July 23, 2014
Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. has developed a hybrid welding process that allows the welding of thick pipelines and metal sheets made of aluminum alloys or steel at speeds of 19.69 and 4.92 FPM, respectively.
The process can be used to make single-sided, zero-defect welds on aluminum sheets up to a thickness of 0.47 in. It combines a laser beam with two GMAW torches. A scanner mirror can be used to oscillate the laser beam lengthwise or crosswise to the feed direction.
The joining process can reach feed speeds of 16.40 to 19.69 FPM, bridging gaps up to 0.02 in. and edge misalignment up to 0.08 in. It also can weld steel sheets up to 0.91 in. thick at speeds up to 4.92 FPM for single-layer welds.
The hybrid process requires two to three filler layers. The first layer is made using the hybrid laser-GMAW hybrid process. Subsequently, the sheets are subject to one or two backing runs with the GMAW process. In this way, the process can be used to weld a 4.92-ft.-long component in one minute.