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Product Code: ICA13_1304

Laser Beam Welding in Vacuum of Thick Plate Structural Steel
Authors:
Stefan Jakobs, Welding and Joining Institute, Rwth Aachen University; Aachen Germany
Simon Olschok, Welding and Joining Institute; Aachen Germany
Uwe Reisgen, Welding and Joining Institute; Aachen Germany
Presented at ICALEO 2013

Laser beam and electron beam welding methods are well established in the manufacturing industry. Each of the methods has specific advantages which are used for a large variety of application cases.

For some time now, laser beam welding in vacuum has experienced a renaissance. First tests about the topic were made in Japan as early as in the Eighties. The brilliant solid-state laser beam sources available today offer many advantages compared to the previously used CO2 laser beam sources. Higher power and beam quality is available, the interface for getting the laser into the vacuum can be designed more simple and the weld head also has a compact design. Compared with electron beam welding, laser beam welding in large vacuum chambers can be carried out with simpler means.

This lecture covers the main aspects of lower pressure on the laser beam welding process and the specific advantages of laser beam welding in vacuum compared with electron beam welding. Moreover it shows the recent progress made from the early phenomenological examination of the process variation to the use as welding process for connection welds on thick plate steel up to (and over) 70mm wall thickness.

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