Study on the transition behavior of the bulging effect during deep penetration laser beam welding
The present work is devoted to the study of the transition behavior of the recently confirmed widening of the weld pool, known as the bulging effect, during high-power deep penetration laser beam welding of thick unalloyed steel sheets. A three-dimensional transient multi-physics numerical model is developed, allowing for the prediction of the bulge formation and the study of its temporal behavior. The model is generalized to account automatically for the transition from partial to complete penetration. Several experimental measurements and observations, such as drilling period, weld pool length, temperature, efficiency, and metallographic cross-sections are used to verify the model and assure the plausibility of the numerical results. The analysis of the calculated temperature and velocity distributions, as well as the evolution of the keyhole geometry, show that the formation of a bulging region strongly depends on the penetration depth of the weld. Based on the numerical results, the bulge is found to occur transiently, having its transition from a slight bulge to a fully developed bulging between penetration depths of 6 mm and 9 mm, respectively.