Laser Welding Processes Under Research

Conduction welding


Key hole welding

Laser-assisted FSW

Laser Welding Research

The goal of this project area is to develop novel laser welding applications at both macro and micro scales, using solid state lasers along with comprehensive modeling, monitoring and control capabilities.  The developed predictive models consist of a weld pool model for key-hole dynamics, a solidification  model, and a diffusion kinetics model, which can predict the resultant microstructure and mechanical properties of the weld joint.  More specific goals include:

  • Find optimal operating conditions for different materials in order to:
    • maximize laser welding rate
    • minimize sub-surface flaws
    • maximize weld joint quality
  • Develop novel applications of laser welding such as fuel cell stacks, magnesium alloys, zinc-coated steels, aluminum panels and dissimilar materials
  • Develop a comprehensive predictive multi-physics model for laser welding processes.
  • Develop in-process monitoring and control schemes for the laser welding process.
  • Develop a laser-assisted friction stir welding process for difficult-to-weld materials

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Research Plan:

The study of laser welding Purdue is based on the simultaneous experimental and numerical investigation of the process.  The experimental investigations are being carried out using the high power fiber laser set-up integrated with three axis machining center and diagnostics capabilities for the entire welding process. 

Modeling efforts include development of multi-physics models for prediction of laser beam absorption, plasma-laser interaction, melting and solidification, resultant microstructure, weld pool dimension and resultant residual stresses.   Several parallel processing computing workstations in cluster are available and being used for these computational work.

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Research Progress:

  • A predictive microstructure evolution model has been developed based on the combined Cellular Automata and Phase Field method (see the sample result in Fig. 1).
  • A comprehensive molten pool model considering free surface tracking has been developed for both fusion welding and keyhole welding and is being coupled with the microstructure evolution model (see Fig. 2 and 3).
  • An experimental system has been established (Fig. 4).
  • An on-line weld pool monitoring and control system has been developed and successfully demonstrated.

Fig. 1:  Predicted and measured columnar dendrite after fusion welding

Fig. 2:  Predicted and measured molten pools during fusion welding


Fig. 3:  Predicted and measured keyhole weld pool


      Fig. 4: Laser welding system    

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National Science Foundation
Industrial Members

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Last revised on Jan. 19, 2011 by Web Master

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