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Method for enhanced control of welding processes

United States Patent

July 4, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Method and system for producing high quality welds in welding processes, in general, and gas tungsten arc (GTA) welding, in particular by controlling weld penetration. Light emitted from a weld pool is collected from the backside of a workpiece by optical means during welding and transmitted to a digital video camera for further processing, after the emitted light is first passed through a short wavelength pass filter to remove infrared radiation. By filtering out the infrared component of the light emitted from the backside weld pool image, the present invention provides for the accurate determination of the weld pool boundary. Data from the digital camera is fed to an imaging board which focuses on a 100.times.100 pixel portion of the image. The board performs a thresholding operation and provides this information to a digital signal processor to compute the backside weld pool dimensions and area. This information is used by a control system, in a dynamic feedback mode, to automatically adjust appropriate parameters of a welding system, such as the welding current, to control weld penetration and thus, create a uniform weld bead and high quality weld.
Sheaffer; Donald A. (Livermore, CA), Renzi; Ronald F. (Tracy, CA), Tung; David M. (Livermore, CA), Schroder; Kevin (Pleasanton, CA)
Sandia Corporation (Livermore, CA)
08/ 818,091
March 14, 1997
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U. S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.