Welding of heavy steel plates with brilliant laser sources

Eyecatcher HybrilasGoal of this joint research project is the appropriation of a Laser-GMAW-Hybrid procedural strategy and necessary process technology to implement a fault-tolerant one sided welding of heavy steel (more than 20 mm) and aluminium (up to 15 mm) plates. The possibilities of this new manufacturing method are the welding of thicker plates in one welding operation as well as a considerable degree of freedom in construction. Further goals are the reduction of production time and filler material in opposite to other standardise welding processes. To reach these goals previous process limits of laser procedures have to be exceeded. The methods of resolution concern a more effective and robust process in the different welding positions as well as gap and tolerance dimensions. As an approach a high-power, solid state laser will be used in lateral motion mode and in combination with one leading and one trailing GMAW torch. The user will benefit from economic advantages and raised operational speed to provide competitive advantages in the future.

Background for the research project is a missing laser process for single side welding operations of steel plates of 20 mm and thicker. Standards are time intensive multi-layer GMAW and submerged arc welding processes in industrial applications. These applications require a high amount of welding time, filler material and accuracy in gap preparation. Results in previous research with thinner steel plates show a time reduction, less warping because of reduced heat input and narrow weld seams. Necessary tolerances for laser applications require constant care concerning weld seam preparation as well as the plate position to each other. The high-power, solid state laser has in opposite to CO2-lasers some advantages especially reduced construction volume and more flexible beam guidance.

The execution starts with planning and construction of the central operating tool, followed by the development of a stable process in flat position. Based on the flat position the parameter set will be transferred to fillet welds and other difficult positions. Afterwards the maximum plate thickness will be determined. The research project finishes with the development of an operating welding head for the serial production and construction of a pilot plant.

Contact person:

Dr. Wolfgang Scheller
Salzgitter-Mannesmann-Forschung GmbH
Ehinger Str. 200
47259 Duisburg
E-Mail: w.scheller@du.szmf.de
Tel. +49 (203) 999-3170
Fax +49 (203) 999-4424

Project partners:
EWM Hightec Welding GmbH
Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Messer Group GmbH
Nordic Yards Warnemünde GmbH
Precitec KG
Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH
SIAG Tube & Tower GmbH
SLV Halle