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Process characteristics of fibre-laser-assisted plasma arc welding

: Mahrle, A.; Schnick, M.; Rose, S.; Demuth, C.; Beyer, E.; Füssel, U.


Journal of Physics. D. Applied Physics 44 (2011), No.34, Art. 345502
ISSN: 0022-3727
ISSN: 1361-6463
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWS ()

Experimental and theoretical investigations on fibre-laser-assisted plasma arc welding (LAPW) were performed. Welding experiments were carried out on aluminium and steel sheets. In the case of a highly focused laser beam and a separate arrangement of plasma torch and laser beam, high-speed video recordings of the plasma arc and corresponding measurements of the time-dependent arc voltage revealed differences in the process behaviour for both materials. In the case of aluminium welding, a sharp decline in arc voltage and stabilization and guiding of the anodic arc root was observed whereas in steel welding the arc voltage was slightly increased after the laser beam was switched on. However, significant improvement of the melting efficiency with the combined action of plasma arc and laser beam was achieved for both types of material. Theoretical results of additional numerical simulations of the arc behaviour suggest that the properties of the arc plasma are mainly influe nced not by a direct interaction with the laser radiation but by the laser-induced evaporation of metal. Arc stabilization with increased current densities is predicted for moderate rates of evaporated metal only whereas metal vapour rates above a certain threshold causes a destabilization of the arc and reduced current densities along the arc axis.