PRODUCT SHOWCASE: BrightLine Weld for powertrain applications

BrightLine Weld, Trumpf’s latest innovation for laser welding, will significantly improve process quality for many laser welding applications. Specifically, applications for powertrain manufacturing will see great benefits as a result of BrightLine Weld, which allows for a virtually spatter-free laser welding process during deep penetration welding. Spatter-free deep penetration laser welding has historically only been achieved with CO2 lasers. Trumpf’s TruDisk solid state laser will now achieve laser welding results rivaling a CO2 laser weld seam with BrightLine Weld. Even at high feed rates of up to 20m/min, BrightLine Weld outperforms other state-of-the-art welding systems that operate at speeds measuring up to 5 m/min.

For deep penetration welding in powertrain applications, the spatter regime appears at welding speeds of 5m/min to 6 m/min. Welding speeds beyond 6 m/min cause enough mass loss that result in undercuts of the weld seam and sometimes even internal porosity – both of which reduce the part’s mechanical strength. However, BrightLine Weld technology allows users to achieve strong, high-quality weld seams on a consistent basis, regardless of the welding speed. These high-quality weld seams then allow for components with high mechanical strength, which is of utmost importance. Additionally, because spatter is minimized, the contamination of work pieces is prevented. This ultimately reduces machine downtime and the rework of parts, which results in lower costs.

A typical powertrain application that benefits from laser technology is the laser welding of gear wheels. Gear wheels are normally welded with a feed rate of 5 m/min and a laser power of 3.4 kW. For this application, BrightLine Weld provides a significant advantage because it can be used to reduce the required amount of laser power while simultaneously increasing machine productivity. When compared to the standard welding laser power of 3.4 kW, a part that’s welded with BrightLine Weld will require only 2 kW of laser power, which is a 40 percent reduction, saving on operating costs. BrightLine Weld produces slightly slimmer weld seams while still achieving the same welding depth, requiring less rework and reducing the cost per part. With BrightLine Weld, the feed rate can be increased by up to +300 percent when using a higher laser power in order to further improve productivity and even further reduce costs for manufacturers.