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Proceedings Paper

Development of a double beam process for joining aluminum and steel
Author(s): Sascha Frank
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Paper Abstract

Multi-material structures pose an attractive option for overcoming some of the central challenges in lightweight design. An exceptionally high potential for creating cost-effective lightweight solutions is attributed to the combination of steel and aluminum. However, these materials are also particularly difficult to join due to their tendency to form intermetallic compounds (IMCs). The growth of these compounds is facilitated by high temperatures and long process times. Due to their high brittleness, IMCs can severely weaken a joint. Thus, it is only possible to create durable steel-aluminum joints when the formation of IMCs can be limited to a non-critical level. To meet this goal, a new joining method has been designed. The method is based on the combination of a continuous wave (pw) and a pulsed laser (pw) source. Laser beams from both sources are superimposed in a common process zone. This makes it possible to apply the advantages of laser brazing to mixed-metal joints without requiring the use of chemical fluxes. The double beam technology was first tested in bead-on-plate experiments using different filler wire materials. Based on the results of these tests, a process for joining steel and aluminum in a double-flanged configuration is now being developed. The double flanged seams are joined using zinc- or aluminum-based filler wires. Microsections of selected seams show that it is possible to achieve good base material wetting while limiting the growth of IMCs to acceptable measures. In addition, the results of tensile tests show that high joint strengths can be achieved.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 February 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8963, High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Lasers, Beam Delivery, Diagnostics, and Applications III, 896304 (20 February 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2035817
Show Author Affiliations
Sascha Frank, Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8963:
High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Lasers, Beam Delivery, Diagnostics, and Applications III
Friedhelm Dorsch, Editor(s)

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