Abstract— Keyhole welding using concentrated energy beams (electron beam and laser beam) is at the forefront of welding technology and finding ways to improve welding quality is a pressing issue. Finding optimal welding modes, monitoring weld quality and/or detecting weld defects in real-time during the welding process using nondestructive, cost-effective and reliable methods is one of current challenges. Plasma generated in the keyhole and the plasma plume (space above the welding pool) provides an opportunity to study welding stability and optimal modes as well as formation of weld defects.
Generation and characteristics of plasma in the keyhole and above the welding pool are discussed in the paper. For laser keyhole welding spectral analysis data and video image techniques are widely used for control and inspection of laser induced plasma in real time. Electron beam welding is studied using plasma parameter measurements and by studying the current collected by the positively polarized ring electrode above the welding pool. In case of electron beam welding with beam oscillations the method of coherent accumulation is applicable to analyze of the plasma fluctuations process at the plasma electron current.
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