Laser Mould and Die Repairs
Repairing industrial tool moulds and dies is traditionally a time and labour intensive task with long lead times causing production delays which also contribute to making repairs extremely expensive.
Can’t stand the heat!
Most materials used for manufacturing dies and moulds possess high amounts of carbon and alloys, making the material difficult to weld conventionally and susceptible to metallurgical degeneration. Fusion welding is the only reliable technology that can improve the mechanical properties and so extend the lifetime of dies and moulds.
Gas tungsten arc welding is the oldest and most common method of repair. In general, the equipment used is manually operated making it highly portable and flexible when repairing complex geometrics and intricate parts.
The downside is that it requires highly skilled operators to achieve the desired results. As most dies and moulds are made of heat sensitive alloy steels, pre-heating and post-welding heat treatment is mandatory to prevent solidification, cracking and high residual stresses.
Precise, quick and distortion-free
Material deposition using lasers as the heat source is preferable to conventional processes due to low heat output.
The process involves only a small heat affected zone, negligible undercut and a very small volume weld. Stresses can be eliminated by means of the controllable pulse shape resulting in a crack-free weld (especially important for hardnesses above 55 HRC).
The low heat output means most laser mould repairs can be carried out without pre-heating. Additional post-repair stages such as grinding back and re-polishing can be minimised due to the accuracy and precision of the laser welding process.
Reduced post-processing requirements, reduced cycle times, increased part quality and increased mould and die lifetimes are all benefits of laser welding. Another advantage is in the reduced learning curve required for laser operators to achieve the necessary skill set; years of apprenticeship are not required!
Mobile welding pioneers
Equipment portability could be considered a drawback of laser welding when compared to conventional arc welding. However, our product partners Alpha Laser are one of the leaders in laser welding machines and systems and pioneers in mobile laser welding.
Among their range of mobile lasers is the ALFlak fiber. This is a mobile laser and repair welder with an extended arm reach and a large travelling range. It’s available with a self-propelled caterpillar track or as a manually moveable model. Either way, you can take the laser to the mould rather than having to transport a potentially heavy and cumbersome component to the laser station.
For further details about the ALFlak and Alpha Laser’s mobile laser range as well as their enclosed and open laser welding systems, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org