In collaboration with seven partners, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is developing a hybrid welding process which combines the advantages of laser and gas metal arc (GMA) welding to achieve a more efficient process. This process is meant for use on large-sized, thick-plate constructions (> 20 mm), and should open up new perspectives for welding in shipbuilding, pipelines and tower construction.
In this innovative process, the gas metal arc welding is used to bridge the gap between the sheets, while the laser provides deep welding. Both the laser beam and the arc oscillate horizontally over the seam, allowing this process to join steel sheets with a thickness of over 22 mm and aluminium sheets of over 15 mm thickness.
The new hybrid welding system is a robust process, and aims at ensuring good gap bridging, and providing a high welding rate, depending on the application. Additionally, it should need less filler material than conventional welding methods. These advantages should make this process attractive, especially for welding long seams such as those needed in shipbuilding, pipelines and tower construction.
In this project, the LZH is, among other things, responsible for process development and the automated process supervision of the laser-GMA-hybrid-process. A 16 kilowatt disc laser will be used for these purposes. After completion of the project in 2012, the results can also be applied to other industrial branches.
The project partners are from various fields such as the steel sector (Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH, Duisburg), the shipbuilding industry (Wadan Yards LNG Technology GmbH, Rostock) and tower construction (SIAG Tube & Tower GmbH). Other partners are Messer Group GmbH, EWM Hightech Welding GmbH, Precitec KG and the Schweißtechnische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt Halle GmbH. The project “HYBRILAS” is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in the funding program "Optical Technologies" (FKZ 13N10549), through the project management organization VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH.
Source: Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., firstname.lastname@example.org