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Sensing and control of Nd:YAG laser cladding process

Surface engineering provides solutions to wear and corrosion degradation of engineering components. Laser cladding is a surfacing process used to produce wear and corrosion resistant surfaces by covering a particular part of the substrate with another material that has superior properties, producing a fusion bond between the two materials with minimal dilution of the clad layer by the substrate. The advantages of laser cladding compared to conventional techniques include low and controllable heat input into the workpiece, a high cooling rate, great processing flexibility, low distortion due to the low heat input to the workpiece and minimal post-treatment. The main processing parameters of laser cladding include laser power, laser spot size, processing speed, and powder feed rate. Within an optimized operational window, all these variables have some effect on the temperature of the clad interaction zone. The laser cladding technique is very complicated because it involves metallurgical and physical phenomena, such as laser beam-materials interaction, heat transfer between the clad and the substrate, and the interdiffusion of the clad and the substrate materials. Laser cladding is currently an open-loop process, relying on the skills of the operator and requiring dedication to specialty to make it successful. Unless the required expertise is provided, attempts to make the process successful will be futile. The objective in conducting the project was to investigate and develop prototype sensors to monitor and control Nd:YAG laser cladding process. Through a LabVIEW software based monitoring program, real-time process monitoring of optical emissions in the form of light and heat radiation was carried out, and correlated with the properties of the produced clad layers. During various experiments, single- and multiple-track laser cladding trials were performed. The responses of such sensors to the selected conditions were examined and an in depth analysis of detected heat and optical radiation signals was carried out. The results of these experiments showed the ability of such sensors to recognize changes in process parameters, and detected defects on layer surfaces along with the presence of oxides. A multi-function closed-loop laser power and CNC motion table feed rate control interface based on a LabVIEW platform has been designed and built, which is capable of accepting and interpreting sensors´┐Ż data and adjusting accordingly the laser power and CNC motion table feed rate to produce sound clad layers. The developed dual control strategy utilized in this study forms a relatively inexpensive and less-complicated system that allows end-users to achieve lower failure rates during laser cladding (within its own limitations) and, therefore, through successful concurrent control of melt pool temperature and motion table feed rate provide better productivity and quality in the experimentally produced clad layers.
Date January 2005
CreatorsSalehi, Dariush,
PublisherSwinburne University of Technology.
Source SetsAustraliasian Digital Theses Program
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rights, Copyright Dariush Salehi

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