design of the welding equipment.

· Protective Housing

The laser welding machines must have protective housing to guarantee the operator's safety. It ensures that the laser radiation in contact with the operator is within the MPE level.

Additionally, protective housing combines shielding windows, physical barriers, ventilation, and safety interlocks. They adequately contain the welding area and laser beam delivery system while granting the welder access to the entire welding operation.

· Welding Head

The welding head is responsible for delivering a highly concentrated laser beam to the welding joint for welding to take place. It comprises a focusing lens, shielding gas, and a protective nozzle which should come from highly durable material. It is also possible to adjust the machine parameters laser welding head to control heat input and distribution during the welding.

· Gas Supply System

The gas supply system ensures a smooth run of this heat-conduction welding process. This system provides gas, including helium and argon, that protects the welding area from unintended reactions with atmospheric content. When the atmospheric mixture reacts with the molten material, nitrogen embrittlement and oxidation can occur. The gasses also prevent weld contamination by removing impurities from the material surface.

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