High thickness welding
The laser application in the ship building process
In the naval applications, as well as for infrastructure and construction sectors, welding of thick plates (>15 mm) has become of crucial importance. Nowadays, the common techniques involve several passes of traditional Gas-Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) to fill a gap with a precise geometry. These techniques are, inevitably, time consuming due to the necessity of multiple passes, material consuming because of the volume of the gap which needs to be filled and complicated due to the precise preparation of the joints.
To overcome these drawbacks, we propose here a Hybrid Laser-Arc Welding (HLAW) technique in a configuration which allowed us to achieve a sound weld of two plates, 20 mm thick, of naval steel EH40 in a single pass.
The most important result of this research is that the welds is performed in a simple butt configuration, with straight edges of the plates and without any chamfer or additional preparation. Moreover, the process guarantees the stability and the solidity of the process over long plates.
This result opens the way to a faster, more reliable, and less costly process for the welding of thick plates.