Laser Pipe Welding (2004-339)
- Penn State University Applied Research Laboratory
- General Dynamics NASSCO
NSRP ASE Investment: $ 73K
This project determined the weld quality and return on investment (ROI) that a shipyard can expect by applying recent advances in laser welding technology to pipe welding during ship fabrication. Conventional pipe welding often requires multi-pass welding of beveled joints. Significant cost savings are anticipated due to elimination of multi-pass requirements while taking advantage of the deep penetration offered by keyhole laser welding, which will enable direct, single-pass butt-welding of pipes with little or no bevel required. Additional cost savings can be expected from reduced defects and inspection time due to the reduction in total length of the weld bead and reduced starts and stops, due to the reduction in the number of weld passes. Specific laser welding technologies that were addressed include high power ND:YAG (up to 6 kW, more than twice the power available for previous NSRP laser pipe welding studies), fiber laser technology and laser-assisted GMA (hybrid) welding.
Final Report – Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited