The utilization of lasers for the processing of advanced materials has increased significantly in recent years. This is partly partly due to the characteristics of the laser/material interaction and the properties of the resulting structures. New processing techniques such as wire feed/filler added laser welding and high powered scanning optics have increased the number of applications and improved the cost effectiveness of lasers in manufacturing.
This paper will review examples of laser materials processing from the perspective of the recently developed process methods for advanced and specialty materials. Examples will be concentrated in the area of laser welding where the greatest activity in process development and applications has occurred.