ThePipingMart Blog other Laser Welding vs CO2 Welding – What’s the Difference

Laser Welding vs CO2 Welding – What’s the Difference

Laser Welding vs CO2 Welding

Welding is essential in many industries as it joins two metals to create a single component. However, different welding techniques can be used depending on the type of materials, level of precision, cost, and time constraints. Two of the most popular welding techniques are laser welding and CO2 welding. Although they both serve the same purpose of joining metals, there are significant differences between the two that can impact the outcome of a project. This blog post will discuss the key differences between laser welding and CO2 welding to help you understand which is best for your needs.

What is Laser Welding?

Laser welding combines two materials, typically metals, through focused laser light and heat. It is often used for precision welding thin-sheet metals in medical devices, aerospace, automotive or electronic applications. The process is adjustable to fit different materials and provides greater flexibility than traditional thermal welding processes due to its ability to penetrate deeper into the material with less heat distortion. Laser welding generally offers higher-quality welds while requiring fewer post-processing steps.

What is CO2 Welding?

CO2 Welding, also known as MIG (metal inert gas) welding, is a process by which two pieces of metal are joined together using an electric arc. It utilizes the heat from the arc to melt and fuse the metals’ surfaces in a strong bond. The shielding gas used is typically carbon dioxide, hence its name; however, other gases can be used depending on the application. CO2 welding provides high-quality welds with minimal post-weld cleanup and is often used in auto body repair, manufacturing, and fabrication due to its low cost and ease of use compared to other types of welding.

Difference Between Laser Welding and CO2 Welding

Source of Energy

The first major difference between laser welding and CO2 welding is the energy source used to heat the materials. Laser welding uses a high-powered laser beam focused on a small area to melt the metals. On the other hand, CO2 welding uses a gas ionized by an electric arc to create a plasma that melts the metals. The main advantage of laser welding is its high precision, as the laser beam is very focused and can be directed to small and complex areas. CO2 welding, meanwhile, is better suited for large and thick materials that require high heat input.

Types of Materials

Another difference between laser welding and CO2 welding is the types of materials that can be welded. Laser welding is mainly used for thin and reflective materials, such as stainless steel, titanium, and aluminium. This is because the laser beam can be adjusted to match the reflectivity and thickness of the material, resulting in a clean and precise weld. CO2 welding, on the other hand, is suitable for welding thick and non-reflective materials, such as carbon steel, cast iron, and nickel alloys.

Speed and Productivity

Speed and productivity are also significant differences between laser welding and CO2 welding. Laser welding is faster than CO2 welding, as it can achieve a higher energy density and lower heat input. This means laser welding can produce more welds per hour and reduce cycle times for large-scale projects. However, CO2 welding can be more productive in certain cases, such as welding thick and heavy materials or requiring multiple welding passes.

Cost and Equipment

The cost and equipment needed for laser and CO2 welding also differ significantly. Laser welding is a more expensive process due to the high cost of the laser generator and the precision optics needed to focus the laser beam. Laser welding requires strict safety measures and a skilled operator to ensure the system’s proper operation. CO2 welding, on the other hand, is a more affordable process that requires a CO2 gas supply, an electric power source, and a welding gun. CO2 welding can be easily learned by a novice welder, making it a more accessible option for small-scale projects.


In summary, laser welding and CO2 welding join metals in various industries. While both methods serve the same purpose, they differ in terms of energy source, types of materials, speed and productivity, and cost and equipment. Choosing the right method for your needs will depend on the material’s thickness and reflectivity, the project’s size and complexity, and your budget and expertise. By understanding the difference between laser welding and CO2 welding, you can make an informed decision and ensure the success of your welding project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post