The hybrid welding method combines the advantages of laser and GMA welding. The laser beam ensures deep fusion in low line energy conditions, whereas use of the electrode wire in the GMA method ensures filling of the welding groove.
The hybrid welding process allows for significant reduction of the number of runs needed per weld in comparison to traditional methods. Additionally, due to low line energy, deformations and welding stress are eliminated.
In comparison to the laser welding method, the main advantage is decrease of sensitivity to element matching which entails significant reduction of costs incurred in relation to preparation of welding materials. Use of the electrode wire in the GMA method allows to control the metallurgical properties of the joint by means of the binder, perform fillet welds and weld overlays. Lower cooling rate in comparison to laser welding results in decrease of weld hardness. Welds made using the hybrid welding method are characterised with high quality. The illustration above shows a cross section of welds made using the particular methods.
The hybrid welding method is used mostly in butt joints of metal sheets with thickness ranging from 2 to 16 mm (with several runs in case of higher thickness values), pipe welding and performance of fillet welds (in several runs for a broad range of materials:
alloy and high alloy steels,
aluminium and its alloys,
motor car body sheets (and other coated sheets).
The main industry segments in which hybrid welding technology is developing at a rapid pace include the automotive, ship building and pipeline construction industries.
Advantages of hybrid welding
Narrow heat affected zone
Single pass weld with the properties (especially weld depth) which compared to arc welding
would require multi-pass welding
High process productivity
Up to 20 mm weld depth with single pass welding in steel using high power laser
Less or no chamfering required – less joint
preparation time required
Laser emission allows for narrow and deep welds with lower heat input which in turn
provides less thermal deformations
High robotisation and automatisation capability
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