Explanation of penetration depth variation during laser welding under variable ambient pressure
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
It has been observed that the penetration depth during laser welding (LW) under vacuum or reduced ambient pressure could be significantly greater than that during welding under atmospheric pressure. Previous explanations of this phenomenon usually limit to specific wavelength laser welding and have difficulties in explaining why the variation will disappear, as the welding speed increases. Here, we propose that this variation is caused by the temperature difference of keyhole wall under variable ambient pressure based on a correct physical description of related processes. A new surface pressure model, dependent on ambient pressure, is proposed for describing the evaporation process during laser material interaction under variable ambient pressure. For laser welding of a 304 stainless steel with 2.0kW laser power and 3m/min welding speed, it is shown that the average keyhole wall temperature is around 2900K under atmospheric pressure, and only around 2300K under vacuum, which results in significant penetration depth variations. Interestingly, it is also shown that as the welding speed increases, the average temperature of the front keyhole wall gradually rises due to the reduction of the mean incident angle of laser, and the magnitude of this increase is larger in welding under vacuum than under atmospheric pressure. It allows us to explain why the penetration depth improvement decreases to zero with the increase of welding speed;
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