Application of laser processing in shipbuilding industry

by:Caodahai     2021-09-28
In the mid-1990s, lasers were used in the shipbuilding industry as a heavy industrial manufacturing tool. The manufacturing method of large ships has gradually changed from riveting to welding, and welding methods, processes and equipment have also been steadily developed, from the early gas welding and arc welding to laser welding. The continuous development of shipbuilding technology has led to major changes in shipbuilding materials and ship design. A survey showed that in the hull construction, welding man-hours accounted for about 30%-40% of the total hull construction man-hours, and welding costs accounted for about 30%-50% of the total hull construction costs. Ship welding quality is an important indicator for evaluating shipbuilding quality, and welding production efficiency is one of the main factors affecting shipbuilding output and production costs. Therefore, the use of brand-new laser welding technology has unique technical advantages for shipbuilding enterprises in international competition.   Major large shipyards in Europe, America and Japan have adopted laser processing technology in large quantities. For example, the United States has widely used high-strength, low-alloy steel T-shaped members on the latest new ships built, and laser welding technology has greatly reduced the weight of the ship. In order to meet the needs of ocean flow, the hull plates are designed to have complex three-dimensional curvature shapes. The laser-assisted plate forming technology can replace the laborious, time-consuming, and dangerous mechanical heating forming process, and the application prospect is good. Shipbuilding companies such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan have installed high-power laser flat cutting systems. Meyer Werft in Germany also installed four 12KW CO2 lasers to weld ship stiffeners of different lengths.  In the early days, some shipyards in Japan used laser cutting equipment to obtain accurate cutting dimensions and good cutting quality, and benefited from it. In 1992, Vosper Thornycroft installed the first laser cutting equipment in a European shipyard. In the middle and late 1990s, European shipyards installed complete sets of equipment for welding and cutting. In the United States, Bender Shipyard is the first shipyard to use high-power laser cutting equipment. In 1999, Bender used a 6KW Tanaka LMX Ⅲ laser, which made great progress in manufacturing cost and quality. In 2001, the Federal Electric Boat Department installed a 4KW ESAB system in its mobile laboratory. The application of laser cutting equipment in Bender has attracted attention to the development of high-efficiency laser welding technology. At present, the world's industrial fields are developing towards low energy consumption and short processes. Laser manufacturing has many advantages that traditional manufacturing methods cannot match. Countries around the world have increased their emphasis on the development of manufacturing. However, compared with foreign countries, my country's laser technology has not been applied and promoted, and it has not yet played its due role. The reason is firstly the high cost and high investment of the laser manufacturing system; in order to popularize the application of laser manufacturing technology more widely and make up for the problem of high investment, it is necessary to fully understand the key factors affecting the application of laser manufacturing technology and consider comprehensively Factors such as the needs of ships and the input of laser processing systems, control costs, find the best processing conditions, and methods to improve processing efficiency, and finally form a new generation of laser manufacturing industry chain in my country.  Modern laser manufacturing is a general processing method. One of its frontier areas is the expansion of application fields. Laser manufacturing application technology proposes and solves new problems. Focus on the development trend of light-weight transportation machinery such as automobiles, aerospace vehicles, ships and railway vehicles, metallurgical industry and circular economy, and realize the industrial application of laser manufacturing technology in national defense and key industries. At the same time, new requirements are put forward for laser manufacturing system technology, such as laser miniaturization, high conversion efficiency, and integration. Fiber lasers and semiconductor lasers will be vigorously developed. Promote the development of my country’s laser manufacturing technology toward higher efficiency, lower energy consumption, shorter processes, higher beam quality, better performance, digitalization, higher intelligence, and lower costs, and change my country’s large industrial laser manufacturing The status quo that the equipment is totally dependent on imports.  The application of laser technology in shipbuilding has its uniqueness, which is closely related to the processing and application characteristics of the ship itself and the characteristics of the laser manufacturing system. At present, aluminum alloy materials have gradually become a key material for the manufacture of transportation machinery. The all-aluminum structure ship has shown good development prospects, and with advanced laser manufacturing technology, it has demonstrated unlimited development potential. (The above has been edited and organized by the metal laser cutting machine, see www.gnlaser.com for details)
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