This paper presents a pulsed Nd: YAG laser-robot system for spot and seam welding of mild steel sheets. The study evaluates the laser beams behaviour for welding, and then investigates pulsed Nd: YAG laser spot and seam welding processes. High pulse power intensity is needed to initiate the key-hole welding process and a threshold pulse energy to reach full penetration. In seam welding, a weld consists of successive overlapping spots. Both high pulse energy and high average power are needed to keep the key-hole welding going. A 70% overlap is used to define overlapping spot welding as seam welding and to optimize process parameters because a high tensile strength joint compatible with the strength of the base material can be obtained when the overlap is ≥70%; at the same time a smooth seam with full penetration is obtained. In these cases, the joints in pulsed Nd: YAG laser welding are comparable in strength to those obtained with CO2laser welding. Robot positioning and motion accuracies can meet the demands of Nd: YAG laser sheet metal welding, but its cornering accuracy affects the welding processes. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the YAG laser-robot system for production in the automotive industry. © 1994.
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