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or focus the beam.

A 45° angle mirror is used to deflect •• Laser machines have a low power conversion
the beams path 90°. A viewing head with a safety filter ­efficiency of less than 10 percent.
is used to monitor the beam’s operation as the workpiece •• Rapid cool rates can lead to porosity and ­brittleness in
is processed. This could be an LBW, LBC, or LBD ap- the welds.
plication depending on the power level, spot size, focus
point, whether constant or pulsed power is used, and the Laser Assisted Arc Welding  Laser assisted arc welding
amount and type of assist gases used. is a hybrid application of several processes. In this case,
Laser beams have the following advantages: it is the laser beam and the gas metal arc. With this hy-
•• There is very low heat input, which allows for brid welding application, a laser beam (CO2 or Nd:YAG)
­hermetic sealing near glass-to-metal seals. is combined in one weld pool with the gas metal arc. As
•• Single-pass welds can be made on material up to you have learned, laser beam welding is limited due to
1¼ inch thick. joint fitup tolerances and being autogenous. The benefit
•• It is a noncontact process. of combining these two processes would be reducing
•• Beams are readily focused, aligned, and directed by the requirement for precise fitup. It would also allow
optical elements. greater flexibility in which materials can be joined and
•• Very small beams can be used to make very small the types of welds that can be made by the addition of
welds, cuts, or holes. filler metal.
•• Dissimilar metals can be welded. The basic effects of the hybrid application of these two
•• A wide variety of materials can be processed. processes are that the arc process has the ability to bridge
•• They can be readily automated for high speed work. a gap and not only because of its filler material but also
•• They are not affected by magnetic fields. because of its wider flared arc and resultant wider weld
•• Metals with dissimilar physical properties can be pool. The gas metal arc power determines the width of
processed. the weld. The laser process is more related to the forma-
•• Nonvacuum or X-ray shielding is required. tion of a keyhole. The laser power determines the depth of
•• High 10:1 depth-to-width ratios are attainable. penetration. An additional advantage of this hybrid appli-
•• Beams can be deflected for multiple uses (welding, cation is that the laser-induced plasma reduces the ignition
cutting, marking, drilling). resistance of the arc, which makes the gas metal arc more
stabile, Figs. 25-12 and 25-13.
Laser beams have the following limitations:
•• The joint must be very accurate.
•• Surfaces must be forced together. For video of laser/MIG welding in action, please
•• There is a limitation of beam power for welding, cut- visit
ting, and drilling.
•• Highly reflective materials will deflect the beam.
•• High power lasers require a mechanism to deal with
the plasma.
Low-Cost Energy Source
Great Welding Depth
Gap Bridgeability
High Welding Speed
Addition of Filler Metal
Low Thermal Load
Microstructure Can Be
High Tensile Strength


Heat Input
Some welding power sources have low
energy efficiency, such as CO2 lasers and YAG lasers.
Some inverter-based sources, such as MIG/MAG Hybrid Process
and SMAW, have high efficiencies. When choosing Higher Process Stability, Higher Welding Speed
the best joining process, consider, in addition to ­ Good Flowing of the Weld Edges
efficiency, the required and allowed heat input. When Large Seam Volume, Good Metallurgical Properties
these factors are considered, lasers fare as well as
MMA. Fig. 25-12  Mechanized gas metal arc welding.
Adapted from Fronius International GmbH.

824  Chapter 25 High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles
Fig. 25-14  Water jet stack cutting of carbon steel, brass, copper,
aluminum, and stainless steel.  © American Welding Society. Welding
Handbook Vol. 1, page 47, fig 1.57

