Like electron beam welding (EBW), laser beam welding has high power density (on the order of 1MW/cm2) resulting in small heat affected zones and high heating and cooling rates. The spot size of the laser can vary between 0.2 mm and 13mm, though only smaller sizes are used for welding. The depth of penetration is proportional to the amount of power supplied, but is also dependent on the location of the focal point: penetration is maximized when the focal point is slightly below the surface of the work piece.
A continuous or pulsed laser beam may be used depending upon the application. Milliseconds long pulses are used to weld thin materials such as razor blades while continuous laser systems are employed for deep welds. Some of the advantages of LBW in comparison to EBW are as follows:
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