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EWF/IIW Diploma

Advanced Welding Processes and


Equipment
(Advanced Processes)

Training and Examination Services


Granta Park, Great Abington
Cambridge CB21 6AL
United Kingdom
Copyright TWI Ltd
EWF/IIW Diploma -
Advanced Welding Processes and Equipment
(Advanced Processes)

Contents
Section Subject

Pre-Training Briefing
1 Resistance Welding
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Process variants
1.3 How resistance welding works
1.4 Weldable materials
1.5 Equipment
1.6 Power supplies
1.7 Resistance welding electrodes
1.8 Electrode force
1.9 Time sequence
1.10 Welding current
1.11 Weld quality requirements
1.12 Weld quality monitoring and control
1.13 Safety aspects of resistance welding
Appendix 1 Resistance Welding
Appendix 2 Resistance Welding
2 Brazing and Soldering
2.1 Definition of brazing
2.2 Joint design
2.3 Health and safety
3 Composites and ceramics
3.1 What is a composite?
3.2 Manufacture with composites
3.3 Classification of reinforcing agents
3.4 Fibrous composites
3.5 Laminar composites
3.6 Particulate composites
3.7 Matrix materials
3.8 Ceramic matrices
3.9 Glass matrices
3.10 Metal matrices
3.11 Polymer matrices
3.12 Ceramics
3.13 Ceramic joining
3.14 Ceramic-metal joining
3.15 Design issues
3.16 Designing for glasses and ceramics
3.17 Joint design for ceramic-to-metal joints
3.18 Use of interlayers

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Contents Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
4 Basics of Laser Welding
4.1 Basic principles
4.2 Laser design, operation, equipment, consumables
4.3 Advantages and disadvantages of laser welding
4.4 Common applications of industrial lasers
4.5 Important parameters for laser welding
4.6 Laser welding defects and their avoidance
4.7 Laser health and safety
5 Polymers and Polymer Welding
5.1 Introduction to polymers
5.2 Copolymers
5.3 Glass transition temperature - Tg
5.4 Processing of Polymers
5.5 Welding techniques for polymers
5.6 Welding techniques where heat is generated by mechanical movement
5.7 Techniques that directly employ electromagnetism
5.8 Techniques that employ an external heat source
6 Fully Mechanised Processes and Robotics
6.1 Description
6.2 Benefits
6.3 Mechanised Welding
6.4 Orbital welding heads
6.5 Tube-to-tubesheet welding heads
6.6 Narrow gap welding
6.7 Equipment
6.8 Preparation of grooves
6.9 Applications for NG-TIG
6.10 Power sources for mechanised welding
6.11 Capital investment
6.12 Robot welding
6.13 Off-line programming of industrial robots
7 Friction Processes
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Rotary friction welding
7.3 Linear friction welding
7.4 LFW application
7.5 LFW benefits
7.6 Friction stir welding
7.7 FSW advantages, limitations and materials
7.8 Microstructure classification of friction stir welds in aluminium alloys
7.9 FSW joint geometries
7.10 FSW applications
8 Explosive Welding
8.1 Introduction
8.2 The fundamentals of the explosive welding process
8.3 Characteristics of the weld
8.4 Facilities and equipment required
8.5 Explosive materials
8.6 Metal combinations that can be explosively welded
8.7 The practical application of explosive welding
8.8 Applications of explosive welding
8.9 Explosive weld quality and testing
8.10 Summary
8.11 E Vacuum systems

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Contents Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
9 Electron Beam Welding
9.1 Vacuum systems
9.2 Rotary pump
9.3 High voltage and gun systems
9.4 Welding parameters
9.5 Electron beam welding materials
9.6 Welding - joint design
9.7 Defects associated with EB welding
9.8 X-ray safety
9.9 EB welding standards
10 Wire Bonding (Practical)
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Basic principles
10.3 Materials
10.4 Bonding parameters
10.5 Joint preparation
10.6 Conclusions
Practice Questions

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Contents Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Section 1
Resistance Welding
1 Resistance Welding
Introduction
Resistance welding comprises a group of welding processes which involve the
joining of two or more metal parts in a localised area by the application of heat
and pressure. The heat is generated by the resistance to the passage of a high
current through the metal parts held under a pre-set pressure. Copper or
copper alloy electrodes are normally used to apply pressure and convey the
electrical current through the workpieces.

