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Synchronous weld pool oscillation for monitoring and control

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4 Author(s)
Andersen, Kristinn ; Sch. of Eng., Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN, USA ; Cook, G.E. ; Barnett, R.J. ; Strauss, A.M.

A novel approach for inducing and monitoring oscillations in a molten weld pool is presented. Recent research efforts have illustrated that the weld pool resonates at natural frequencies that are related to its dimensions and state of penetration. This phenomenon may be used to monitor the weld pool, particularly its depth of penetration, in a closed-loop feedback control system. The approach used to induce pool oscillations was to excite the weld pool with current pulses synchronized to the natural oscillations of the pool. Implementation of this synchronous weld pool pulsing technique was based on the use of a phase-locked loop (PLL) system. The natural weld pool oscillations are used as the reference frequency source and a pulsing circuit is controlled by the PLL oscillator, so that the arc current pulses repeatedly impact the pool after a fixed number of reference oscillation periods. An optical sensor detects the pool oscillations which are amplified, filtered, and limited to eliminate amplitude variations from the optical signal. A model of the weld pool is developed which uses a fluid droplet formulation for the relation of weld pool geometry and other physical parameters to the natural frequencies of the weld pool. Comparison of the weld pool's actual resonant frequency with the expected resonant frequency as predicted by weld pool geometry models and measurements of the pool width (or area) allows assessment of the state of penetration of the weld pool into the workpiece

Published in:

Industry Applications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 2 )