Fig. 25-13  Laser/MIG welding head designed for mounting on a the kerf taper is not a concern unless too high of a travel
robot arm. Weight is approximately 42 pounds, and size is approxi- speed is being used, Fig. 25-15, page 826.
mately 30 × 6 × 16 inches. The MIG portion is rated at 100 percent The orifice in the sapphire or ruby nozzle will wear
duty cycle at 250 amps and the laser is rated at 4 kilowatts. 
© Fronius International GmbH quickly and usually needs replacing every 2 to 4  hours
of continuous cutting. Diamonds are also used for noz-
zles since these orifices wear much better and can give
The laser-assisted arc welding developments are ex- 20 times greater service life. Deburring is generally not
pected to help in applications like mill coil joining, tai- required and minimal lateral forces are applied, so fixtur-
lored blanks for the automotive industry, and welding of ing is simple. The process is easily automated and can be
dissimilar metals. Current research is being done on alu- used with robotic control.
minum alloys, low carbon, and high strength low alloy Materials are cut cleanly, without ragged edges, with-
steels. The use of the laser beam, gas tungsten arc, friction out heat, and generally faster than with a band saw. Nar-
stir, and the plasma arc welding process are also being row kerfs of 0.030 to 0.100 inch with very smooth edges
investigated. are typically produced, which is very cost effective since
material usage is maximized. This is especially impor-
Water Jet Cutting  A high velocity jet of water is used to
tant when cutting expensive materials such as titanium,
cut a variety of materials including metals and nonmetal-
bronze, Kevlar, and Teflon. Water jet cutting is very ver-
lics with the water jet cutting process. A manufactured
satile because of the many types of materials that it can be
sapphire nozzle with a hole from 0.004 to 0.024 inch has
used to cut, Table 25-4, page 827.
water forced through it at high pressures of from 30,000
The following is a list of water jet cutting advantages
to 60,000 p.s.i. This is not a thermal cutting process like
over conventional cutting methods:
LBC or PAC, but it does create a kerf from the concen-
trated water jet erosion. In water jet cutting, water some- •• Cold cutting (no heat-affected zones, no hardening, no
times mixed with abrasive additives is used to erode the cracking).
material to effect the cut. Since a machine tool is not •• Reduces dust and hazardous gases.
used in making the cut, this process is more closely re- •• Environmentally friendly.
lated to the thermal cutting techniques than it is to ma- •• Cuts in any direction.
chine tool methods. Dissimilar materials can be easily •• Perforates most materials without starting holes.
stack cut, Fig. 25-14. •• Cuts virtually any material (including food products).
There are two types of water jet cutting. One type simply •• Net-shape or near-net-shape parts (no secondary
uses water, and the other uses water mixed with an abra- processing required in many applications).
sive material. Kerf tapering is normally associated with the •• Minimal fixturing required.
simple water method because the water has a tendency to •• Saves raw materials (small cutting kerf width, nesting
spread as it leaves the sapphire nozzle. With abrasive cutting capabilities).

High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles   Chapter 25  825
Pressure Cutting
5 10
0 15
10 20

20 25
30 30

Gauge Head

and Feed

High Pressure Cylinder Pump


Cutting Nozzle

Booster Pump


Fig. 25-15  The figure shows a waterjet schematic. The bold arrows indicate water flow direction. Water pressure is
boosted from the low tap water pressure to approximately 40,000 pounds per square inch. It is then forced through a tightly
constricting orifice (cutting nozzle) and exits at speeds approaching 2.5 times the speed of sound.

•• Faster than many conventional cutting tools. metals such as aluminum to steel. It is principally used in
•• Does not induce stresses into material while it is the oil, defense, aerospace, automotive, electrical, medi-
being cut. cal, agricultural, and marine industries.
•• Flexible machine integration.
Friction Stir Welding (FSW)  A process variation where a
The cold cutting properties of water jet cutting is one of its probe or tap with a diameter of 0.20 to 0.24 inch is r­ otated
main advantages. Other cutting methods my burn, melt, or between the square groove faying edges on a butt joint is
cause cracking in the heat-affected zone. Thermal cutting called friction stir welding (FSW). A shouldered non-
processes cause surface hardening, warping, and emission consumable collar has a smoothing effect on the top sur-
of hazardous gases. With water jet cutting the materials face. Temperatures of 840 to 900°F are generated as the
undergo no thermal stress, eliminating such undesirable lightly tilted rotating probe travels along the length of the
results. Water jet cutting is considered very environmen- joint. The stirring action heats and moves the hot metal
tally friendly as particulate is carried away in the water jet from the front of the probe to the rear of the probe creat-
stream and dealt with in a controlled manner. ing a weld, Fig. 25-17, p. 828.
Welding speeds up to 24 inches per minute on 0.25-inch
Friction Welding (FRW)  Friction welding (FRW) is a aluminum sections are typical. Currently the only mate-
solid-state process that uses the heat produced by com- rial being commercially welded with this process is alu-
pressive forces generated by materials rotating together in minum. With material thicknesses in a range of 0.06 to
a friction mode, Fig. 25-16. Solid-state welding (SSW) 0.5 inch, a conventional milling machine can be used. The
is a group of processes that produces coalescence by the design of the probe or tap is critical to proper operation.
application of pressure at a welding temperature below the High quality welds with no porosity or cracks are achiev-
melting temperatures of the base metal. Mechanical en- able. These welds can be destructively tested with good
ergy is converted into heat energy. Shielding gases, flux, results even in the heat-affected zone.
and filler metal are not required. In the friction welding The principal advantage for friction stir welding over
processes can be used to join a wide variety of dissimilar other friction welding is that parts do not need to be rotated

