Felix Abt of the University of Stuttgart is one of the designers of a camera that can see through melting metal. The video above shows X-ray footage at 5,000fps of a 4-kilowatt laser welding solid aluminum in visible light. The camera costed them $670,000 to put together.
“With visible light, we could only see the surface of the welding process. You couldn’t see what was happening inside,” said Abt. “The only way to see pores that weaken weld seams was to cut the metal into pieces.” Felix Abt and Rudolph Weber used an industrial-strength 4-kilowatt laser, which is about 400,000 times more powerful than a DVD drive’s beam. When the laser went through the metal, a cathode fired X-rays through the weld and toward a high-speed video camera.