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Lasers that can weld thick metal plate

Lasers that can weld thick metal plates

The DIOMAR joint project is developing new laser welding processes in shipbuilding based on high-power lasers. This is expected to make the welding of thick metal plates more efficient and cheaper.

Lasers that can weld thick metal plates (Photo: © MEYER WERFT / I. Fiebak)

Costs and efficiency leave a lot to be desired when it comes to joining maritime steel components: the frequently used submerged arc welding is relatively slow and warps the workpieces, while laser-arc hybrid welding is less flexible and, especially in terms of edge preparation, labor-intensive. Especially with large steel plate thicknesses (12 to 30 mm), no method has prevailed against submerged arc welding. To come up with an alternative, the Hanover Laser Center , Laserline , Held Systems and Meyer Werft are working together to further develop the thick plate welding.

DIOMAR – Thick metal plate welding using a high-performance diode laser for maritime applications – is the name of the new joint project with which the partners want to establish robust, pure laser welding processes by 2021. The new methods are to be developed for up to 60 kW diode laser beam sources and up to 30 mm thick steel plates, while complementing or even replacing existing processes. The goal is high-quality joints with high welding speeds. The cost of edge preparation and additional material should also fall.