Like the other fusion welding methods, it is a metallurgical process and it is


often possible to achieve a refined metal grain structure using a combination of
the fast heating/cooling rates associated with the process. As a result the weld
physical properties are in most cases equal to those of the parent material.

Resistance welding is one of the oldest established welding processes and offers
a number of advantages over other techniques, including:

Flexibility of applications.
Reliability.
High speed.
Low skill levels required.
Readily automated.
Low distortion.

The nature of the process means that it has several disadvantages compared
with other fusion welding processes:

Joint configurations limited for some process variants.


Access normally required both sides of joint.
Only single point welds are possible from some process variants.
Some material limitations.
Aluminium alloys more difficult to weld.

The process can be used on very thin or thick sections, covered by a number of
process variants identified by ISO 4063:2009. This establishes nomenclature for
welding and allied processes, with each process identified by a reference
number:

Main groups of processes (one digit).


Groups and sub-groups (two and three digits).

This identification method is used in drawings, drafting of working papers, weld


procedure specifications, etc. The resistance welding process variants described
are:

2 Resistance welding (RW).


21 Resistance spot welding (RSW).
22 Resistance seam welding.
23 Projection welding.
24 Flash welding.
25 Resistance butt welding (upset welding US).
26 Resistance stud welding.
27 HF resistance welding.
29 Other resistance processes.

Figure 1.1 shows the resistance welding processes and how they relate in terms
of joint type. In lap joints the electrodes both conduct the welding current

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Resistance Welding 1-1 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
whilst applying the welding force. Aside from sheets, this can apply to any
workpiece where there is an overlap; including plates, rods or bars - where the
weld is not made end-to-end or edge-to-edge.

Butt joining takes place on the ends of bars or the edges of sheet or plates. The
electrodes introduce the current and are capable of transmitting the upset force
through the gripping action of separate clamp jaws or auxiliary clamping/back-
up members.

Resistance welding

Lap joints Butt joints

Spot welding Flash welding


Seam welding Resistance butt welding
Projection welding HF resistance welding
Resistance stud-welding

Figure 1.1 Resistance welding processes.

Aside from joint type the various processes differ in the material and
thicknesses that may be welded, design and output of the equipment required
and their resulting applications within manufacturing sectors. The most common
resistance welding process is spot welding for joining sheet materials, where a
melted zone is produced at the sheet interface. However, in many cases of
projection welding and particularly resistance butt and flash welding, a forge
weld is produced without melting. The plastic deformation of the heated parts in
contact produces a bond similar to the blacksmith's weld. These will be
described in more detail below.

1.1 Process variants


1.1.1 Resistance spot welding (RSW)
Spot welding is the most widely used example of resistance welding in lap
joints. The heat is generated within the material being joined by the resistance
to the passage of a high current through the metal parts, which are held under
a pre-set pressure. The process is used for joining sheet materials, typically in
0.5-3mm thickness range (although plates up to 6mm thickness can be joined).
It uses shaped copper alloy electrodes to apply pressure and convey the
electrical current through the workpieces. Heat is developed mainly at the
interface between two sheets, eventually causing the material being welded to
melt, subsequently forming a weld nugget (Figure 1.2). The molten pool is
contained by the pressure applied by the electrode tip and the surrounding solid
metal.

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Figure 1.2 Resistance spot weld cross-section.

The principal use of RSW is in joining overlapping sheet metal where gas/liquid-
tight joints are not required. It offers a number of advantages over other
processes, such as reliability, high speed, low skill level, ease of automation and
energy efficiency. Applications include:

Automotive bodies (body-in-white).


Appliances (white goods).
Enclosures.
Furniture.

1.1.2 Resistance seam welding


The seam welding process involves making a number of spot welds to form a
continuous leak tight joint by means of rotating copper alloy wheel electrodes.
The electrodes are not opened between spots and the electrode wheels apply a
constant force to the workpieces and rotate at a controlled speed. The general
principles of seam welding are illustrated in Figure 1.3.

The wheel profile may be altered depending on the application eg radius or


narrow wheel for to reduce electrode contamination. The welding current is
either pulsed to give a series of discrete (overlapping) spots (Figure 1.4), or
continuous for high speed applications.

Figure 1.3 Seam welding variants - Figure 1.4 Seam welding variants

Conventional wide wheel lap seam Variants - narrow wheel seam and
welding (221); wire seam welding (222).

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Figure 1.5 Seam weld cross-section.

BS EN 16433 covers procedures and provides recommendations for seam


welding uncoated and coated low carbon steels. The process can be applied
manually or can be fully automated and includes a number of process variants:

Mash seam welding (222)


A narrow overlap of sheet edges, which are crushed together during
welding.
Prep-lap seam welding (223)
Shearing part of the ends off two pieces of steel and then overlapping the
ends slightly before welding them together and then planishing the resulting
join.
Wire seam welding (224)
Shaped, consumable copper wire is fed between the wheels and sheets to
be joined to give consistent clean contact.
Foil butt-seam welding (225)
Welding foil on to each side of butted edges of the sheets to be joined
allowing improved corrosion resistance (stainless steel foil) and/or virtually
flush finish.

Seam welding is capable of producing high speed welds (up to 100m/min)


with consistent joint strength and appearance, but can be limited by
component shape and wheel access. Applications are primarily centred on
creating gas and liquid-tight welds in ferrous and non-ferrous components
which include:

Domestic radiators.
Fuel tanks.
Tin cans.
Drums.
Other sealed containers.

1.1.3 Projection welding


Projection welding is a development of resistance spot welding. In spot welding,
the size and position of the welds are determined by the size of the electrode
tip and the contact point on the workpieces, whereas in projection welding the
size and position of the weld or welds are determined by the design of the
component to be welded.

Large flat electrodes are used to apply the force and current, which are
concentrated in a small contact area. This may occur naturally, as in cross wire
welding or is deliberately introduced by machining or forming projections on to
one or both workpieces. An embossed dimple is used for sheet joining and a V
projection or angle can be machined in a solid component to achieve an initial
line contact with the component to which it is to be welded, see Figure 1.5.
Embossed projection welds form melted nuggets similar to spot welding but
most other types of projection give a solid phase, forge weld.

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The advantages of projection welding include its versatility, the speed and
ability to automate, the ability to make a number of welds simultaneously and
minimisation of marking on one side of joints in sheet materials.

a b c

Figure 1.6 Examples of projection welds;

a Embossed projection.
b Stud-to-plate.
c Annular projection.

Capacitor discharge supplies used with machined annular projections can


compete with power beam welding, as the weld is completed in a single shot
within milliseconds. The process is well established and is applicable mainly to
low carbon or micro-alloyed steels.

Its applications are limited only by ingenuity of designer; where punched,


stamped or formed parts are assembled with embossments formed during
stamping operation. Projection welding is a key within automotive and white
goods industries. Examples include:

Natural projections: Crossed wires for wire fences, grilles, gratings and
trays.
Embossed projections: Sheet brackets/attachments.
Formed projections: Nuts, studs or other threaded components.
Machined annular projections for bosses.

Figure 1.7 Examples of projection welded components.

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1.1.4 Flash (butt) welding
Flash welding is particularly suitable for butt welding complex or larger sections.
More efficient energy input and a more localised and evenly heated zone can be
achieved, compared with resistance butt welding.

In flash welding, the components are clamped between dies and brought
together slowly with the current switched on, see Figure 1.8. Current flows
through successive points of contact which heat rapidly melt and blow out of
the joint giving the characteristic flashing action.

Figure 1.8 Flash welding machine.

After a pre-set material loss has occurred, sufficient to heat the material behind
the interface to its plastic state, the components are forged together to expel
melted material and contaminants. This completes a solid phase forge weld.
The joint is then allowed to cool slightly under pressure, before the clamps are
opened to release the welded component. The weld upset may be left in place
or removed, by shearing while still hot or by grinding, depending on the
requirements.

Flash welding is ideally suited to producing butt welds in large or complex


sections. Weld time is relatively short, from a few seconds for the thinnest
sections to a few minutes for the largest.

This process is used to produce butt joints between parts with similar cross-
sections in both ferrous and non-ferrous materials. Equipment is available to
join a range of material sizes and types, from thin steel strip around 0.8-
150mm diameter mooring chain. Nickel alloy and titanium aero-engine rings,
(see Figure 1.9) and aluminium alloy sections are also flash welded. Typical
products are heavier gauge applications in the automotive, rail and power
industries and include:

Automotive - wheel rims produced from flash welded rings formed from
cold-rolled steel stock.
Electrical - motor and generator frames and transformer cases from bar
stock rolled into cylindrical forms.
Aircraft industry - landing gear, control assemblies.
Petroleum industry drilling pipe-fittings joints.
Railroad - tracks of relatively high carbon steel.

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Figure 1.9 Flash welding of 1200mm diameter aero-engine ring.

1.1.5 Resistance butt welding


Also known as upset or pressure butt welding, resistance butt welding involves
joining two or more metal parts in a butt-joint configuration. The heat is
generated within the material being joined by resistance to the passage of a
high current through the metal parts, which are held under a pre-set pressure.

The faces of the pieces to be joined may be flat and parallel or profiled in the
case of larger sections. This reduces the initial contact area and further
concentrates the heating at the interface. The components are clamped in
opposing copper dies, with a small amount of stick-out and abutted under
pressure. Current is passed between the dies causing resistance heating of the
weld area. In this respect, it is similar to flash welding (Figure 1.9).

a b

Figure 1.10 a Comparison of: a upset b flash welding processes.

The heat generated during welding is highest at the joint interface. When the
material softens, it deforms under the applied load, giving a solid phase forge
weld. Unlike flash welding, no melting occurs. The current is terminated once a
pre-set upset length has occurred, or the duration of the current is pre-set. The
joint is then allowed to cool slightly under pressure, before the clamps are
opened to release the welded component. The weld upset may be left in place
or removed, by shearing while still hot or by grinding, depending on the
requirements.

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Resistance butt welding is a high speed, clean process and is preferred to flash
welding for many smaller components. The process is used predominantly to
produce butt joints in wires and rods up to about 16mm diameter, including
small diameter chain. Automated dc welding equipment is available for joining
wider strip, up to about 300mm wide for automobile road wheel rims, at rates
up to about 12 per minute. It has a limitation of 320-500mm2 for reasonable
strength welds. Applications include:

Chains.
Wire, rods and strips.
Smaller composite components.

1.1.6 Resistance stud welding


This is a variant of capacitor discharge (CD) stud welding, used for joining a
metal stud or similar part to a workpiece. In this process, the base (end) of the
stud is joined to the other work part by heating the interface. Figure 1.11
illustrates the principles of the process. The heat is derived from rapid
resistance heating and vaporisation of the stud weld base, produced by rapid
discharge of electrical energy stored in a bank of capacitors within the welding
equipment. Figure 1.12 illustrates the equipment, consumables and process.

a b c

Figure 1.11 Stages in the CD process:

a Capacitor charged, stud pip placed in contact with workpiece.

b Stored energy released, giving rapid resistance heating then melting of


pip/formation of an arc.

c Pressure from gun forces/forges stud into molten surface area on sheet.

Figure 1.12 shows a gun and stud consumables. The equipment consists of a
stud gun, a control unit (timing device), studs and an available source of dc
welding current. The stud is located into a chuck in the gun, prior to positioning
of the gun against the workpiece prior to welding. Depression of the trigger
starts the weld cycle.

Figure 1.12 Capacitor discharge welding gun, consumables and process.

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Welding cycle times are very short, with a weld cycle in the order of 3-6
milliseconds. As a result, heat input into the base metal is very small and weld
metal/heat affected zones are very narrow. This means low distortion and no
damage/subsequent cleaning of a pre-finished opposite side. The process is
mostly applied to thin materials for this reason and small studs can be welded
to sections as thin as 0.75mm. However, the low heat input can result in
hard/brittle microstructures when welding studs onto medium/high carbon
steels.

A range of materials can be welded as with the other resistance welding


processes; but the process also permits the welding of dissimilar metals and
alloys, including: steel to stainless steel, brass to steel, copper to steel and
aluminium to die-cast zinc.

Stud designs for CD stud welding range from standard shapes to complex
shapes for specialist applications. Usually, the weld base is round, but the
shank can be almost any shape or configuration. These include threaded, plain,
round, square, rectangular, tapered, grooved and bent configurations or flat
stampings.

