A mobile sensing system for real-time 3D weld pool surface measurement in manual GTAW

Wei Jie Zhang, Jun Xiao, Yu Ming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


An innovative mobile sensing system has been developed to non-intrusively monitor the manual pipe gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) process. The system consists of a projective torch held by a welder, and a sensory helmet on the welder's head. The three-dimensional (3D) weld pool surface is effectively measured in real-time as the welder performs the weld despite the movements of the torch and the helmet. In this study, the sensing system is first analyzed by numerical simulations in which the adjustment boundaries of the torch and helmet, i.e. their translation and orientation ranges, for effective sensing have been determined. Then, the sensing system is further evaluated using a simulation platform in which the movements of the helmet/welder's head is mimicked by a tripod head with 6 degree-of-freedom (DOF), and a convex spherical mirror with a comparable size of a typical weld pool in a GTAW process is applied as a weld pool substitute. The effectiveness of the proposed system is validated by successfully capturing laser reflections from the mirror without great constraints on the welder's movements of the torch and the helmet. Based on the analysis of the spatial relations among the torch, the helmet and the weld pool, an innovative real-time algorithm is proposed to reconstruct the 3D weld pool surface. The effectiveness and robustness of the algorithm have been verified by accurately reconstructing the convex spherical mirror surface despite the movements of the torch and the helmet in the simulation platform.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045102
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 25 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is funded by the National Science Foundation under grant CMMI-0927707 entitled ''Machine-Human Cooperative Control of Welding Process''. The authors want to thank Dr. Yi Lu for his effort put into the drawing in Figure 2.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • 3D weld pool measurement
  • manual GTAW
  • mobile sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'A mobile sensing system for real-time 3D weld pool surface measurement in manual GTAW'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this