The aerospace industry has come a long way since its start and over that time, we’ve learned quite a bit about manufacturing equipment and parts. Perhaps one of the most important lessons we’ve learned has had to do with how we handle and manufacture the metal components essential to flight under intense exposure to elements. One manufacturing technology that has had the biggest impact on aerospace engineering is laser systems.
When it comes to manufacturing in the aerospace industry, laser welding and laser marking are among your safest, and best, bets for consistently producing high-quality, durable, and reliable products.
How is Laser Marking Used in Aerospace
Laser marking uses laser beams to write text, graphics, or barcodes on a variety of materials. For the aerospace industry, it provides high-quality, precise, and durable markings used in the to identify and track various parts, including their build and repair history.
In fact, the FAA has fairly strict requirements about which parts must be marked as part of the Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) process. Additionally, engines are similarly required to be marked and tracked. This is especially important in cases where safety is paramount; these markings can be used to identify parts under recall and track vital histories during potential investigations.
How is Laser Welding Used in Aerospace
Aerospace applications, from commercial aviation to satellites, by their very nature, have strict requirements. In addition to the regulations, aerospace parts are recognized for tight tolerances and high aspect ratio welds, as well as the need to withstand significant heat and pressure.
During the manufacturing and repair process, these parts cannot be compromised. As a result, laser welding becomes an ideal solution to meet the needs of a demanding industry.
Laser welding, in aerospace, is used to manufacture everything from turbines and engine components to exhaust seals and air duct parts. Anywhere you find a component or function that requires high strength metal components, that will be put to the test in both the manufacturing process and daily use, and it’s a good bet that laser welding or applications are in use.
How Aerospace Manufacturing is Different
Welding is a vital aspect of the manufacturing process, especially in the aerospace sector. However, aerospace engineering is a different beast altogether. Because of the regulations and requirements, there can be no risk to the integrity of the parts or the weld. For this reason, most aerospace welding occurs in clean rooms, ensuring no outside contaminants impact the weld or material surfaces.
Further, there is very little room for inaccuracies or even imperfections in a weld as any structural weakness can crack or corrode and lead to failure and, potentially, disaster. As noted above, in manufacturing, MRO, and daily use, many of these parts are subject to extreme temperatures and pressure and so ensuring that your aerospace components have the best welds available is vital to ensuring strength, reliability, durability, and safety.
Top Benefits of Laser Welding and Laser Marking for Aerospace
Laser welding and laser marking offer a wide range of benefits for aerospace applications.
To start, laser systems provide superior precision and accuracy, enabling higher quality welds and extremely intricate laser markings on parts. Because the laser beam used in laser marking is highly precise, it can create these patterns or text without any distortion or smudging. Laser marking is an excellent choice for applications where product traceability is required, as it allows for permanent legible markings on even the smallest components. It’s, therefore, essential for aerospace components exposed to extreme pressure and environmental elements.
Similarly, laser welding is especially beneficial due to its narrow laser beam which can heat materials locally, while avoiding warping or deformation of surrounding areas which can create vulnerabilities. There is little to no room for weakened structures in aerospace so any issues created during the welding process are costly and likely delay production time as well.
Additionally, when it comes to production time and costs, laser welding has a much faster processing time in comparison to traditional welding techniques.
Overall, laser welding and laser marking provide unique advantages in terms of precision, cost-efficiency, and productivity when applied in aerospace engineering projects. Their versatility makes them ideal for both large-scale production runs and small custom jobs, allowing for greater flexibility within the industry in terms of time management and cost savings. These benefits make laser welding and laser marking essential tools for modern aerospace engineers looking to maximize success with their projects.
Much like your aerospace components need durability, you also need laser systems that offer the same. You need machines that are long-lasting and consistent. That’s precisely what LaserStar offers. Our longevity in the laser industry and experience working with aerospace engineers means we can offer you the products you need to produce the parts and components your customers demand. Get in touch today and let’s start building.