1.1.7 High frequency (HF) welding


In this process, strip material is formed continuously into a tube in a special
mill. As the strip edges come together in a V, high frequency current is
introduced either by sliding contacts on the tube surface (HF contact) or an HF
induction (HFI) coil around the tube. Current is concentrated along the edges of
the V and provides sufficient local resistance heating of the edges that a weld is
formed when squeeze rolls close the tube (Figure 1.13). The weld is a solid
phase forge weld with any melted metal and contaminants being displaced into
a small upset or bead. This bead is normally scarfed from the tube while hot,
immediately after the squeeze rolls.

HF welding is most widely used in the manufacture of longitudinally welded


tubes and pipes. Applications include:
Exhaust pipes.
Fuel lines.
Hydro-formed tube.
Tailored blanks.

Figure 1.13 HF welding.

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1.2 How resistance welding works
To understand the nature of resistance welding and how it is accomplished, it is
best to consider the most common variant - the spot weld. Heat energy is
generated in the weld zone very rapidly, to limit any heat loss by conduction
into adjacent material. This requires a high rate of heat production, through the
application of high current for a short time interval. This is aided by generating
more heat in the weld zone, than in any other portion of the welding machine
circuit.

Heat energy is generated wherever an electrical current passes through


electrical resistance. The amount of heat generated depends on the current (I),
duration of the current (t) and resistance (R) and may be expressed as:

Heating = l2Rt.

Resistance heating - key points:


Heat energy is varied by adjusting current and weld time.
Current is the main controlling factor.
Resistance is a (fixed) material property for a given process consisting of:
- Volume resistance - internal resistance of material.
- Interface resistance is affected by surface coatings and condition,
electrode force and contact area.
Interfacial resistance should be greatest so that heat energy is generated at
the sheet interface surface(s), Figure 1.14.

Figure 1.14 Material and interface resistances before welding.

Thus the resistance in and around the weld area is a function of the size, shape
and material of the electrodes, the force applied and the resistivity and surface
condition of the material to be welded.

1.3 Weldable materials


It is possible to weld a wide selection of metals and combinations of metals by
resistance welding processes. This is partly related to the physical properties of
a given material, which include its resistivity. The resistivity of a range of
materials is given in table 1.1.

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Table 1.1 Material resistances.
Resistivity Resistance relative Conductivity
Material cm to pure copper %

Pure copper 1.7 1 100


Copper 1% 2.1 1.2 80
chromium
Low carbon steel 13.0 7.6 13
Zinc 6 3.6 28
Stainless steel 72 42 2.4

Pure aluminium 2.7 1.6 63


Aluminium alloys 3-6 1.8-3.6 28-56

Brass 6.4 3.8 26


Tungsten 5.4 3.2 31
Molybdenum 5.7 3.4 30
Nickel 6.9 4.1 25

Higher resistivity (lower conductivity) materials will tend to be more weldable,


due to the higher level of heat generated by a give weld current during the weld
cycle, in both the bulk of the material and at the faying surfaces. Conversely,
lower resistivity materials will require much higher currents. When attempting
to weld materials such as copper or silver, due to their high electrical and
thermal conductivity, the materials will readily weld to the electrodes
themselves.

When welding different material combinations, difficulties may be encountered


because of metallurgical incompatibility, welding temperature ranges, etc.
Another factor when considering weldability is the presence of any coatings. For
example, zinc coatings on sheet steels, added to provide corrosion resistance,
will alloy to copper electrodes, causing excess wear of the electrodes and a
degradation of weld properties.

Weldability of different materials


Low carbon and micro-alloyed steel
Readily weldable - but high hardness and embrittlement can occur with the
higher carbon or alloy content materials because of the extremely high quench
rates in most resistance welding processes.

Coated steels
Zinc, tin, terne (Pb/Sn), aluminium and alloy coatings can all be satisfactorily
welded although the electrode life is shorter than for uncoated steel due to
pick-up of the coating on the electrode.

Stainless and high alloyed steels


Austenitic stainless steels readily weldable. Embrittlement can occur in some
materials as a result of grain growth (high Cr ferritic steels) or hardening
(martensitic steels).

Nickel and nickel alloys


The high hot strength materials need higher electrode forces. Care must be
taken to control cracking.

