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Automated LaserWelding System
B. Medres, A. Kotliar, E. Sapozhnikov and M. Bamberger

This paper presents a laser processing facility for automatic welding of aluminium and other hard to process materials widely used in modern industry. It is built on the basis of industrial Nd:YAG laser with an average power of up to 500 W, equipped with a specially designed feeder, in its original construction. The feeder allows feeding a filler wire of 0.8 mm and up in diameter into the welding area, within a wide speed range in both continuous and pulsed modes. The characteristics of laser welding of aluminium alloys such as Al-1050, Al-6061, Al-2024, Al-4047 and widely used structural and stainless steels such as AISI 304, with and without a filler wire, were studied. The processing methods that can be applied to exclude the formation of micro-cracks and pores in pulsed laser welding were determined. In particular, it was shown, that the application of a fibre optic can change the energy distribution of the laser beam that, in some cases, has a positive effect on the laser welding quality. The optimal groove shape and size designed for laser welding with wire feed, has been also determined. A simple mathematical model for the determination of the operation parameters of laser welding is presented. It is shown that the model allows predicting the laser welding results with sufficient accuracy. The welding processing parameters, depending on the type and thickness of the welded materials, were calculated.

Keywords: Nd:YAG laser, laser welding, automated, aluminium, stainless steel, hard to process materials, mathematical model

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