ICALEO 2005 Paper #1208 (Development of the Laser Stir Welding Process for Aluminum Laser Beam Welding)
Richard Martukanitz, Penn State University/ARL; State College PA USA
C. J. Warren, Alcoa Technical Center; Alcoa Center PA USA
I. Stol, Alcoa Technical Center; Alcoa Center PA USA
Jay Tressler, Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University; State College PA USA
Presented at ICALEO 2005
Laser stir welding involves the manipulation of the laser beam to provide hydrodynamic stirring and subsequent healing of the keyhole. Since aluminum alloys tend to be especially sensitive to keyhole stability, the process was conceived for laser beam welding of these alloys. Based on this potential, an evaluation was conducted on 3 mm thick aluminum alloy 6013-T4 using laser beam and laser stir welding processes for producing butt, lap, and fillet welds. Multivariant analysis involving process parameters and the effect on weld width, penetration, and soundness was also conducted on plate material. Results of the evaluation indicated that the welds produced with the laser stir welding process displayed significantly less weld defects when compared to the laser beam welding process. However, analyses indicated that there were other advantages that could be attributed to the laser stir welding process. These were: the ability of the process to accomodate larger gaps, the production of wider welds at the faying surface for lap welds, improving the geometry of fillet welds, and decreasing the sensitivity of wire placement when adding filler wire. This presentation will describe the laser stir welding process and resultant weld characteristics in comparison to laser beam welding. These attributes will be defined based on the results of high speed imaging, metallographic analyses, radiographic inspection, and mechanical testing.