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Aluminium and its alloys
High welding currents required the sheet surface condition dominates weld
formation, electrode contamination a major problem.

Copper and copper based alloys


High conductivity materials more difficult. Usually use tungsten or molybdenum
electrodes and often include a braze or solder material

Other weldable materials include titanium, lead and some refractory metals.
Some dissimilar combinations are possible if metallurgically compatible.

1.4 Equipment
BS 3065:2001 Resistance welding - Resistance welding equipment - Mechanical
and electrical requirements defines the elements of spot, projection and seam
welding equipment. A resistance spot welding machine is shown in Figure 1.15:

Air cylinder

Air controls

Upper arm (moveable) Transformer

Electrodes

Timer
Lower arm (fixed)

Tap switch

Secondary circuit

Foot switch

Figure 1.15 Pedestal spot welding machine.

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Frame structure
Provides mechanical rigidity of the machine and can be relatively large, as in
the case of a pedestal welder; or much smaller, as in the form of a portable
gun, handled by a robot or manually (Figures 1.16 and 1.17).

Figure 1.16 Pedestal welder. Figure 1.17 Manual weld gun.

Force application system


Usually comprises a controlled air supply to a cylinder but can be hydraulic or
spring application. The pneumatic control comprises a water trap and oiler (if
fitted), regulator and pressure gauge and solenoid valves. More recent welding
guns have electric servo-motor force systems.

Timer/controller
Controls the timed sequences for the welds, switches the welding current on
and off and provides fine current control.

Transformer
Reduces the medium voltage primary input (415V mains supply) to the low
voltage secondary (2-20 volts) used for welding (Figure 1.18). The turns ratio
of the transformer is the number of turns of the mains primary conductor
(usually between 20-200) divided by the number of turns of the heavy
secondary conductor (usually 1 or 2). This is the ratio by which the mains
voltage is stepped down and the mains current is stepped up.

eg turns ratio = 100:1


if mains voltage = 400V, then secondary voltage = 4V
if primary current = 100A, then welding current = 10,000A

Vp primary mains voltage


Ip primary current
Vs secondary welding voltage
Is welding current

Figure 1.18 Welding transformer.

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1.5 Power supplies
The welding current in a resistance welding machine is generally made available
via a transformer with various tappings and can be of the following types.
Typical waveforms are shown in Figures 1.19 a and b.

Single phase AC.


Inverter - medium frequency/DC (MFDC).
Secondary rectified DC.
Frequency converted DC.
Capacitor discharge.

Single phase AC
Simple transformer, with many standard sizes/configurations and lowest cost
type. Connected across two mains phases: high mains power demand for larger
machines. AC current produced at mains frequency (50Hz in Europe).

Figure 1.19a Single phase AC current waveform.

Figure 1.19b MFDC output.

Medium frequency/DC (MFDC) or Inverter


Primary current from all 3 phases is rectified to give approximately 600V DC
and then chopped to a medium frequency using transistors (typically 1000Hz at
600V). This current is then transformed using a lightweight integral welding
transformer and rectified on the secondary side to give DC welding current.
They are a higher cost option compared with traditional single phase AC.

These power supplies allow lightweight integral transformers to be used and are
primarily used to produce smaller robot welding guns. Power/inductive losses
are minimised on long reach machines. In addition, high speed feedback control
of welding current has allowed adaptive weld controllers to be developed, which
can give improvements on weld quality in production.

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1.6 Resistance welding electrodes
1.6.1 Materials
Resistance welding electrodes serve three main functions:

Conduct the welding current to the work.


Transmit the appropriate electrode pressure or force to the work.
Help dissipate heat from the weld zone.

The ideal electrode material for most applications would possess the
comprehensive strength of tool steel and the electrical conductivity of silver.
Since no such material exists and this has led to the development of a series of
materials designed to overcome the shortcomings of an affordable high
conductivity material - copper.

The electrode materials in general use are copper alloys developed to combine
high strength with a much higher softening temperature, while maintaining
reasonable conductivity. ISO 5182 describes the electrode materials for
electrodes. Table 1.2 gives details of the major alloys. The best choice of
electrode materials for a given application is one which has:

Sufficient conductivity to prevent overheating/alloying of the electrode face


to the workpiece.
Adequate strength to resist deformation/change during operation.

