The use of dual or multiple laser beams is necessary for welding thick-section metals, especially for Nd:Yag lasers which are limited to relatively low power as compared to CO2 lasers. It was also reported that the use of dual laser beams for welding can increase keyhole stability leading to a better weld quality. So far, the development of dual-beam laser welding technologies has been in the experimental stage. The objective of this paper is to develop mathematical models and the associated numerical techniques to calculate the transient heat transfer and fluid flow in the weld pool and to study weld pool dynamics during the dual-beam laser welding process. The simulation was conducted for a three-dimensional stationary dual-beam laser welding. A very interesting change of the top-surface view of the weld pool was predicted. During the welding process, the top-view shape of the weld pool changes, starting from an oval-shape with the long-axis connecting the centers of the two laser beams, to a circle, and finally to an oval-shape with the short-axis connecting the centers of the two laser beams. Although a direct comparison with published experimental observation is impossible (due to the lack of detailed experimental data), the predicted weld pool shape is similar to that observed from experiments. The dynamical change of the weld pool shape can be well explained by the predicted fluid flow field.

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