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Sensors 2012, 12(8), 11077-11090; doi:10.3390/s120811077

Closed Loop Control of Penetration Depth during CO2 Laser Lap Welding Processes

1,* , 1
1 CNR-IFN Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, UOS Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy 2 Laboratory of Mechanical Automation, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 2 August 2012 / Accepted: 6 August 2012 / Published: 9 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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In this paper we describe a novel spectroscopic closed loop control system capable of stabilizing the penetration depth during laser welding processes by controlling the laser power. Our novel approach is to analyze the optical emission from the laser generated plasma plume above the keyhole, to calculate its electron temperature as a process-monitoring signal. Laser power has been controlled by using a quantitative relationship between the penetration depth and the plasma electron temperature. The sensor is able to correlate in real time the difference between the measured electron temperature and its reference value for the requested penetration depth. Accordingly the closed loop system adjusts the power, thus maintaining the penetration depth.
Keywords: laser welding; plasma spectroscopy; closed loop control laser welding; plasma spectroscopy; closed loop control
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sibillano, T.; Rizzi, D.; Mezzapesa, F.P.; Lugarà, P.M.; Konuk, A.R.; Aarts, R.; Veld, B.H.; Ancona, A. Closed Loop Control of Penetration Depth during CO2 Laser Lap Welding Processes. Sensors 2012, 12, 11077-11090.

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