Demonstrate the maximum welding performance in terms of depth of penetration, welding speed and weld quality that can be achieved with current state-of-the-art high-brightness fibre-delivered lasers for at least two industrial materials.
Establish weld quality data when welding with high brightness lasers.
Assess the performance of high-brightness fibre-delivered lasers for cutting C-Mn steel and stainless steel material in thickness between 3 and 12.7mm.
From the trials previously carried out on steel at TWI, a hot metal vapour plume is inferred to exist between the processing point and the focusing lens, at welding speeds up to 8m/min, which impedes the incident laser power. Current work is focusing on mapping the extent of this plume and designing a practical means of dispersing it, so as to maximise the welding performance, in terms of depth of welding and welding speed for a given laser output power. This research work will assist the results of this project (which are as yet unknown) and demonstrate the technique on at least two industrial demonstrators.
Bead-on-plate melt runs will be carried out in thick section stainless, C-Mn steel and aluminium plate to establish penetration-speed diagram for a latest 5kW high brightness fibre laser.
Using the cross-jet plume suppressing technique optimised in earlier work, welding trials will be carried out on butt and T-joints in steel and aluminium, to establish technical data in terms of weld quality, weld profile and tolerance to joint gap/fit-up.
Laser cutting trials will be carried out in stainless steel and C-Mn steel. Technical data on cutting speed and edge quality will be established.
Relevant Industry Sectors
Automotive, Aerospace, Oil, gas and chemicals, Power generation, Construction and Engineering
Technical and Economic Benefits
An improved understanding of the metal vapour plume formation, its distribution and impact on welding performance (in terms of depth of penetration / welding speed) when welding with high brightness lasers under various processing conditions.
Technical data in terms of weld quality in different materials when using high brightness lasers.
Improvement of cut edge quality of high-brightness fibre-delivered lasers for cutting stainless and C-Mn steel over 3mm in thickness, will allow these lasers to replace less power-efficient CO2 lasers.
Industrial Member Report
Access the Industrial Member Reports/Bulletin Articles resulting from this programme:
5kW Yb-fibre Lasers - the Influence of Optics Selection and Process Parameters on Weld Penetration Depth in Steel
Welding - using the new generation of high-power fibre-delivered lasers