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Best metal for laser welding

I am in a rather odd position for the next few months. I am renting a
space in a shared studio for the next few months. The studio comes
very well equipped and boasts a laser welder in one corner.

I want to use the laser welder and I am familiar with the machine
(I’ve worked on it for a few hours).

My question in what it the best (simplest…) metal to use.
Preferably precious a metal.

I want to make jewellery out of many needles forming a structure
similar to a spray of acicular crystals. I have been making these
structures for the last few years out of soldered silver

Thanks for any help.
Chris Boland

Hi Chris,

I’m using the laser welder for several years now. My expierence is
concerning precious metal, gold alloys work much more better then
silver (alloys) I use 585 and 750 alloys.

The difference between soldering and welding is that with soldering
the connection is made by cappilair flowing of the solder. By welding
the connection is more or less local, so it looks strong, but it can
be weak.

The best thing you could do is to experiment with the typical
construction you prefer; make several welds, experiment with the
settings of your laser. Check the results by looking at them and
simply try to bend and destroy your test pieces. Write down your
favorite settings.

Good luck.
Jan Matthesius

Platinum is a natural for the laser. Gold I would say comes next.
Sterling is problematic but doable.

Platinum and stainless steel weld wonderfully with the laser, and so
does yellow gold. White gold is a bit more difficult, but not as
much trouble as silver. Silver gives me problems at times, but again
can be welded or brazed with the laser, by experimenting with Argon,
shaped pulse and some of the new silver laser wire alloys. One of the
surprises was when attempting repairs to pewter or other 'potmetal’
pieces. Using lead solder sticks as filler I have had quite
satisfactory results. Still experimenting after 5 or 6 years with the
laser, and still learning.

If you are interested in really learning about laser welding and the
scienece behind it, we do offer a comprehensive 2 day class in
Orlando, FL or Los Angeles, CA. It is not just designed for LaserStar
customers since we teach you the fundamentals of laser welding.
Anyone can buy a laser, but not everyone can make them work
effeciently or profitably. Classes are Mon-Fri and are reserved well
in advance. Contact our main office at 401-438-1500 to inquire about
a joining us in a training session.

Best Regards,

Andre Friedmann
Technical Sales Representative
LaserStar Technologies Corp.