A new laser welding system reportedly offers manufacturers, particularly of medical devices, the capability to achieve a clean, clear-on-clear, particulate-free, hermetically sealed weld. The new 3G Laser Welding System from Branson Ultrasonics, Danbury, Conn., is the result of a collaborative development effort with Sono-Tek, Milton, N.Y., a leader in ultrasonic spray systems for applying precise thin film coatings.
Branson’s 3G welder is based on a Simultaneous Through-Transmission Infrared (STTIr) laser welding technique which applies thin film deposition of a 0.5mm wide line of laser absorber to the weld area, for joining clear-on-clear plastics. STTIr technology is said to be capable of meeting highly specialized manufacturing demands of small geometrically complex devices and does not use vibration force, making it ideal to accommodate delicate parts or those embedded with electronics.
Whereas laser welding techniques such as scan or trace require a laser beam to travel along the weld line of a plastic part, heating and cooling as it goes, STTIr shapes multiple stationary laser beams in a wave guide along the entire length of the weld line. Discreet beam-zone intensity control via a tool map protects delicate structures while assuring uniform weld performance. The wave guide that houses the laser ferrules can be configured on multiple axes to accommodate highly complex 3-D contours. The compact, benchtop 3G laser welder consists of a control and laser banks and is designed to interface with a single 2000X actuator and up to two Radiance laser banks capable of delivering up to 250 Watts of laser power. The unit is designed to be operated with an external chiller.