826  Chapter 25 High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles
a very high velocity is
Table 25-4  Cutting Speeds on Various called explosion welding
Materials with Abrasive Water Jet1 (EXW). The subsequent
Thickness Travel Speed impact and sliding forces
Material (in.) (in./min) create a weld. Explo- Rotate One Member

Aluminum 0.125 40 sion welding is typically A

Aluminum 0.50 18 done at an ambient tem-

perature. The explosion
Aluminum 0.75 5
propels the prime com-
Armor plate 0.75 10
ponent toward the base
Brass 0.125 20
component at a speed that Start Upset Force
Brass 0.425 5 causes the formation of a
Bronze 1.0 1 metallic bond between
Carbon steel 0.75 8 them when they collide,
Cast iron 1.5 1 Fig. 25-18, page 828.
Ceramic (99.6% aluminum) 0.025 6 The explosion deforms
Copper 0.063 35 the prime component
Copper 0.625 8 locally, and the detona- Start Weld
tion quickly progresses. C
Fiberglass 0.100 200
The prime component
Fiberglass 0.250 100
quickly crosses the stand-
Glass 0.250 100 off distance and impacts
Glass 0.75 40 the base component. The
Graphite/epoxy 0.250 80 welding is accomplished
Complete Weld
Graphite/epoxy 1.0 15 by the plastic flow of
Inconel 0.625 8 the metal pieces across
Inconel 718 1.25 1 the faying surfaces. Heat Fig. 25-16  Schematic ­illustration
Kevlar 0.375 40 may be a by-product of of friction welding. Note: No shielding
the detonation and col- or filler metal is required.  Source:
Kevlar 1.0 3
lision but is not required From Welding Handbook, 9/e.
Lead 2.0 8
for the weld to take place.
Lexan 0.5 12 EXW is used to join
Metal-matrix composition 0.125 30 metals that have sufficient strength to withstand the det-
Pheonolic 0.5 10 onation forces. A typical application is to join thin met-
Plexiglass 0.175 50 als to dissimilar thicker metals. An example would be
Rubber belting 0.300 200 the joining of aluminum and steel. This would be a tran-
Stainless steel 0.1 25 sition material to allow the carbon steel hull structure
Stainless steel (304) 1.0 4 of a ship to be welded to the aluminum superstructure.
Another example would be to join thin gauge stainless
Stainless steel (304) 4.0 1
Titanium 0.025 60
Titanium 0.500 12
Tool steel 0.250 10
Garnet is the abrasive material normally used.

Source: From Welding Handbook, 9/e.

Your Pay
Suppose you are in an interview and
you’re asked what salary you want. Learn in advance
against each other. The primary limitation is the limited what jobs usually pay where you live. Rather than answer,
type of metals that the process is currently usable on. ask the i­nterviewer what the company is planning on
paying the best candidate. ­Evaluate the answer for
Explosion Welding (EXW)  Another solid-state process that yourself, based on what you know the field pays.
uses a controlled detonation to impact two workpieces at

High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles   Chapter 25  827
Carbon Steel

Cut into strips for transition joints that

can be welded with conventional arc
welding processes. These connections
would be leak-tight for marine applications.

Aluminum Superstructure
Aluminum-to-Steel Aluminum-to-Aluminum
Transition Joint Conventional GMA Weld
Nonconsumable Collar
Steel-to-Steel Conventional
GMA or FCA Weld
Fig. 25-17  Schematic of friction stir welding.  Source: From
Welding Handbook, 9/e. Steel Ship Hull
and Deck

Fig. 25-19  Transition joint created by explosion welding.

They are further broken down to the following.

