NTWV-based sensing keyhole dimension in plasma arc welding

Chuanbao Jia, Chuansong Wu, Yuming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During stable keyhole plasma arc welding, the pilot arc and the transferred arc exist at the meantime, and the arcs can be considered as a composition of two parts inside and outside the nozzle, respectively. Under the mechanical constriction and thermal contraction effects, the inside arc has certain arc length, electron density and arc profile etc. inducing constant tungsten-to-nozzle voltage. However, the arc outside the nozzle diverges at about 5 degrees and has certain characteristics similar to the free arcs. The nozzle-to-workpiece voltage (NTWV) depends mainly on the length of the arc, which gets bigger as increasing of the weld penetration and keyhole size. The NTWV sensor is developed for monitoring NTWV in real time. The welding experiments are designed to get different penetrations and keyhole sizes. It is found that as the weld penetration and the keyhole size increase, NTWV also increases linearly. The NTWV signals can be used as the feedback variable in automatic control of keyhole plasma arc welding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalChina Welding (English Edition)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Keyhole
  • Keyhole plasma arc welding
  • Nozzle-to-workpiece voltage
  • Penetration
  • Sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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