Fraunhofer IPK

Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology

Laser Beam and Hybrid Welding

The future-proof laser beam welding is rapid, precise and sparing on material. Combined with other welding techniques, it becomes a true all-rounder.

Pipeline welders can weld about 30 cm of seam a minute using traditional welding methods. Depending on the wall thickness of the pipe they need to weld up to ten layers  and more to get a complete and truly robust seam, which – with pipelines covering several thousand kilometers – makes for excruciatingly slow progress. In contrast, the special laser beam welding technology developed by Fraunhofer IPK and BAM can weld two and a half meters per minute and is so precise that one single seam layer is sufficient. What’s more, there’s no need for special preparation of the welding edges, which also saves on material.

Its high speed, great seam depth, small heat input and exceptional precision make laser beam welding a technology of the future. Combined with other techniques, it offers even more advantages. In combination with arc welding, for instance, laser welding offers a manufacturing method that is not just rapid, but also capable of bridging large gaps between the joints. And this makes it ideal for major engineering projects like pipeline construction and shipbuilding.

At Fraunhofer IPK our special focus in the field of laser beam and laser hybrid welding is on the weldability of thick-walled components, alloyed and high-alloyed steels, nickel-based alloys, lightweight metals and crack-sensitive materials.