Sources of further information and advice
There exists a number of professional bodies in various countries around the world whose members can provide information and advice, as summarized in Table 4.1. The predominant body is probably the Laser Institute of America which in spite of the ‘America’ in the name is an international organization. For example, at their 2002 annual conference, the International Conference on Applications of Lasers and ElectroOptics, or ICALEO, only about half the attendees were from the USA; there were 101 attendees from 14 European countries, and 43 attendees from six Asian countries, in spite of limitations on travel due to political events and epidemics.
Table 4.1 Professional bodies/industrial organizations
There are several research groups with considerable skill in laser processing. Table 4.2 gives a representative sample.
Table 4.2 Research organizations
For the first two decades of laser welding, there were no widely recognized standards regulating the process. Many companies that depended on the process developed their own procedure specification and qualification procedures, or used those previously employed for electron beam welding. In the last dozen years there has been a flurry of international activity. The European standard committee and the ISO organization have proposed and approved a variety of standards, largely relating to equipment. In 2002, the standard Specification and Qualification of Welding Procedures for Metallic Materials - Welding Procedure Specification - Part 4: Laser Beam Welding, ISO/FDIS 15609-4:2002 was circulated for approval. Other relevant documents include ISO/DIS 15614-11, Specification and Approval of Welding Procedures for Metallic Materials - Welding Procedure Test, Part II, Electron and Laser Beam Welding. Further information and copies of the specifications are available from the ISO secretariat, at International Organization for Standardization, DIN Burggrafenstr 6, 10787 Berlin, Germany.
The American Welding Society has compiled an American national standard ANSI/AWS C7.2 Recommended Practices for Laser Beam Welding Cutting and Drilling, based upon input from a committee of laser suppliers, users and researchers. It is expected that a Process Specification and Operator Qualification for Laser Beam Welding to be released in 2006. These standards are available from the American Welding Society at 550 NW LeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33126, USA.
The need for and the existence of these standards and specifications indicates that laser welding is now a mature process, accepted for industrial practices.
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