Real time monitoring of laser beam welding keyhole depth by laser interferometry

J. J. Blecher, C. M. Galbraith, C. Van Vlack, T. A. Palmer, J. M. Fraser, P. J. Webster, T. Debroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The utility of a new laser interferometric technique, inline coherent imaging, for real time keyhole depth measurement during laser welding is demonstrated on five important engineering alloys. The keyhole depth was measured at 200 kHz with a spatial resolution of 22 mm using a probe beam, which enters the keyhole coaxially with the process beam. Keyhole fluctuations limited average weld depth determination to a resolution on the order of 100 mm. Real time keyhole depth data are compared with the weld depths measured from the corresponding metallographic crosssections.With the exception of an aluminium alloy, the technique accurately measured the average weld depth with differences of less than 5%. The keyhole depth growth rates at the st art of welding are measured and compare well with order of magnitude calculations. The method described here is recommended for the real time measurement and control of keyhole depth in at least five different alloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-564
Number of pages5
JournalScience and Technology of Welding and Joining
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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