A glove box for laser welding is widely used in fields such as metallurgy, aeronautics, energy, research and development, automobile construction, nuclear power, and so on. Whenever the project involves the production of very resistant and high-quality welds on metals or metal alloys, the TIG or laser welding process is used. The glove box allows this operation to be carried out under inert gas, especially on metals subject to oxidation when welded in ambient air.
Welding allows the assembly of mechanical and metallic parts that can be made of the same or different materials. With TIG welding, the welding workstation creates an electric arc between the part to be welded and the infusible tungsten electrode. The welder uses a filler metal to join them together. Laser welding is when the welding station emits a laser beam to cause the edges of the two parts to fuse together and create a melt pool. The beam is about the thickness of a hair and does not require the use of filler metal. The result is an almost perfect assembly both in terms of strength and aesthetic quality. It is possible to laser weld: steel, copper, stainless steel, nickel, titanium…
The glove box becomes indispensable when laser welding materials such as titanium, molybdenum and tantalum. These materials present a high risk of oxidation if the welding process takes place in the open air. Titanium, for example, loses its strength and can turn blue or grey. The quality of its weld will be seriously compromised. This problem can be avoided by using a glove box.
Which Glove Box for Laser Welding?
In general, an inert gas glove box with integrated torch and gas purification unit is used for laser welding. The shielding gas is often noble gas (argon, helium or a mixture of both). The regulation of the humidity and oxygen content in ppm allows to intervene in complete safety while ensuring the mechanical resistance of the welds. Certain standards must be respected. Welders also save time, because with laser welding, the welding speed is very high, up to 8 meters of welding per minute.
Advantages of using a glove box for laser welding:
- It reduces the heat-affected zone (HAZ)
- It minimizes the coloration of the parts to be assembled
- Welding is more precise because there are no deformations
- Welding of very thin surfaces and hard-to-reach areas is possible
- The assembly is more resistant
Apart from laser welding, a glove box can also be used for TIG welding under inert gas. The welder can adapt his technique according to the applications: butt welding, spot welding, welding with or without material input, transparency welding, clap welding… These chambers are suitable for all experiments where the working environment must be anhydrous, ultra-clean and anaerobic, such as in the development and manufacture of medical supplies, batteries, super capacitors, etc. The metallurgical, nuclear, aeronautical and R&D industries are the main users.