Research Papers

A Parametric Study on Laser Welding of Magnesium Alloy AZ31 by a Fiber Laser

[+] Author and Article Information
Neil S. Bailey

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: nbailey@purdue.edu

Wenda Tan

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: tanw@purdue.edu

Yung C. Shin

Fellow ASME
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: shin@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received March 14, 2014; final manuscript received November 7, 2014; published online July 8, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Wayne Cai.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 137(4), 041003 (Aug 01, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-14-1115; doi: 10.1115/1.4029052 History: Received March 14, 2014; Revised November 07, 2014; Online July 08, 2015

Laser welding of wrought magnesium alloy has been investigated through experimentation and simulation. Laser butt welds and laser lap welds were performed on 2.0 mm thick magnesium alloy AZ31 plates using a 1 kW fiber laser and shielded with argon gas. The effects of laser power and welding speed on weld geometry and microstructure were investigated. Tensile tests were performed to verify weld quality. Through experimentation, a novel processing map was created, which gives the ranges of operating parameters of laser power and welding speed that resulted in viable, defect-free welds. Numerical simulations were performed to predict the weld pool geometry and keyhole stability, and resultant microstructures are shown to be in good agreement with experimental results.

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup for laser welding, showing butt welding configuration

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Fig. 2

Cross section of butt welds showing weld width measurements experiment 1: 700 W, 35 mm/s, experiment 2: 1000 W, 35 mm/s, experiment 3: 700 W, 50 mm/s, and experiment 4: 1000 W, 50 mm/s

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Fig. 3

Example of grain size measurement from the middle of the weld of experiment 1

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Fig. 4

Example of SDAS measurement from the middle of the weld of experiment 3

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Fig. 5

Examples of weld bottom surface quality

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Fig. 6

Point of butt weld failure for laser intensities as a function of welding speed

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Fig. 7

Examples of full penetration lap weld (left) and partial penetration lap welds in tension (top right) and shear (bottom right)

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Fig. 8

Example of a lap weld with a large pore

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Fig. 9

Example of interface width measurement

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Fig. 10

Interface width of partial penetration lap welds as a function of laser power

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Fig. 11

Point of partial penetration lap weld failure for laser intensities as a function of welding speed

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Fig. 12

Simulated cross section views compared with experiment results

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Fig. 13

Prediction of keyhole dynamics at a given moment in time for cases 1 and 3

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Fig. 14

Predicted results for case (ii) at three different times showing the closing and reopening of the keyhole: t, t + 1 ms, and t + 2 ms



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