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Proceedings Paper

Automated Mobile Infrared Mirror System Applied To Laser Welding Of Nuclear Components
Author(s): Giulio Cai; Diego Cruciani; Maichi Cantello
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Paper Abstract

Oxygen-free copper mirrors are currently used for transmitting, aiming and focusing high power infrared laser beams. When used in automated laser material processing systems, additional requirements are demanded of them. This paper deals with the solution adopted for their design, manufacture, assembly and in-service testing, as applied to laser welding heavy section components in AISI 304 with a 15 kW CW carbon-dioxide laser. The beam handling devices were used to demonstrate the suitability of the laser welding technique for assembling some of the structures of the reactor core in the French Superphenix nuclear plant. Two multiple rotating mirror systems, connected to each other for correct processing, had to be manufactured to perform circular welds to join sleeves to the plates of tne main diagrid, with a welding thickness of up to 15 mm. AISI 304 stainless steel is suitable for defect-free laser welded joints. Each multiple mirror systeid was dedicated to a particular welding technique: the first with the laser impinging uwards on the workpiece, the second downwards. In the latter case, special assist gas nozzles were needed to protect the mirrors from the metal vapour jets. Beam handling on a horizontal plane was also tested using another rotating mirror system for internally welding sleeves to plates. The results demonstrated the feasibility and suitability of the automated process for industrial applications. The accuracy of the results obtained using the multiple mirror system enables it to be adopted for assembling metallic structures similar to the Superphenix main diagrid. The reduction in manufacturing costs using such automated laser beam handling devices is calculated to be 30 - 40% of the total.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 July 1988
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 0929, Infrared Optical Materials IV, (18 July 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.945849
Show Author Affiliations
Giulio Cai, Ansaldo Ricerche (Italy)
Diego Cruciani, Istituto R.T.M (Italy)
Maichi Cantello, Istituto R.T.M (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0929:
Infrared Optical Materials IV
Solomon Musikant, Editor(s)

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