Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Yuming Zhang


Weld joint penetration determination is the key factor in welding process control area. Not only has it directly affected the weld joint mechanical properties, like fatigue for example. It also requires much of human intelligence, which either complex modeling or rich of welding experience. Therefore, weld penetration status identification has become the obstacle for intelligent welding system. In this dissertation, an innovative method has been proposed to detect the weld joint penetration status using machine-learning algorithms.

A GTAW welding system is firstly built. Project a dot-structured laser pattern onto the weld pool surface during welding process, the reflected laser pattern is captured which contains all the information about the penetration status. An experienced welder is able to determine weld penetration status just based on the reflected laser pattern. However, it is difficult to characterize the images to extract key information that used to determine penetration status. To overcome the challenges in finding right features and accurately processing images to extract key features using conventional machine vision algorithms, we propose using convolutional neural network (CNN) to automatically extract key features and determine penetration status.

Data-label pairs are needed to train a CNN. Therefore, an image acquiring system is designed to collect reflected laser pattern and the image of work-piece backside. Data augmentation is performed to enlarge the training data size, which resulting in 270,000 training data, 45,000 validation data and 45,000 test data. A six-layer convolutional neural network (CNN) has been designed and trained using a revised mini-batch gradient descent optimizer. Final test accuracy is 90.7% and using a voting mechanism based on three consequent images further improve the prediction accuracy.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)