Aesthetic Diode Laser Welding of Stainless Steel
In the present study the use of diode laser for stainless steel aesthetic welding is considered. In fact the surface smoothness of the weld bead, attributed to the mode stability of the laser system, suggests its application for aesthetic weld joint. The aims of this work were to: define a process map, based on an aesthetic criterion; mechanically characterize the weld joints (by Vickers micro-hardness and tensile test); analyse the surface of the specimens in terms of roughness. Moreover, gas tungsten-arc (TIG) weld joints were carried out and analogously tested to make a comparison with the diode laser results. Good aesthetic butt joints were obtained with diode laser welding. The same results were found working with constant power speed ratio (i.e. constant fluence). Comparison between TIG and Laser Beam Welding (LBW), showed no significant difference in roughness, while ultimate tensile load was higher for TIG welding. The differences in joint strength depend on the different cross-sectional area and on the extension and microstructure of the base metal, heat-affected zone and melted zone. However, diode laser technology allows to obtain smaller bead size.
F. Micari, M. Geiger, J. Duflou, B. Shirvani, R. Clarke, R. Di Lorenzo and L. Fratini
F. Quadrini et al., "Aesthetic Diode Laser Welding of Stainless Steel", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 344, pp. 707-713, 2007