Abstract

A new fiber sensor system designed for spectroscopic analysis and on-line quality assurance of arc-welding processes is presented here. Although several different approaches have been considered for the optical capture of plasma emission in arc-welding processes, they tend to be invasive and make use of optical devices such as collimators or photodiodes. The solution proposed here is based on the arrangement of an optical fiber, which is used at the same time as the optical capturing device and also to deliver the optical information to a spectrometer, embedded within an arc-welding torch. It will be demonstrated that, by using the shielding gas as a protection for the fiber end, the plasma light emission is efficiently collected, forming a sensor system completely transparent and noninvasive for the welding operator. The feasibility of the proposed sensor designed to be used as the input optics of a welding quality-assurance system based on plasma spectroscopy will be demonstrated by means of several welding tests.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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