Research and innovation

Laser process applied to ERW steel tubes


The laser process (LF – Laser Forming) is a contactless method used to model metal sheets and tubes by means of the induced thermal force without melting, using a de-focused laser beam. That process offers a hope to industry, that’s to say the possibility of executing a controlled shaping of metal and non-metal components for the prototyping, the correction of the design shape and precision applications. To satisfy this ‘promise’ in a production environment, the process must have a high control degree, be repeatable and have a minimum impact on the material properties and on the mechanical properties of the piece to be formed. To demonstrate the capacity of the LF process, some English researchers have carried out a study on the Laser 3D process for the forming of square steel tubes ERW SHS EN10305-5 E220 +CR2 (1.5x25x25 mm and 1.5x50x50 mm and tube length of 300 mm). Strategies have been developed with particular focus on the process speed, in order to minimize possible negative aspects in the properties of materials that might lead to an effort concentration. They have then studied a FEM 3D model, a metallurgical study and hardness tests. The results of these studies have been used to develop strategies to be applied to the laser process on square ERW steel tubes.