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See detailPOST-PROCESS AND IN-PROCESS ANALYSIS METHODS FOR LASER WELDING OF ALUMINUM-COPPER
Schmalen, Pascal Guy UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

Copper is well-known for excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance, whereas aluminium is known for low density and great formability. The laser joining of Al and Cu combines those properties, e.g ... [more ▼]

Copper is well-known for excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance, whereas aluminium is known for low density and great formability. The laser joining of Al and Cu combines those properties, e.g. in manufacturing of solar absorbers and wiring harnesses. Furthermore, the joining of Al and Cu is an enabler of new products, e.g. the manufacturing of battery modules, where a reliable joining process for numerous Al-Cu connections, the tabs of the Li-ion batteries, is needed. The joining of Al and Cu is considered as complex due to the formation of intermetallic compounds inside the joint, which are causing a brittle joint with increased resistance. The focus of this work is the improvement and extension of the laser welding process of Al and Cu. It was found that the determination of suitable process parameters is one of the major restrictions in the application of the process. Hence, this work deals with the analysis of methods to determine process parameters, which was performed in three main parts: o The comprehensive process understanding is one essential part to improve the joint quality. The formation of the intermetallics inside the joint is a process, which takes place in a short time frame of a few μs and a scale of few hundreds of μm. Metallographic studies were performed to gain insights into the local formation of specific intermetallic compounds. Furthermore, intensive research on etchants was combined with the information gained from a micro-XRD analysis in order to identify and localize the most critical phases. o The post–process quality measurements are the essential part to quantify and evaluate the properties of the joint and thus to adapt process parameters. Yet, the quality measurements are varying in recent literature. In this work, the mechanical, electrical and optical methods were combined with hardness measurements and metallographic studies. The methods were enhanced and it was found that especially electrical methods have a great potential to assist the determination of process parameters. o In-process analysis methods were studied to identify the potential of process monitoring of Al-Cu weld seams. It was found that the optical analysis of the vapour plume, which is formed during the keyhole welding, can be used to estimate the joint quality. Chromatic filters were used to analyse specific process radiation of Al and Cu, which contains information about the current intermixture of the joint. The investigations were carried out with a spectroscope. Concluding, it will be shown that the present work assists the choice of suitable process parameters, and thus supports the future implementation of laser technology to join Al and Cu. [less ▲]

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