SEOUL – South Korean researchers have developed a new method of hybrid laser welding that can significantly reduce the manufacturing time of high manganese steel fuel tanks for liquefied natural gas carriers. The new method combines laser light and an electric arc in an amalgamated welding process.
The state-run Korea Machinery and Materials Institute (KIMM) said its research team had partnered with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), a major national shipbuilder, to develop a new welding technology likely to increase the competitiveness of South Korean shipbuilding. industry.
Mangalloy, also known as manganese steel, is an alloy steel known for its high impact strength and abrasion resistance. High manganese steel is gaining attention as a next generation storage tank material because it has similar strength and toughness to stainless steel.
“As we have taken the first step in developing the world’s first commercial hybrid laser arc welding technology, we will go a long way to improve the competitiveness of our environmentally friendly vessel technology,” Lee Kwang- hyun, a researcher at Busan Machinery Research Center, a research division of KIMM, said in a statement on July 22.
The new welding technology can reduce production time while welding more robustly than conventional methods, KIMM said. Arc welding produces too shallow and too wide a weld depth and produces a large amount of welding fume, while laser welding ensures quick and easy work. Because the combination of arc and laser beam welding prevents manganese deposition from occurring in the fabric of the welded part, it is advantageous to manufacture LNG tanks due to its stable cryogenic impact performance.
KIMM and DSME would conduct follow-up research to demonstrate the new welding method. South Korean shipyards have led the construction of LNG vessels amid growing demand for environmentally friendly vessels to cope with the global economic recovery and environmental regulations.
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