Design and optimization of a novel on-torch fume extraction device using CFD and fluid simulation
This paper describes an investigation of the flow field created by the Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) process using numerical and physical modelling. The aim was to model the dispersion of fume in the immediate vicinity of the welding nozzle and to optimize the design of a novel on-torch fume extraction system. The numerical modelling was carried out using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and the physical modelling used a combination of the saline solution scale modelling technique and the LIF (Light-Induced Fluorescence) visualization technique. Important details of the structure of GMAW-induced flows were discovered and used to develop a novel on-torch welding fume extraction system, which has been patented. Prototypes were fabricated and tested in full scale welding experiments to validate the design concept and gravimetric results are presented here to demonstrate the quantitative fume extraction efficiency of the full-scale device.