1.6.2 Electrodes and adaptors


Traditional, single-piece electrodes consist of an end which fits into a holder,
whilst the opposite end contacts the workpiece. A range of shapes are available
for different applications (Figure 1.20):

Figure 1.20 Commercial electrode shapes.

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Material Alloy type Nominal Softening Electrical Hardness Typical application areas
composition % temperature conductivity % min HV
Type group oC I.A.C.S.+




1A Hard drawn - high 99.9Cu 150 98 85 Aluminium alloys - limited use

Resistance Welding
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conductivity copper

- Silver/copper 1Ag/Cu Aluminium alloys - limited use

- Zirconium/copper 0.1Zr/Cu ~500 92* 120 Aluminium alloys, uncoated


and coated steels

offset or angled tips.


2/1 Chromium/copper 1Cr/Cu 500 78 120 Uncoated and coated steels

2/2 Chromium/ 1Cr/0.1Zr/Cu 525 75 120 Uncoated and coated steels


zirconium/copper
- Al2O3/copper ~1.1 925 83* 160* Coated steel, special

1-16
Al2O3/Cu application
3/1 Cobalt/beryllium/ 2.5Co/0.4Be/C 500 45 180 Stainless steels, heat resisting
copper u materials

3/2 Nickel/silicon/ 2.0Ni/0.7Si/Cu 500 32 200 Stainless steels, heat resisting


copper materials

11 B Copper/tungsten 75W/Cu 1000 30 220 Inserts for projection welding

Shape depends on component and access limitations.


or for miniature welds in high
13 Molybdenum 99.5Mo 1000 30 225-260* conductivity materials

14 Tungsten 99.5W 1000 30 440-460

+I.A.C.S - International Annealed Copper Standard


* = typical values
Table 1.2. Most widely used electrode materials (based on BS4577, ISO 5182 and commercial data).

Where possible use straight/centred forms and avoid angled electrodes.


Electrode alignment, wear and dressing are likely to be more difficult with

Copyright TWI Ltd 2014


1.6.3 Adaptors and electrode caps
Modern welders and weld guns utilise electrode adaptors, which have the same
variety of shapes illustrated in Figure 1.21. Instead of having a single piece
construction, a consumable electrode cap (often referred to as the electrode,
cap or tip) is fixed onto the end of the adaptor. The end part of electrodes tends
to degrade during repeated contact with the workpiece in during welding. At the
end of its usable life, only the cap needs to be replaced; reducing costs for high
production applications Female electrode caps are tapered to match standard
male adaptors and come in a variety of shapes and forms, as shown in Figure
1.21.

Figure 1.21 Electrode cap designs (BS EN ISO 5182:2009).

Truncated (type B) cone tip is normally recommended, but various other


shapes have been used successfully
Domed tips (type F) are easier to align but suffer more rapid wear and are
often used for manual weld guns.
Flat faced caps (type C) are also used to minimise indentation on the
workpiece, where panel marking is unacceptable.

The electrode tip diameter (the flat face which makes contact with the
workpiece) should approximate to 5t (t = sheet thickness of thinnest sheet, or
second thinnest for 3 thicknesses).

1.6.4 Water cooling


Electrode life is critically dependent on water cooling and all adaptors and
electrodes have an internal cooling passage to permit the passage of water to
the internal surface of the electrode cap.

The cooling tube should be cut at an angle and positioned close to the back face
of the electrode tip (Figure 1.22).

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Resistance Welding 1-17 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 1.22 Arrangement for electrode water cooling.

A minimum flow rate of 4 l/min is recommended for uncoated steels and higher
for coated steels and thicker sections. A water flow switch or indicator is
recommended. The temperature of the cooling water affects electrode life. A
maximum inlet temperature of 20oC and a maximum outlet temperature of
30oC are recommended.

1.6.5 Electrode dressing


Weld quality relies on correct weld pressure, which in turn relies on a consistent
tip face diameter. Degradation/wear of electrode caps during welding will tend
to increase the tip face diameter. Rather than repeatedly replacing electrodes,
the tips can be regularly dressed to bring the tip profile to its original form.

Use a form tool or tip dresser to restore original tip profile.


