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Proceedings Paper

Online quality monitoring of welding processes by means of plasma optical spectroscopy
Author(s): Michele Ferrara; Antonio Ancona; Pietro Mario Lugara; Michele Sibilano
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Paper Abstract

An optical monitoring system for the welding process has been developed; it is based on the study of the optical emission of the welding plasma plume, created during the welding of stainless steels and other iron-based materials. In the first approach a continuous wave CO2 laser of 2500-Watt maximum power, available at the INFM Research Unit labs in Bari University, has been used as welding source. A detailed spectroscopic study of the visible and UV welding plasma emission has been carried out; many transition lines corresponding to the elements composing the material to be welded have been found. By means of an appropriate selection of these lines and suitable algorithms, the electronic temperature of the plasma plume has been calculated and its evolution recorded as a function of several welding parameters. The behavior of the registered signal has resulted to be correlated to the welded joint quality. These findings have allowed to design and assemble a portable, non-intrusive and real-time welding quality optical sensor which has been successfully tested for laser welding of metals in different geometrical configurations; it has been capable of detecting a wide range of weld defects normally occurring during industrial laser metal-working. This sensor has also been tested in arc welding industrial processes (TIG) with promising results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3888, High-Power Lasers in Manufacturing, (7 February 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.377086
Show Author Affiliations
Michele Ferrara, INFM/Univ. di Bari (Italy)
Antonio Ancona, INFM/Univ. di Bari (Italy)
Pietro Mario Lugara, INFM/Univ. di Bari (Italy)
Michele Sibilano, INFM/Univ. di Bari (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3888:
High-Power Lasers in Manufacturing
Xiangli Chen; Tomoo Fujioka; Akira Matsunawa, Editor(s)

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