Product Code: ICA11_405

Improvements in Laser Cladding Process Through an FPGA-Based Control System
Felix Vidal, AIMEN Technology Centre; PorriñO-Pontevedra Spain
J. L. Mato, AIMEN Technology Centre; PorriñO-Pontevedra Spain
M. Angeles Montealegre, AIMEN Technology Centre; PorriñO Spain
Pablo Colodrón, University of Vigo; PorriñO- Pontevedra Spain
Jose Fariña, University of Vigo; Vigo-Pontevedra
Juan J. Rodriguez-Andina, University of Vigo; Vigo- Pontevedra Spain
Presented at ICALEO 2011

Laser cladding processing has been used in different industry sector to improve the surface properties or to reconstruct damaged pieces. In order to cover areas considerably larger than the diameter of the laser beam, successive partially overlapping tracks are deposited. With no control over the process variables this conduces to an increase of the temperature which could decrease mechanical properties of the coating. In some cases, the process is monitored and controlled by a PC using cameras, but this control suffers from a lack of speed caused by the image processing step.

The aim of this work is to design an FPGA-based laser cladding control system. This system is intended to modify the laser beam power according to the melt pool width, which is measured using a CMOS camera. All the control and monitoring tasks are carried out by a FPGA, taking advantage of its abundance of resources and speed of operation. The robustness of the image processing algorithm is assessed, as well as the control system performance. Laser power is decreased as substrate temperature increases, thus maintaining a constant clad width. Both PC and FPGA implementations are also compared, demonstrating that a faster and more powerful controller can be implemented with the latter thanks to its higher speed.

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