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Weld-bead profilometer

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #5264678.

An optoelectronic sensor for measuring the profile of a weld seam or weld bead along a line perpendicular to the seam or bead. The sensor illuminates a workpiece with a pulsed and shaped laser beam which is flattened in one dimension and fan shaped in a second dimension. An image of the workpiece is transmitted optically to a CCD camera the electronic shutter of which is synchronized with the pulses of the illuminating laser beam. A signal providing data relating to the profile of the workpiece is transmitted by the CCD camera to an automated welding device for response to the data. The sensor is intended to be a part of a highly automated welding system, in which it will be used in automatic tracking of the seam or automatic profiling of the weld bead for immediate evaluation and assurance of quality during the welding process. The sensor is also used as a quality control tool in reviewing the profile of a weld after it has been formed. The device includes structure for deflecting welding contaminants away from its exposed optical windows.

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