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A complex response inductive method for improved gap measurement in laser welding
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Research Enviroment Production Technology West. GKN Aerospace. (PTW)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3697-1995
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production System. (PTW)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6933-375X
2017 (English)In: The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, ISSN 0268-3768, E-ISSN 1433-3015, Vol. 88, no 1-4, 175-184 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Laser welding needs precise measurement of weldgap position to avoid weld defects. Most often, optical measurement methods are used, but well-aligned narrow gaps canbe difficult to detect. An improved inductive method capable of detecting zero gaps in square butt joints is proposed. The new method uses two eddy current coils, one on each side of the gap, and measures the complex response of the individual coils, i.e. both the inductive and resistive response. By combining the coil responses, both the position and the geometry of the weld gap can be estimated. The method was experimentally investigated by traversing a single coil over an adjustable gap between two plates and combining the measured coil responses into a simulated two-coil probe. The gap was adjusted in both misalignment and gap width up to 0.4 mm. Comparing the results to known settings and positions shows that gap position is measured to within 0.1 mm, if the probe is within a working area of 1 mm from the gap in both position and height. Results from the new method were compared to simulations, from the same experimental data, of a previously reported method where the coils were electrically combined by wiring them together. The previous method can give accurate results but has a much smaller working area and depends on servo actuation to position the probe above the gap. The improved method gives better tolerance to varying misalignment and gap width, which is an advantage over previous inductive methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Springer London, 2017. Vol. 88, no 1-4, 175-184 p.
Keyword [en]
Seam tracking, Inductive, Complex response, Zero-gap measurement, Laser beamwelding, Square butt joint
National Category
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
Research subject
Production Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-10146DOI: 10.1007/s00170-016-8750-xISI: 000392308400016ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84964330115OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-10146DiVA: diva2:1047283
Available from: 2016-11-17 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2017-05-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Inductive measurement of narrow gaps for high precision welding of square butt joints
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inductive measurement of narrow gaps for high precision welding of square butt joints
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A recent method in aero engine production is to fabricate components from smaller pieces, rather than machining them from large castings. This has made laser beam welding popular, offering high precision with low heat input and distortion, but also high productivity. At the same time, the demand for automation of production has increased, to ensure high quality and consistent results. In turn, the need for sensors to monitor and control the laser welding process is increasing. In laser beam welding without filler material, the gap between the parts to be joined must be narrow. Optical sensors are often used to measure the gap, but with precise machining, it may become so narrow that it is difficult to detect, with the risk of welding in the wrong position. This kind of problems can cause severe welding defects, where the parts are only partially joined without any visible indication. This thesis proposes the use of an inductive sensor with coils on either side of the gap. Inducing currents into the metal, such a sensor can detect even gaps that are not visible. The new feature of the proposal is based on using the complex response of each coil separately to measure the distance and height on both sides of the gap, rather than an imbalance from the absolute voltage of each coil related to gap position. This extra information allows measurement of gap width and misalignment as well as position, and decreases the influence from gap misalignment to the position measurement. The sensor needs to be calibrated with a certain gap width and height alignment. In real use,these will vary, causing the sensor to be less accurate. Using initial estimates ofthe gap parameters from the basic sensor, a model of the response can be used to estimate the measurement error of each coil, which in turn can be used for compensation to improve the measurement of the gap properties.The properties of the new method have been examined experimentally, using a precise traverse mechanism to record single coil responses in a working range around a variable dimension gap, and then using these responses to simulate a two coil probe. In most cases errors in the measurement of weld gap position and dimensions are within 0.1 mm.The probe is designed to be mounted close to the parts to be welded, and will work in a range of about 1 mm to each side and height above the plates. This is an improvement over previous inductive sensors, that needed to be guided to the mid of the gap by a servo mechanism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2016. 48 p.
Series
Licentiate Thesis: University West, 14
Keyword
Eddy current, Seam tracking, Measurement, Laser beam welding
National Category
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
Research subject
Production Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-10150 (URN)978-91-87531-45-3 (ISBN)978-91-87531-44-6 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-11-28, C118, Högskolan Väst, Trollhättan, 10:15
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-21 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2016-11-17Bibliographically approved

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