Any idea why it is hard to fill a void when soldering two rings together at the top & bottom? It is like the metal has a memory & no matter how many times I hit it with the laser, there remains a small line or crack. I can add more gold, but the line continues to appear. It almost makes it easier to torch solder the rings together. There has to be a metallurgic reason for this to happen.
interesting…so, the metal from each ring is not pooling and melding in between? so, the metal is melting but being pulled back onto each ring by surface tension?
perhaps adjust energy? angle of attack?
may i ask?…what is the metal?
It sounds likke the rings might be white gold or Sterling, both, either of which can easily have this problem?
When soldering rings together, I tend to only use the laser to lightly tack the rings together, and then pull solder through the assembly with a torch.
i dont have a laser, but with my welder i am learning that angle of attack affects the direction the melt goes…i just learned that i can make contact with the side of the electrode to push metal down…
ie: lets say i have a piece of wire laying on a flat piece of sheet…instead of of pointing the electrode at a 45 degree angle into the seam area, between the two, i point it straight down/ perpendicular toward the sheet (effectively a 90 degree angle to the sheet)…and instead of touching the blunted tip to the metal (sterling in this example) i instead touch the side of the electrode blunt point to the wire…and the metal flows down into the seam area nicely
i think the side emits less power…to the thinner wire…and a stronger power goes off the tip to the sheet…
big improvement in doing fills etc
great question…with many potentially different answers… torch soldering might be the better solution. the two rings will have a memory, unless annealed first. laser welding would not heat the entire rings enough to relax that memory, by annealing, while as torch soldering would…if you have to bother with annealing the rings first, why bother with laser welding when torch soldering would do the same thing simultaneously. .if the contact point between two circular rings are very thin, just an edge, laser welds would tack them together but with insufficient amount of material to hold them together and resist them from springing apart. adding more gold should help but it would have to be more than you would want to use…and there will still be tension in the rings…anything that has a circular geometry will have that tension memory locked in… the arc welding solution proposed by W would work with thin wires and thin sheet… arcs are more diffuse than lasers…but if the rings that you are trying to weld together are thick pieces of metal, more than 14 or 12 gauge wire, there still won’t be enough total heat energy to anneal them and relax the springiness…This could just be one aspect of the problem and I also could be entirely wrong on this, so further comments would be most welcome and appreciated. I’ve done all fabrication and decorated ring shanks with leaves, wires, etc and have run into the same problems with things not wanting to stick, even with torch soldering. I’m also a hobbyist and not a professional.
the angle of attack is critical and you are so right about that… it’s something learned by trial and error.
ah! tension! interesting!
i wasnt sure i understood what was happening to the OP…but mow that you mention tension, i think i understand now.
and its funny, because when i practice/ test weld rings, i can “feel” tension building up…a “distortion”…i have this weird feeling about it!…i just discussed it with orion support…and now that you mention it, maybe the “sense” is real!
i think so too… annealing first will relax the metal…so you could try that as an experiment… annealing two separate rings however might lead to them not being exactly with the same roundness… it’s intrinsic to circular geometry, especially ovals, or anything eccentric…
It could be a shrinkage crack when the weld pool cools from the 3000 or so degrees down almost instantly to the ambient temp. The metal shrinks and tries to draw the rings tighter together. If the rings are already tight, the weld will crack as it passes through the ‘hot short’ phase of cooling down. This happens with my pulse arc welder. Preheating the items to about 100 degrees often helps as it slows down the cooling of the weld pool, and the amount of shrinkage is less in comparison the pieces being joined.