1. Methods and systems for characterizing laser machining properties by measuring keyhole dynamics using interferometry

    Methods and systems for characterizing laser machining properties by measuring keyhole dynamics using interferometry

    A method, apparatus, and system are provided to monitor and characterize the dynamics of a phase change region (PCR) created during laser welding, specifically keyhole welding, and other material modification processes, using low-coherence interferometry. By directing a measurement beam to multiple locations within and overlapping with the PCR, the system, apparatus, and method are used to determine, in real time, spatial and temporal characteristics of the weld such as keyhole depth, length, width, shape and whether the keyhole is unstable, closes or collapses. This information is important in determining the quality and material properties of a completed finished weld. It ...

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