How Small Is Micro?
How is Micro-Welding Explained? “Micro” is different for everyone. We specialize in “micro” welding, Simply put means welding anything smaller than traditional welding options. Generally speaking, we start welding around 0.2″ or 5mm thick, and weld down as small as .0003″ or 0.007 mm. We have many types of welding systems the range from pulse arc welders to laser welders, to capacitive discharge welders. Give us a call and tell us what you would like to weld. We’ll give you our recommendations from our various line of welding systems that we offer.
Pulsed Micro TIG welding:
Pulse arc welding is a high precision, TIG type, plasma discharge, welding process. Sunstone Engineering’s pulse arc welders are capable of extremely precise energy discharge. Each plasma discharge creates small laser-like welds. Pulse arc welding, like laser welding, is typically an edge welding process. The weld spot is created as the tungsten electrode is withdrawn from the weld surface and the melting process starts from the outside and penetrates inwardly. Like traditional TIG welding, pulse arc welding can be used to add additional material, like fill wire. This is useful in many applications where additional material is needed for additional strength. Additionally, pulse arc welding can also be used to melt and fuse to parts together without the need for fill wire. Unlike traditional large-scale TIG welding, pulse arc welding can create welds that bridge gaps between parts. This is due in part to the high peak weld currents and liquid metal dynamics that occur during the short welding process.
An additional advantage of pulse arc welding is the extremely low energy input to create the weld. This welding property means that even heat sensitive parts or pieces can be welded with a very low chance of thermal damage. Pulse arc welding also helps reduce any distortion that would typically happen during other welding processes.
Fine Spot Micro Resistance Welding:
Resistance welding, sometimes called spot welding, is an economical and proven welding process. In spot welding, a positive and a negative electrode make contact with the work piece-usually the parts to be welded are pinched between the electrodes. After the pressure has been applied a pulse of electrical current is released which causes the metal to melt between the welding electrodes. The result is a weld spot – hence the term “spot weld”.
When resistance welding small parts, careful consideration must be given to part geometry, proper part fixture composition, contact resistance and other important variables, to ensure consistent weld results. Sunstone is an expert in this process and is happy to take care of all of the details for you.
As with laser or pulse arc welding, the energy into the weld joint can be extremely low. This means that even heat sensitive parts can be welded with a low chance of damage. Spot welding also helps reduce any distortion that would typically happen during other welding processes.
Resistance welding is an economical welding process for many applications. High volume production is possible and Sunstone welders can help control process parameters to produce perfect welds. At Sunstone, we are happy to help you weld your application or help you bring your welding in-house to your own facility. Contact us to see which solution will be the best for your business.
Thermocompression Micro Welding:
Thermocompression welding involves the use of a specially designed electrode to provide the highest degree of precision of any micro welding technology. This electrode is bonded in a way that allows the two halves to remain isolated. At the welding tip this electrode make contact in a small isolated path. When a very finely controlled energy is applied to this electrode the tip heats up for the duration of the weld. This allows for the piece being welded to heat up without conduction or having energy passed through. This process is common for welding small coated or magnet wires. These wires do not conduct electricity due to the coatings and therefore would be unable to be welding using a traditional resistance welding method. Thermocompression welding allows for this fine control welding, and prevents damage to electrically sensitive components. Welding to PCB boards, traces, and compents is possible using Thermocompression welding.
Small Scale Laser Micro Welding:
Laser welding is a welding process that uses collimated light to melt and fuse metals. Laser welding is ideal for automation and area with tough to reach joints. Just like pulse arc welding, laser welding is typically used as an edge welding process. It can be used to add material via fill wire or to melt and join material from the parts to without the need for additional metal. Lasers (and laser welders) can also be for deep drilling of holes in pieces, and even to push material from one part to another during the welding process.
Heat in a laser weld is highly focused and does not affect the surrounding area, or heat the entire piece. Welding is completed most of the time while holding the metal in a bare hand. Small heat affected zone means that even heat sensitive parts can be welded with a slim chance of damage. It also helps reduce any distortion that would typically happen with other welding processes.
Laser welding is a versatile and economical welding process for a variety of applications. Sunstone is happy to help you weld your application or to help you bring Laser welding in-house to your facility. Contact us to see which solution will be the best for your business.