Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Integrated Laser Optic Controlled Welding
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. has begun researching a universal application of oscillating laser welding optic for multiple joint types, such as butt and fillet type joints and stake weld joints.
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. has begun researching laser optic beam oscillation on single and multiple pass welding for fillet and butt type welds. Previous processes for stake welding required more material to be added to the metal pool to ensure filling the undercut. Laser welding requires close alignment of steel plate joints. Stake welding is an advanced form of laser welding that melts through the plate to join sections; however, it still requires some degree of filler metal. Bender has found that single pass welding with seam tracking of joints and welding head motion control produces weld penetration of limited quality. Similarly, multiple pass laser welding also produces weld penetration of limited quality.
Bender’s current process of laser welding on fillet and butt joints through laser optic beam oscillation reduces close joint alignment issues. Advanced laser welding for joints with stake applications attempts to join sections that could potentially eliminate undercut fill material through the effect of thermal tension while also ensuring full weld penetration in a single pass through laser optic beam oscillation. Single pass linear stake welding would also eliminate the need for joint seam tracking.
The benefits of laser optic beam oscillation include eliminating the need for welding head motion control, single pass linear welds, multiple pass stake welds, and the use of fill material. Multiple joint types could be welded with less constrained alignment, greater penetration quality, and reduced undercut through an oscillating laser welding optic. Bender has prepared a team to conduct two additional phases of research and has been awarded funding. The major areas of research will focus on multiple pass oscillating stake welding and laser optic butt and fillet weld joints. Initial test welds have been completed, making Bender the first U.S. shipyard to successfully laser weld structural steel panels.
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