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Hybrid welding Assignment

A report submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Course IE222


Department of Mechatronics engineering,
German Jordanian University, Madaba,
first semester 2015

Salem Al-Masa'afeh 2011102034

Instructors: Dr. Iyas Khader

Abstract

Table of Contents
Abstract.................................................................................................................. 1
Historical Background............................................................................................ 1
Introduction......................................................................................................... 1-2
Advantages and Disadvantages..........................................................................3-4
Application on Hybird Laser-Arc Welding ............................................................5-7
Conclusion.............................................................................................................. 8
References............................................................................................................. 8
Bibliography........................................................................................................... 8

Historical Background
Quick overview and origins of Hybrid Welding
The method for combining laser light and a welding arc into an amalgamated welding process has
been known since the 1970s, but for a long time thereafter, no further research and development
was undertaken. Recently, however, researchers have again turned their attention to this topic and
attempted to unite the advantages of the arc with those of the laser in a hybrid welding process. In
the early days, the suitability of lasers for industrial use had to be proved; nowadays lasers are
standard equipment in many manufacturing enterprises.
The combination of laser beam welding with another welding process is a "hybrid welding
process," meaning a laser beam and an arc act simultaneously in one welding zone and influence
and support each other.

Introduction
Basic principle of operation
In recent years, laser welding has begun to be used for assembly welding of automotive bodies and parts, although it has not
yet to be used widely. One restraint is that in laser lap welding, the gap between the lapped sheets must be controlled very
tightly. If the gap is wide, burn-through occurs, and, if the gap is excessive, the two sheets cannot be welded together. For
this reason, the gap is generally restricted to 0.1 mm or less for laser welding. Laser lap welding of zinc-coated sheets poses
additional problems. Laser lap welding of zinc-coated sheets is performed without any gap, so the zinc that is evaporated
between the sheets tends to blow off weld metal, or the zinc vapor tends to remain in the weld metal and form blowholes.
Laser-arc hybrid welding was developed to solve these problems. This method combines YAG laser welding and arc
welding, allows a larger gap between lapped sheets than in laser welding, and produces fewer blowholes, even in lap
welding of zinc-coated sheets. Therefore, stringent gap control is not necessary for lap welds, and the industrial application
of this method is easy. In addition, the welding speed can be equivalent to that of laser welding, so the high efficiency of
laser welding can be utilized..

Configuration of laser-arc hybrid welding


Fig.1 shows the system configuration for laser-arc hybrid welding. A YAG laser is used for laser welding, and

an arc-welding electrode is positioned behind the YAG laser radiation point. The aim position of the arc is about 1to 3 mm
behind the laser radiation point. A YAG laser is used because the plasma does not absorb much of the laser energy. Most of
the energy reaches the sheets, so that the YAG laser energy is efficiently utilized for welding. In contrast, energy from a
carbon-dioxide laser is strongly absorbed by the arc plasma, so that a sufficient distance must separate the arc and the laser
radiation point. Therefore, the combined effect of the laser and arc is not possible with a carbon-dioxide laser.

Figure 11

Figure 2
For welding metallic workpieces , the Nd:YAG laser beam is focused to obtain intensities of more
than 106 W/cm2. When the laser beam hits the surface of the material, the spot is heated up to
vaporization temperature and a vapor cavity is formed in the weld metal due to the escaping
metal vapor. The extraordinary feature of the weld joint is its high depth-to-width ratio. The energy
flow density of the freely burning arc is slightly more than 104 W/cm2. Figure 2 illustrates the basic
principle of hybrid welding. The laser beam depicted here transmits heat to the weld metal in the
top part of the joint, in addition to the heat from the arc. Unlike a sequential configuration where
two separate weld processes act in succession, hybrid welding may be viewed as a combination of
both weld processes acting simultaneously in the same process zone. Depending on the kind of arc
or laser process used, and depending on the process parameters, the processes will influence each
other to a different extent and in different ways.

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Advantages and Disadvantages


Advantages of the System
Advantages of Laser- Hybrid Welding
The merging of the arc and laser beam results in the following advantages of laser-hybrid welding
over laser welding:

Higher process stability

Higher bridgeability

Deeper penetration

Lower capital investment costs because of savings in laser energy

Greater ductility.

The advantages of laser-hybrid welding over GMAW are the following:

Higher welding speeds

Deeper penetration at higher welding speeds

Lower thermal input

Higher tensile strength

Narrower weld joints.

The arc welding process is characterized by a low-cost energy source, good root opening bridge
bility, and the facility for influencing the structure by adding filler metals. The laser beam process,

on the other hand, allows large welding depth, high welding speed, low thermal load, and narrow
weld joints. The laser beam produces a "deep-weld effect" in metallic materials over a certain
beam density, which enables components with greater wall thickness to be welded- providing the
laser power is sufficiently high. Laser-hybrid welding thus allows higher welding speeds, process
stabilization due to the interaction between the arc and the laser beam, increased thermal
efficiency, and greater workpiece tolerances. As the weld pool is smaller than in the GMAW
process, there is less thermal input and a smaller heat-affected zone. This results in lesser
weldment distortion, which reduces the amount of subsequent postweld straightening work.
Where there are two separate weld pools, the subsequent thermal input from the arc means the
laser beam welded area, especially in the case of steel, is given a postweld tempering treatment,
spreading the hardness values more evenly across the joint.

