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Product Code: JLA_15_2_68

C. A. Walsh
H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia
Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

A. Lau
B. Matthias
R. Oesterlein
ABB Corporation Research, Ladenburg, Germany

J. Drechsel
Laserinstitut Mittelsachsen e.V., Mittweida, Germany

Recent progress in available beam power and beam quality has meant that high power diode lasers may soon become prime tools for welding in many assembly applications in industrial production. Their compact size and low weight makes them particularly suitable for use in conjunction with robotic control. The advantages of laser welding over conventional welding techniques include more reproducible welds, smaller heat affected zones, and lower distortion at high welding speeds. The implementation of diode laser systems will require an understanding of the effect of operating parameters on weld performance. This article reports on the characteristics of diode–laser spot and seam welds in low carbon steel sheets. The size, shape, hardness, strength, and microstructure of the welds have been measured and analyzed as a function of parameters such as laser power, welding time, and welding speed. © 2003 Laser Institute of America.

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