Laser and Hybrid Laser-MIG Welding of 6.35 and 12.7mm Thick Aluminium Aerospace Alloy
Fusion welding of 7xxx aluminium alloy plates has been investigated for aerospace applications using autogenous laser welding and hybrid laser-MIG welding. Nd:YAG and Yb-fibre lasers have been used, with two different focussed spot sizes in each case. Autogenous and hybrid welding of 12.7mm thick plate using the Yb-fibre laser with a 0.6mm diameter spot was selected for further development, on the basis of penetration and weld quality achieved. These welds were acceptable to the highest quality class B (stringent) of BS EN ISO 13919-2:2001, with a porosity of only 0.3% of the cross-sectional area of the weld, and close to class A of AWS D17.1. Transverse proof strengths of ~60% of parent material were achieved. Development of hybrid welding is ongoing with novel fillers to refine weld metal grain structure and improve weld properties.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
C.M. Allen et al., "Laser and Hybrid Laser-MIG Welding of 6.35 and 12.7mm Thick Aluminium Aerospace Alloy", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 1139-1144, 2006