Laser Solutions in Bridge Construction

The word bridge is interpreted in the dictionary as a structure erected on rivers, lakes, and seas to allow vehicles and pedestrians to pass smoothly. With the rapid development of laser technology, laser process has been widely used in this industry. The application in bridge construction is a symbol of the gradual maturity of laser technology.


A bridge is generally composed of five major components and five small components. The five major components mainly include(1) bridge span structure(or bridge hole structure /superstructure), (2) bridge support system, (3) bridge piers and abutments, (4) ) Cap, (5) Well digging or pile foundation. The five small parts mainly include (1) bridge deck paving, (2) waterproof and drainage system, (3) railings, (4) expansion joints, (5) lighting. In which parts of buildings bridges involves laser processes?


Fiber laser cutting application in bridge construction

Laser cutting is the use of high-power density laser beam to irradiate the material to be cut, so that the material is quickly heated to vaporization temperature, and evaporates to form holes. As the beam moves on the material, the holes continuously form a narrow width (such as about 0.1mm) to complete the cutting of the material.


Modern bridge construction applies a large number of metal materials to the construction in order to reduce the load-bearing capacity of the bridge itself to achieve prolonged life and safety. Therefore, there are greater requirements for the texture and thickness of the metal. The fiber laser cutting machine can cut carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloy, copper and other metals, and the materials cut by the laser have good quality of slitting, vertical cutting surface, and smooth cut surface with no burrs.It has small thermal deformation, high precision of curve cutting. These advantages can not only speed up the construction process, but also ensure the quality of materials applied to the bridge span structure and bridge support system.


In addition, there are fiber laser pipe cutting machines. The equipment mainly cuts pipes, such as square pipes, round pipes, special-shaped pipes, etc. The cutting diameter and thickness of the materials can meet the needs of large bridges, such as the cutting of railings and street lamp posts.


Fiber laser welding application in bridge construction

Laser welding uses high-energy laser pulses to locally heat the material in a small area. The energy of the laser radiation diffuses into the material through the heat, and the material is melted to form a specific molten pool to achieve the purpose of welding. Laser welding technology is mostly used in manufacturing, powder metallurgy, automobile industry, electronics industry, biomedicine and other industries. It can realize spot welding, butt welding, stitch welding, sealing welding, etc., with a fine and narrow weld width. The small heat-affected zone results in the very little. Also, the welding speed is fast with a fine welding line, no treatment or only simple treatment is required after welding.

A large number of thick steel plates and metal parts are used in the bridge construction industry. Laser welding can weld two steel plates with a thickness of 10mm, or even thicker steel plates, and can ensure that the welds are tight, slag-free and smooth. Moreover, different materials dissolve and diffuse each other to realize the connection between parts, which can not only meet the technical requirements but also effectively increase the toughness.


Fiber laser cladding application in bridge construction

Laser cladding is a new surface enhancement technology. It adds a cladding material on the surface of the substrate and uses a high-energy density laser beam to fuse it together with the thin layer of the substrate surface to form a metallurgical bonding additive cladding layer on the surface of the substrate.

The metal used in the bridge construction must be exposed to the outdoors to withstand wind and rain, so if laser cladding is applied, it can significantly improve the wear resistance, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, oxidation resistance and electrical characteristics of the base layer. This technology can achieve the purpose of surface modification or repair, which not only meets the requirements for the specific performance of the material surface, but also saves a lot of costly components.


Fiber laser cleaning application in bridge construction

Laser cleaning is a photophysical reaction caused by the interaction between a high-intensity beam, a short-pulse laser, and the pollution layer, so as to achieve the purpose of cleaning.

After the metal materials in the bridge construction have been used for a period of time, some of the materials will rust or that the layers might have fallen off. They must be “cleaned” before being repaired before a new round of repairs can be carried out. Laser cleaning has the characteristics of non-abrasive, non-contact, non-thermal effect and suitable for objects of various materials. It is considered to be the most reliable and effective solution. At the same time, laser cleaning can solve problems that cannot be solved by traditional cleaning methods.


Although high-speed rail technology is rapidly increasing, there are many remote mountainous areas that cannot be reached. Therefore, a large number of roads and bridges need to be built to connect remote places so that things can go out for everyone. Laser technology has been a great assist to boost the development of bridge construction.



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