I am working with a variable power laser system that has a wavelength of 0.8μm – 1.1 μm. The laser set up in the lab must be able to weld any gauge of material together for the experiment to take place. Thinner gauge material sheets must be supported in order for a proper weld to take place. Thus, the introduction of a supporting wheel or device was introduced. Currently, the laser beam welds or cuts the test sample but continues on afterwards. Damaging the supporting mechanism below. A stainless steel planish wheel has been experimented with to support the material and resist damage by the laser beam. This only lasts 5 or 6 welds until it needs to be replaced. A proper life cycle for the material should be upwards of 1,000 weld cycles. Is there a proper way to properly diffuse the laser beam reducing damage below the test sample?

  • $\begingroup$ Could you let the laser ray remainders sink into the water? It would easily be refilled after a part of it has evaporated. $\endgroup$
    – user33233
    Commented Jul 2, 2022 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ Typical laser cutting systems have a sharp focus (steep cone angle) so the beam power density decreases "fast" after passing beyond the cutting location. Did you buy a cutting system or build a DIY ? If the latter, consider redesigning the focus optics. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft This is an industrial laser welding system. Optics were an issue due to the dust removal system not functioning properly $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ I would use a prism to direct the beam into a cloudy water tank. $\endgroup$
    – Rhodie
    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


Generally the support structure is designed with a void behind the cutting area so that the beam has space to diverge (rather than "diffuse") enough that the power density has dropped to a harmless (to the machine) level.

Given the problem I would consider a glass support but I have no idea about your setup.

  • $\begingroup$ There is a void behind the test piece to give the beam space to diverge. However, the test sample needs to be supported which is where the support wheel comes into play. The set up consists of a laser welder on a moving track that welds a seam into sheet metal. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ Is it worth trying to turn the power down? $\endgroup$
    – RC_23
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ The answer was in the gap setting and laser power. I cannot share the set up unfortunately but to get a good weld reduce the power and leave no gap in the material. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 23:45

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