Use of high power diode laser arrays for pre- and post-weld heating during friction stir welding of steels
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In this research a high-power diode laser array was used to preheat HY-80 steel to determine the efficacy of using a diode laser array for preheating prior to friction stir welding in order to reduce frictional forces thereby reducing tool wear and increasing welding speeds. Using instrumented plates the temperature profile using diode heating alone was determined in order to validate theoretical models. A high-power diode laser is proposed as a more cost effective and efficient means of preheating compared to other hybrid friction stir welding techniques. Parameters of the diode array were easily controllable and resulted in a preheated area that very closely matches the typical stir zone observed in friction stir welds. A proposed diode laser assisted friction stir welding system is presented, and it is hypothesized that the addition of diode laser preheating will improve tool life and/or increase welding speeds on steels.
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