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Joining of thin strips

Karl Fahlström, Niklas Malmberg

Abstract

Demands for thinner materials imply new challenges on the welding methods to be used. Conventional welding methods are often not optimized or even suitable for welding in thin gauges. This area of welding is often denoted “micro welding” even though the considered size range includes dimensions from 1 mm down to some μm.

This report maps some of the useful methods for joining thin materials. Identified methods are described and common problems in joining thin gauges are presented.

Laser welding is commonly applied but also other welding methods such as CMT advanced, micro gas tungsten arc, micro plasma-, micro ultrasonic- and micro friction stir welding are available.

When scaling the welding process to such small dimensions as in micro welding, new problems occur that do not exist in conventional welding in the same matter, such as clamping and fixturing, melt flow effects and distortions.

The material behavior during micro welding is different compared to ordinary welding. The geometry of the weld might be substantial different and also the thermal cycle is faster. The rapid thermal cycle may induce material related difficulties, one example being welding of stainless steels where a correct phase composition can be hard to achieve. Other problems that are accentuated include heavy distortions and increased risk for solidification cracking.

A typical application for micro joining is battery conductor tabs. Formation of brittle phases in the joint interface between copper and aluminium gives high electrical resistance over the joint and must hence be avoided. The brittle phases usually contribute to lowered electrical conduction over the joint. Trials were performed with laser welding using power modulation. The results are promising but needs further optimization.

Limited trials have also been performed with GMAW and plasma welding for 0.3mm stainless steel sheets. The trials confirmed that proper fixturing is often the main issue for welding of thin gauges.

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Senast ändrad av: Peter Hjertsson
26 mars 2015

 


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