The effects of arc modes on laser-arc hybrid welding for AA6082-T6 aluminum alloy were comparatively studied. Two arc modes were employed: pulsed metal inert gas arc and cold metal transfer arc. The results indicated that joints without porosity, undercutting, or other defects were obtained with both laser-pulsed metal inert gas hybrid welding (LPMHW) and laser-cold metal transfer hybrid welding (LCHW). Spatter was reduced, and even disappeared, during the LCHW process. The sizes of equiaxed dendrites and the width of the partially melted zone in the LPMHW joint were larger than those in the LCHW joint. The microhardness in each zone of the LPMHW joint was lower than that of the LCHW joint. The softening region in the heat-affected zone of the LPMHW joint was wider than that of the LCHW joint. The tensile strength of the LCHW joint was higher than that of the LPMHW joint. For the two joints, the fractures all occurred in the softening region in the heat-affected zone, and the fracture morphologies showed ductile fracture features. The dimples in the fractograph of the LCHW joint were deeper than those of the LPMHW joint.
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