The VPL® Fiber Laser System - an Innovation in the Welding Technology for Pipeline Construction
Proceedings Publication Date
Eginhard Vietz
E. Vietz, H. Kohn, C. Thomy, F. Vollertsen
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Pipeline girth welding under field conditions always faced severe demands considering quality and cost. To cope with these demands, various welding techniques have been developed in the past. However, all of these technologies have certain drawbacks. For example, all manual welding techniques face cost problems in countries with high wage levels and the weld quality strongly depends on the individual training and performance of the welder.  A completely new welding process and system overcoming most of the drawbacks associated with conventional pipe laying techniques for land as well as off-shore pipelines might be laser welding. Although there have been some efforts to apply lasers to girth welding, previous laser sources have proved to be incapable of enduring the rough field conditions ranging from e.g. -50 °C in Alaska to +40 °C and even more in the Arab countries. Only the newly-developed fiber laser is potentially fit for such an application. In this paper, results of studies to prepare the application of fiber lasers to pipeline girth welding with the VPL fiber laser system will be discussed.

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