TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 629/1998
G Wlodarczyk and P A Hilton
Laser welding of metals can now be regarded as a well-proven manufacturing operation with applicability in many industry sectors. in particular, the automotive and domestic appliance industries have benefited from this method of joining since it integrates well with automated manufacturing. Even though commercial CO 2 and Nd:YAG laser sources have evolved to become dependable work-horses in manufacturing applications, a great deal of care still has to be exercised when setting up a welding or cutting operation to ensure high quality of product. Moreover, the correct configuration of process components can only be regarded as a first step in the overall commissioning process: it is equally important to maintain the constancy of the many critical factors which can affect processing performance. Such control can never be perfect, and variations in the material itself or in its disposition to the incident laser beam will always be present to some degree. Sources of such irregularities can include: instabilities in beam pointing, variations in material composition, inadequate fit-up of components, changing surface conditions and local variations in surface top
- To provide a review of laser weld monitoring.
- To assess the performance of a commercially available laser weld monitor in terms of its ability to respond to a range of processing related factors engineered to give rise to poor weld quality.