Development of the Combined Laser-Arc Processes for Joining and Treatment of Materials (Survey)
Development of laser-arc processes was started late in the seventies and early in the eighties. The idea was suggested by Steen, an English scientist, to use jointly a laser beam and an electric arc for welding and other kinds of metal treatment, so that both heat sources would affect the metal within the same heating zone. Steen protected his invention by a number of patents [1-4]. He suggested methods for welding, cutting, drilling and surface treatment, wherein the laser beam was directed on to a workpiece and, at the same time, the arc was excited between an electrode and the workpiece. Also, together with other scientists, he carried out the initial experimental studies on the effects of laser-arc action on a metal [5-10] and applied the combined welding method for a particular production process . Practi cally all specific features of the new laser-arc processes are presented and compared with the cases of the arc and of the laser ones in [5, 6 and 8].