Economic advantages:
Turning now to the economic advantages of hybrid welding over laser welding, the
following statements can be made: The weld joint consists partly of a laser weld and
partly of a GMA weld. The hybrid process makes it possible to reduce the power of the
laser beam, thereby greatly reducing energy consumption of the laser source as the laser
beam apparatus has an efficiency of only 3%. In other words, a reduction of 1 kW in the
laser beam power impacting upon the workpiece leads to a reduction of approximately 35
kVA in the power consumed from the electricity mains.
A laser beam apparatus costs approximately $120,000 per kilowatt of laser beam power.
When utilization of the hybrid process makes it possible to use a 3-kW laser instead of
one with 4 kW of beam power, investments of $120,000 are saved. However, costs of
approximately $65,000 will be needed for the additional MSG equipment and welding
head. Due to the higher welding speed, both fabrication time and welding costs can be
reduced.

Application
Introduction
Application at Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, Germany, where the doors of the Phaeton automobile
are welded with a laser-hybrid process, ( A hybrid process that combines a laser beam with gas
metal arc welding produces benefits Volkswagen could not achieve with either process alone)
For the projects currently underway at Volkswagen, a lamp-pumped solid-state laser with a laser
beam power of 4 kW is used. The laser light is transmitted via a water-cooled, 600-mm glass fiber.
The laser beam is projected onto the workpiece by a focusing module with a focal distance of
200/220 mm.

Regulations
Volkswagen's strategy is to have the highest amount of laser weldments in the automotive
industry. In this car body, all doors are laser-hybrid welded. The company's requirements included
a high degree of stiffness in the door structure. Without the laser-hybrid process, big, heavy
aluminum cast materials would have been necessary. The geometrical tolerances had to be very
small to achieve a perfect fit to the car body, resulting in low noise levels from the wind when
driving. To achieve a door with that degree of stiffness, a good combination of sheet, cast, and
extruded materials was necessary. In order to achieve a low weight, aluminum was the preferred
and applied material because of its low density.

Materials tested
Al,

Tools design:
Pumped solid-state laser with a laser beam power of 4 kW is used.
The welding head, which has small geometrical dimensions to ensure good accessibility to the
components to be welded, a requirement especially needed for the automotive industry. It is
designed to permit both a suitable detachable connection to the robot head and adjustability of
process variables such as focal distance and torch standoff distances in all Cartesian coordinates.
The accuracy of adjustment is 0.1 mm in all directions.

Comparison of the joining techniques used on the Volkswagen Phaeton's


front door
GMAW process: 7 joints, 380- mm welded length.
laser beam welding: 11 joints, 1030-mm welded length.
laser-hybrid process: 48 joints, 3570-mm welded length.
Total weld length equals 4980 mm.

The synergies produced by combining laser beam and arc welding


With the laser-hybrid welding procedure, it is possible to weld materials of aluminum, steel, and
stainless steel from 1 to 4 mm thick. If the thickness is higher, full penetration is only possible in

the case of steel or stainless steel up to 5 mm. For joining zinc-coated materials, it is preferable to
use the laser hot-wire brazing process.
Further applications where the laser- hybrid welding process is suitable are power trains, vessels,
axles, and car bodies.

Conclusion
Laser-hybrid welding is a new technology that offers synergies for wide fields of application in the
automotive industry, especially where it is not possible or financially viable to achieve the
component tolerances required for laser beam welding. The wider range of applications and the
high capability of the combined process lead to enhanced competitiveness in terms of reduced
investments, shorter fabrication times, lower manufacturing costs, and higher productivity.
The laser-hybrid process also offers a new approach to the welding of aluminum. However, a stable
process has become possible relatively recently because of the higher available output powers of
solid-state lasers. Many studies have examined the fundamentals of laser and arc hybrid welding
processes. By "hybrid welding process," the combination of laser beam welding and the arc
welding process is understood, with only one single process zone (plasma and melt). Research has
shown by combining the two processes synergies can be achieved and the drawbacks of each
separate process can be compensated for, resulting in enhanced welding possibilities, weldability,
and reliability for many different materials and constructions. In particular, this has been
demonstrated for aluminum alloys at Volkswagen on the Phaeton model. By choosing the current
process parameters, it is possible to selectively influence weld properties such as geometry and
structural constitution. The arc welding process increases the bridgeability by adding filler metal; it
also determines weld joint width and reduces the amount of workpiece preparation needed.
Moreover, the interactions between the processes lead to a substantial increase in efficiency. This
combination process also requires considerably smaller investment costs compared to laser beam
welding. New joint geometries are possible, especially fillet or butt joints, and it is not necessary to
use a pressure wheel on the welding head, resulting in greater accessibility.

References
Wikipedia,
Website URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser-hybrid_welding
Website URL:http://www.twi-global.com
http://www.industrial-lasers.com/articles/print/volume-18/issue-2/features/hybrid-weldingfor-the-automotive-industry.html

Bibliography

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