From Metallurgy and Mechanics of Welding: Processes and Industrial Applications
Welding processes using high density energy beams result from the application, in the second half of the 20 th century, of work conducted by physicists in the fields of x-rays and vacuum techniques for the process of electron beam welding and optronics for laser beam welding. The possibility of concentrating these beams on points having a very small surface area led engineers to use this property to melt materials to achieve welds or cuts.
Compared to traditional arc welding processes, these two processes are characterized by a very high energy density at the impact point on the work piece. Rykaline [RYK 74] gave a representation comparing for several processes the heat flows at the center of the heat sources and the diameters of these sources. We can observe that the energy density measured at the focal point of a laser beam or an electron beam is 10,000 times higher than that reached in an oxy-fuel flame (see Figure 2.1).
Figure 2.1: Rykaline's diagram
2.1 Welding Properties Using High Density Energy Beams
These result from the dimension of the focal points (lower than a millimeter in general) used at the level of the parts to be welded. These properties are as follows:
single pass welding;
welding without filler material when there is no gap between the parts to be joined;
welding of thin parts (tenths of millimeters) by heat conduction;
welding of very thick parts (tenths of millimeters) by the formation of a vapor capillary.
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