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Proceedings Paper

Optical monitoring of laser-generated plasma during laser welding
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Paper Abstract

Process monitoring is a vital part of industrial laser applications that enables intelligent control of processes by observing acoustic, optical, thermal and other emissions. By monitoring these emission during laser processing, it is possible to ascertain characteristics that help diagnose features of the laser processed material and hence to optimize the technique. An experimental set up of observing plasmas during laser spot welding is described here. A pulsed Nd:YAG laser was used to spot-weld a variety of materials of different thickness, the plasmas generated during welding were monitored by a number of techniques, and the data obtained was used to characterize the welds. In the study photodiodes were set at different angles and observed the intensity and generation of the plasmas during the laser spot-welding process thereby giving a weld 'signature.' A portable spectrometer was used off-axis to obtain spectra of the emissions from the plasmas. Post process analysis was performed on the materials by mechanical polishing and chemical etching and observations of weld penetration depth and weld quality were correlated with the data collected on the plasmas. Different cover gases were also used during laser welding and the results of the effects of the various gases on the plasma are shown. The results indicate the relationship between laser weld generated plasma characteristics and weld features such as penetration depth. A direct correlation between the intensities of the photodiode and portable spectrometer signals was observed with weld penetration depth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 March 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3935, Laser Plasma Generation and Diagnostics, (23 March 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.380800
Show Author Affiliations
John O. Connolly, National Univ. of Ireland (Ireland)
Gareth J. Beirne, National Univ. of Ireland (Ireland)
Gerard M. O'Connor, National Univ. of Ireland (Ireland)
Thomas J. Glynn, National Univ. of Ireland (Ireland)
Alan J. Conneely, National Univ. of Ireland (Ireland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3935:
Laser Plasma Generation and Diagnostics
Richard F. Haglund; Richard F. Wood, Editor(s)

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