Local Shielding Gas Supply in Remote Laser Beam Welding

The use of shielding gases in laser beam welding is of particular interest for materials interacting with ambient oxygen, e.g., copper, titanium or high-alloy steels. These materials are often processed by remote laser beam welding where short welds (e.g., up to 40 mm seam length) are commonly used. Such setups prevent gas nozzles from being carried along on the optics due to the scanner application and a small area needs to be served locally with inert gas. The article provides systematic investigations into the interaction of laser beam processes and parameters of inert gas supply based on a modular flat jet nozzle. Based on the characterization of the developed nozzle by means of high-speed Schlieren imaging and constant temperature anemometry, investigations with heat conduction welding and deep penetration welding were performed. Bead-on-plate welds were carried out on stainless steel AISI 304 for this purpose using a disc laser and a remote welding system. Argon was used as shielding gas. The interaction between Reynolds number, geometrical parameters and welding/flow direction was considered. The findings were proved by transferring the results to a complex weld seam geometry (C-shape).


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