Laser welding pipeline steel: How it got started

Thirty years ago, the challenge of laser welding pipeline steel was an intense effort by a small team of individuals in Edmonton, AB, Canada that resulted in the construction of the world’s most powerful non-military laser. This was part of a project to design and build a laser welding machine for use on the pipeline projected to be built from the north shore of Alaska to the continental US.

A new book by Dr. Vivian Merchant, who was one of the team building the laser system and undertaking the welding development, has been published. Merchant, who is also a contributor to ILS, has firsthand knowledge and knows how to express complex phenomenon in a language that ordinary people can understand. He applies this ability in writing about the various components of a high-power laser system, the constituent parts that make the laser work.

Readers of the book, Majestic Laser Systems  a History, will gain an understanding of how high-power lasers are built and the applications for which they can be used. An appendix describes where similar high-power lasers are used around the world, while the book itself describes the growth of the laser technology from developments at the University of Alberta, the construction of the high-power laser,  laser welding trials with the laser, and the search for alternate usages when it was apparent the pipeline projects were not going ahead.

The book is available on Amazon.

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