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20 February 2014 Development of laser cladding system with process monitoring by x-ray imaging
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We have been developing a new laser cladding system to repair the damages of parts in aging plants. It consists of some devices which are a laser torch, composite-type optical fiber, QCW fiber laser and etc. All devices are installed in a mobile rack, so we can carry it to plants, laboratories or anywhere we want to use. We should irradiate the work with the best accuracy of laser beam and filler wire in laser cladding. A composite-type optical fiberscope is useful. This fiberscope was composed of a center fiber for beam delivery surrounded by 20000 fibers for visible image delivery. Thus it always keeps target on center of gun-sight. We succeeded to make a line laser cladding on an inside wall of 1-inch tube by our system. Before this success, we solved two serious problems which are the contamination of optics and the deformation of droplet. Observing laser cladding process by X-ray imaging with Spring-8 synchrotron radiation, we found that the molten pool depth was formed to be under a hundred micrometers for 10 milliseconds. A Quasi-CW fiber laser with 1 kW was employed for a heat source to generate the shallow molten pool. The X-ray shadowgraph clarified that a molten droplet was formed at the edge of a wire up to a millimeter size. It grew up if the wire didn’t contact with the tube wall in initial state. Here we succeeded to measure the thermo-electromotive force voltage between a wire and a tube metal to confirm whether both came in contact. We propose to apply the laser cladding technology to the maintenance of aging industrial plants and nuclear facilities.
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Takaya Terada, Tomonori Yamada, and Akihiko Nishimura "Development of laser cladding system with process monitoring by x-ray imaging", Proc. SPIE 8963, High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Lasers, Beam Delivery, Diagnostics, and Applications III, 896310 (20 February 2014);

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