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Proceedings Paper

Laser beam-plasma plume interaction during laser welding
Author(s): Jacek Hoffman; Tomasz Moscicki; Zygmunt Szymanski
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Paper Abstract

Laser welding process is unstable because the keyhole wall performs oscillations which results in the oscillations of plasma plume over the keyhole mouth. The characteristic frequencies are equal to 0.5-4 kHz. Since plasma plume absorbs and refracts laser radiation, plasma oscillations modulate the laser beam before it reaches the workpiece. In this work temporary electron densities and temperatures are determined in the peaks of plasma bursts during welding with a continuous wave CO2 laser. It has been found that during strong bursts the plasma plume over the keyhole consists of metal vapour only, being not diluted by the shielding gas. As expected the values of electron density are about two times higher in peaks than their time-averaged values. Since the plasma absorption coefficient scales as ~N2e/T3/2 (for CO2 laser radiation) the results show that the power of the laser beam reaching the metal surface is modulated by the plasma plume oscillations. The attenuation factor equals 4-6% of the laser power but it is expected that it is doubled by the refraction effect. The results, together with the analysis of the colour pictures from streak camera, allow also interpretation of the dynamics of the plasma plume.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 October 2003
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 5229, Laser Technology VII: Applications of Lasers, (6 October 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.520722
Show Author Affiliations
Jacek Hoffman, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research (Poland)
Tomasz Moscicki, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research (Poland)
Zygmunt Szymanski, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research (Poland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5229:
Laser Technology VII: Applications of Lasers
Wieslaw L. Wolinski; Zdzislaw Jankiewicz; Ryszard Romaniuk, Editor(s)

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