Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals

, Volume 65, Issue 5, pp 459–466 | Cite as

A New Model for Keyhole Mode Laser Welding Using FLUENT

  • Sankhya Mohanty
  • Chandan Kumar Laldas
  • Gour Gopal RoyEmail author
Technical Paper


Evolution of the free surface at gas–liquid interface during keyhole mode welding is complex and its calculation is computationally expensive. Similarly, models based on only heat conduction without considering vapour cavity and liquid convection around it, are computationally efficient but are not effective in defining the weld pool shape especially for low conducting material like steel. In the present study a useful yet computationally efficient model has been presented for keyhole mode laser welding using commercial software FLUENT. Here instead of evolving the free surface of keyhole in a rigorous way, various possible steady keyhole shapes are assumed partially based on literature evidence and subsequently their dimensions are calculated by an overall heat balance. The estimated keyhole profile is then mapped into the thermo-fluid framework of FLUENT and steady computational fluid dynamics calculations is carried out around the keyhole that is considered rigid wall at boiling temperature. Next, an optimized keyhole shape is identified by comparing the predicted fusion lines with the experimental weld fusion lines reported in literature. Finally, using this optimized keyhole shape independent predictions are made for two materials of widely different thermal conductivities, like steel and aluminum, under different operating conditions. In all cases the results of the present simulation is found to in close agreement with experimental data and even better than the model predictions reported in literature. The present model emerges as a simple yet effective model for predicting the weld bead profile encompassing wide range of materials under different operating conditions.


Mathematical modeling Keyhole mode welding CFD FLUENT Keyhole shape 

List of Symbols


Absorption coefficient


Number of reflections the beam undergoes inside the keyhole


Power of the laser beam


Stefan–Boltzmann constant


Emissivity of the material


Depth of the keyhole


Welding speed


Boiling temperature of material


Radius of beam


Density of solid material at ambient temperature


Density of liquid material


Latent heat of fusion


Latent heat of vaporisation


Liquidus temperature of material


Ambient temperature/initial temperature


Specific heat of solid material


Specific heat of liquid material


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Copyright information

© Indian Institute of Metals 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sankhya Mohanty
    • 1
  • Chandan Kumar Laldas
    • 1
  • Gour Gopal Roy
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Metallurgical & Materials EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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