•• Energy source
•• Thermal source
•• Mechanical loading (that is, pressure normal to the
Prime faying surfaces)
Jet •• Shielding
Weld •• Process description and abbreviation
Component These processes are applied in the following manner:
•• Manual
Fig. 25-18  Schematic of explosion welding.  Source: From •• Semiautomatic
Welding Handbook, 9/e. •• Mechanized
•• Automatic
•• Robotic
steel (the prime component) to thick mild steel (the base •• Adaptive control
component) to create a corrosion-resistant surface on a
massive object. In this last example a backing may sup- The processes in this chapter are never applied manually
port the base component if it is not large enough to sus- or semiautomatically. They may or may not have adap-
tain the detonation impact, Fig. 25-19. tive controls. Adaptive controls automatically determine
changes in the process conditions and direct the equipment
The American Welding Society has defined and de-
scribed over 110 various joining and cutting processes and A B OU T WEL DIN G
process variations. These are contained in a master chart
of processes, Fig. 25-20. As a professional in the welding Shipbuilding 1943
industry you need to understand the advantages and limi- In 1943, during World War II, the
tations of these processes. These processes are generally California Shipbuilding Corp. employed 6,000 welders
grouped into three areas. as well as 160 operators of submerged arc welding
equipment. In June, that company made 20 ships and
•• Fusion welding consumed 2,700,000 pounds of welding electrodes.
•• Solid-state welding Sixteen other companies were almost just as busy.
•• Brazing and soldering

828  Chapter 25 High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles
Atomic Hydrogen Welding AHW Gas Metal Arc Welding GMAW
Bare Metal Arc Welding BMAW – Pulsed Arc GMAW-P
Carbon Arc Welding CAW – Short-Circuiting Arc GMAW-S
– Gas CAW-G Gas Tungsten Arc Welding GTAW
– Shielded CAW-S – Pulsed Arc GTAW-P
– Twin CAW-T Plasma Arc Welding PAW
Electrogas Welding EGW Solid- Shielded Metal Arc Welding SMAW
Flux Cored Arc Welding FCAW State Brazing Stud Arc Welding SW
Welding (B) Submerged Arc Welding SAW
(SSW) – Series SAW-S
Coextrusion Welding CEW
Cold Welding CW
Diffusion Welding DFW Block Brazing BB
Explosion Welding EXW Diffusion Brazing CAB
Forge Welding FOW Soldering Welding Other Dip Brazing DB
Friction Welding FRW (S) Processes Welding Exothermic Brazing EXB
Hot Pressure Welding HPW Flow Brazing FLOW
Roll Welding ROW Furnace Brazing FB
Ultrasonic Welding USW Induction Brazing IB
Infrared Brazing IRB
Oxyfuel Resistance Brazing RB
Dip Soldering DS Resistance Torch Brazing TB
Allied Gas
Furnace Soldering FS Welding Twin Carbon Arc Brazing TCAB
Processes Welding
Induction Soldering IS (RW)
Infrared Soldering IRS
Iron Soldering INS Electron Beam Welding EBW
Resistance Soldering RS – High Vacuum EBW-HV
Torch Soldering TS – Medium Vacuum EBW-MV
Ultrasonic Soldering USS – Nonvacuum EBW-NV
Wave Soldering WS Electroslag Welding ESW
Flow Welding FLOW
Induction Welding IW
Flash Welding FW Laser Beam Welding LBW
Projection Welding PW Percussion Welding PEW
Resistance Seam Welding RSEW Thermite Welding TW
– High Frequency RSEW-HF
– Induction RSEW-I
Resistance Spot Welding RSW Air Acetylene Welding AAW
Upset Welding UW Oxyacetylene Welding OAW
– High Frequency UW-HF Oxyhydrogen Welding OHW
– Induction UW-I Pressure Gas Welding PGW

Arc Spraying ASP Thermal

Flame Spraying FLSP Spraying
Plasma Spraying PSP (THSP)

Flux Cutting FOC

Metal Powder Cutting POC
Oxyfuel Gas Cutting OFC Air Carbon Arc Cutting CAC-A
– Oxyacetylene Cutting OFC-A Carbon Arc Cutting CAC
Oxygen Thermal Arc Gas Metal Arc Cutting GMAC
– Oxyhydrogen Cutting OFC-H
Cutting Cutting Cutting Gas Tungsten Arc Cutting GTAC
– Oxynatural Gas Cutting OFC-N
(OC) (TC) (AC) Plasma Arc Cutting PAC
– Oxypropane Cutting OFC-P
Oxygen Arc Cutting AOC Shielded Metal Arc Cutting SMAC
Oxygen Lance Cutting LOC

