Gas metal arc welding enhanced by using a pulsed laser

Y. Shao, Y. M. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Laser-enhanced gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is a novel process where a laser is applied to provide an auxiliary force to help detach droplets at reduced currents. In previous studies, a continuous laser was applied. Since this auxiliary force is only needed each time the droplet needs to be detached and the detachment time is relatively short in a transfer cycle, the laser energy is greatly wasted. In addition, unnecessary application of the laser on the droplet produces additional fumes. Hence, this study proposes to use a pulsed laser whose peak is applied when the droplet is ready to detach. To implement this approach, the laser aims at a predetermined desirable position, and the droplet's position is monitored in real time using a high-speed image processing system. When the droplet moves to the position aimed by the laser, the closed-loop control system commands the laser to pulse to the peak. The current is also pulsed to the peak in synchronization with the laser to combine the increased electromagnetic force with the increased laser recoil force to detach the droplet. Experimental results verified the effectiveness of the proposed metal transfer control method that monitors the droplet in real time as well as applies synchronized laser and current pulses when the droplet moves to the desired position aimed by the laser.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205s-215s
JournalWelding Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Arc Welding (GMAW)
  • Auxiliary Force
  • Droplet
  • Laser-Enhanced Gas Metal
  • Real-Time Visual Feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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