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PLASMA AND LASER ENHANCED ARC WELDING FOR AUTOMATIC APPLICATIONS

Exploitable results

The achievements of this research so far are: construction and test of the experimental equipment for plasma and laser enhanced arc welding equipment; analysis of the welding arc by distinct techniques; model description of welding arc including nonequilibrium processes; proof that plasma and laser beam enhancement lead to significantly improved welding results.
A novel fusion welding process opportunity was developed in a BRITE/EURAM focused fundamental research project. By combinating a focused laser beam and a conventional tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding are, a welding procedure in between conventional arc and pure laser beam welding (LBW) was investigated using physical analysis and basic welding experiments. The benefit is the replacement of laser power by arc power which requires much less capital investment. The process also offers special benefits such as: more than 80% increase in welding speed when compared to pure TIG welding; low-HF or HF-free arc ignition; welding in complex geometries using long arcs; smooth welding of aluminium pressure die cast alloys without joint preparation.