Electron Beam Cutting EBC

Laser Beam Cutting LBC
Other – Air LBC-A
Cutting – Evaporative LBC-EV
– Inert Gas LBC-IG
– Oxygen LBC-O

Fig. 25-20  Master chart of welding and allied processes.  From AWS Standard Terms and Definitions, AWS3.0:2010, figure A.1 and A.2

to take appropriate action. More will be covered on adap- the best method may be a combination of several, such as
tive controls and the methods used to apply various pro- walking to a car, driving it to the airport, taking a plane,
cesses in Chapters 26 and 27. and reversing the order to get to your final destination.
The analogy of selecting the best process has been Understanding the joining and cutting processes and pick-
described as the modes of transportation one might use ing the correct ones for each application is the surest way
when going on a trip. To get from point A to B you might of producing the highest quality product in the shortest
walk, ride a bike, drive a car, or take a train or plane. But period of time, with the least amount of defects.

High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles   Chapter 25  829

Multiple Choice 8. Water jet cutting can be done with______.

Choose the letter of the correct answer. (Obj. 25-2)
a. Plain water
1. Shielding for the high energy-density beams can be
b. Water mixed with an abrasive
provided by______. (Obj. 25-1)
c. Deionized and distilled water only
a. Shielding gases
d. Both a and b
b. A vacuum chamber
c. Shielding is not required because of the high 9. Friction stir welding is a(n)______. (Obj. 25-3)
heat input a. Arc process
d. Both a and b b. Gas shielded process
c. Solid-state process
2. The energy created with a high energy-density beam
d. Filler metal required process
can be equated to how many 100-watt lightbulbs?
(Obj. 25-1) 10. What does explosion welding use to produce the
a. 650 weld? (Obj. 25-4)
b. 6,500 a. Heat
c. 65,000 b. Plastic flow
d. 650,000 c. Low velocity impact of two heavy masses
d. None of these
3. The electron beam process can be compared to what
home appliance? (Obj. 25-1)
a. Radar range Review Questions
b. Toaster Write the answers in your own words.
c. TV set
11. What types of joints and welds are typically
d. Vacuum sweeper
done with the high energy beam processes?
4. The EBW process is usually done on CJP groove (Obj. 25-1)
welds with what technique? (Obj. 25-1)
12. Describe the keyhole effect on the heat-affected
a. Downhill
zone and cooling rate and the issues this may ­affect.
b. Uphill
(Obj. 25-1)
c. Keyhole
d. None of these 13. How does the EBW process generate heat?
(Obj. 25-1)
5. Cast iron can be easily welded with the EBW pro-
cess. (Obj. 25-1) 14. Describe the three variations of the EBW process.
a. True (Obj. 25-1)
b. False 15. Laser beams can be compared to what everyday
6. Laser beams can be used for______. (Obj. 25-1) activities you are aware of? (Obj. 25-1)
a. Welding 16. How does laser light generate so much energy?
b. Cutting (Obj. 25-1)
c. Drilling 17. Describe the metal surface required for LBC and
d. All of these why it is required. (Obj. 25-1)
7. Which of the following is not an issue with LBW? 18. List 10 advantages of the water jet cutting process.
(Obj. 25-1) (Obj. 25-2)
a. Magnetic blow 19. What is solid-state welding? (Obj. 25-3)
b. Reflection of the beam 20. Describe how the EXW process works.
c. Porosity (Obj. 25-4)
d. Brittleness in the weld

830  Chapter 25 High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles

Internet Activity A
Connect with others about welding on an online bulletin board. Use the I­ nternet
to locate two bulletin boards about welding. Then describe what you found.
(Before opening any bulletin board, read the description.)
Internet Activity B
Talk to others in a welding chat room. Look on the Internet to find a welding chat
room. One place you will want to look is on the AWS Web site. Ask a question in
the chat room. Share the question and response with your class. (Before opening
any chat room, read the description.)

High Energy Beams and Related Welding and Cutting Process Principles   Chapter 25  831