1996-10-01

Tailored Blanks - An Innovative Weld Edge Preparation Technique to Improve Reliability and Economy of Laser Weld Process 962364

1. ABSTRACTThe applications of tailored blanks started in Europe more than 15 years ago. Since then, the market has developed into a respectable size. Mash welding was the first technology used for tailored blanks. Later laser welded blanks were introduced in the market. To overcome the poor edge quality of blanks cut with conventional shears and subsequently fitting up problems of blanks, prior to laser welding, a new edge preparation technique has been developed. The idea was to improve the reliability of the laser weld process and avoid expensive edge preparations with high precision shears and cutting dies. With a new laser welder concept incorporating the new low cost edge preparation technique, called SOUKA (Soudronic Kantenvorbereitung, edge preparation), and a vision system to control the welding process, the major disadvantages for laser welding has been overcome. The process is based on profiling the cut welding edge with a special profile roller. Testing of such weld did show a considerable improvement of weld quality and performance of high speed laser welding. The welder integrated vision system assures the quality of welded blanks by controlling the position of the laser beam and measuring the seam profile.

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