Product Code: ICAL07_804

Evaluation of Weld Porosity in Laser Beam Seam Welds: Optimizing Continuous Wave and Square Wave Modulated Processes
Jerome Norris, Sandia National Laboratories; Albuquerque NM USA
Matthew Perricone, Sandia National Laboratories; Albuquerque NM USA
R. Allen Roach, Sandia National Laboratories; Albuquerque NM USA
Kevin Faraone, Honeywell FM&T; Kansas City MO USA
Chad Ellison, Honeywell FM&T; Kansas City MO USA
Presented at ICALEO 2007

Nd:YAG laser joining is a high energy density (HED) process that can produce high-speed, low-heat input welds with a high depth-to-width aspect ratio. This is optimized by formation of a keyhole in the weld pool resulting from high vapor pressures associated with laser interaction with the metallic substrate. It is generally accepted that pores form in HED welds due to the instability and frequent collapse of the keyhole. In order to maintain an open keyhole, weld pool forces must be balanced such that vapor pressure and weld pool inertia forces are in equilibrium. Travel speed and laser beam power largely control the way these forces are balanced, as well as welding mode (Continuous Wave or Square Wave) and shielding gas type. A study into the phenomenon of weld pool porosity in 304L stainless steel was conducted to better understand and predict how welding parameters impact the weld pool dynamics that lead to pore formation. This work is intended to aid in development and verification of a finite element computer model of weld pool fluid flow dynamics being developed in parallel efforts and assist in weld development activities for the W76 and future RRW programs.

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