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Product Code: JLA_9_1_15

Eng S. Ng
Ian A. Watson
Laser and Optical System Engineering Center, Department of Mechanical Engineering, James Watt Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, U.K.

The welding performance of CO2 lasers is strongly affected by the clamping geometry and welding speed. Moreover, the rapid cooling rate associated with laser welding results in an untempered martensitic structure and a transverse variation in the hardness profile. An untempered martensitic structure can lead to brittle welds, and particularly for samples that are subject to cyclic loading, component fatigue and failure. To avoid this problem it is useful to optimize the laser operating parameters to reduce hardness discontinuities throughout the workpiece. An experimental investigation into the weld quality was performed to quantify the effects of clamping and translation velocity by examining the hardness characteristics, weld width and weld depth. A gauge plate, 2 mm thick, was welded with a 1 kW, CW, CO2 laser for a range of translation velocities between 800 and 1500 mm per min, a He shielding was used at a pressure of 5 × 104 Pa. Two weld geometries, namely clamped and unclamped, were considered. The clamped geometry gave improved hardness characteristics and a coarse grain structure. Whereas for the same operating conditions, the unclamped geometry gave a deeper weld penetration and wider weld width.


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