Hybrid laser-arc welding of laser- and plasma-cut 20-mm-thick structural steels
It is already known that the laser beam welding (LBW) or hybrid laser-arc welding (HLAW) processes are sensitive to manufacturing tolerances such as gaps and misalignment of the edges, especially at welding of thick-walled steels due to its narrow beam diameter. Therefore, the joining parts preferably have to be milled. The study deals with the influence of the edge quality, the gap and the misalignment of edges on the weld seam quality of hybrid laser-arc welded 20-mm-thick structural steel plates which were prepared by laser and plasma cutting. Single-pass welds were conducted in butt joint configuration. An AC magnet was used as a contactless backing. It was positioned under the workpiece during the welding process to prevent sagging. The profile of the edges and the gap between the workpieces were measured before welding by a profile scanner or a digital camera, respectively. With a laser beam power of just 13.7 kW, the single-pass welds could be performed. A gap bridgeability up to 1 mm at laser-cut and 2 mm at plasma-cut samples could be reached respectively. Furthermore, a misalignment of the edges up to 2 mm could be welded in a single pass. The new findings may eliminate the need for cost and time-consuming preparation of the edges.