Dressing removes material from the cone angle to restore the desired tip
diameter.
Air or electrically operated tip dressers are available for either manual or
automatic application.
Range of available cutter types for different profiles.
Control force and cutting time during tip dress cycle (typical example, 1kN
cutting force, 1s cutting time).

1.7 Electrode force


Each material will have its own optimum electrode force, depending on the
electrode tip size used for a particular sheet thickness. The range of electrode
forces for spot welding uncoated and coated low carbon steels is given in BS
1140.

The electrode force required for low carbon steel is normally 1.4-2.0kN per mm of
the single sheet thickness.
Electrode force (N) = electrode tip pressure (N/mm2) x tip contact area (mm2).

(Note: 1kg force is approximately 10 Newtons (N) or 1 deca Newton (daN)).

The electrode tip pressures for these and other materials are summarised in
table 1.3.

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Resistance Welding 1-18 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Table 1.3 Electrode force settings for a range of materials.
Material type Multiplying Welding pressure Electrode force, kN per
factor range, N/mm2 mm of single sheet
thickness
Uncoated low carbon 1 70-100 1.4-2.0
steel

Coated low carbon 1.2-1.5 100-160 2.0-3.2


steel

High strength low alloy 1.2-1.5 100-160 2.0-3.2


steels

Aluminium alloys 1-1.5 70-160 1.4-3.2

Stainless steels 2 140-250 2.8-5.0

High nickel alloys (heat 3 200-400 4.0-8.0


resisting)

5mm diameter electrode tip. 7mm diameter electrode tip.

20mm2 contact area. 40mm2 contact area.

Force = 20mm2 x 70N/mm2 = 1.4kN. Force = 40mm2 x 70N/mm2 =


2.8kN.

Figure 1.23 Example of the effect of tip diameter on area of contact and
electrode force required.

Points to note:
True electrode force should be verified using a load cell or force meter.
Adequate squeeze time should be allowed to ensure the set electrode force
is achieved prior to current flow, see Figure 1.24.
Extra electrode force may need to be applied to compensate for poor part
fit-up.
Where possible, the rate of electrode approach should be controlled
sufficiently to avoid hammering of the electrodes as this adversely affects
electrode life.
Avoid welding on large machines with low air pressure, where the follow-up
characteristics of the welding head may be adversely affected.

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Resistance Welding 1-19 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 1.24 Influence of squeeze time Influence of squeeze time
setting: setting:

Squeeze time too short. Squeeze time correct.

1.8 Time sequence


Two units of measurement of the weld cycle normally used are milliseconds
(ms) or cycles, where:

1 cycle = 1/50sec or 20msec (10cycles = 0.2sec).

A weld cycle corresponds to a single cycle of current in UK mains AC.

Note: It will correspond to 1/60sec for US resistance welding.

There are five time periods that are set on the timer controller for spot, seam
and projection welding (Figure 1.25):

Figure 1.25 Time and pressure diagram for spot welding showing two current
pulses.

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Resistance Welding 1-20 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Squeeze time
Time set to ensure the set welding force is achieved before current flow. Some
timers are equipped with a pre-squeeze time setting.

Weld time
Time for which the welding current is switched on. When spot welding steels, a
weld time of 10 cycles/mm of the single sheet thickness is a reasonable starting
point.

Hold time (forge)


Time the electrodes are held together under pressure after the weld time. 5-10
cycles are normally adequate for thin materials.

Cool time
Current off time between successive current pulses in pulsation or seam
welding.

Off time
Time used for repeat welding such as stitch welding. The time between the end
of the hold time on one weld and the start of the squeeze time on the next,
during which the electrodes are re-positioned.

When using pulsed welding, the weld times may be set independently or the
weld and cool times alternate for the set number of pulses.

1.9 Welding current


In traditional AC welding machines, control of welding current is achieved by
transformer tappings and by the percentage heat control (phase shift control).
The transformer tapping alters the turns ratio of the transformer by giving a
different voltage to the transformer and therefore a variation in welding
current.

The percentage heat control (phase shift control) delays the firing of the
electronic switching which reduces the amplitude of the welding current. The
effect of tap and heat setting changes is shown in Figure 1.26.

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Resistance Welding 1-21 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 1.26 Control of welding current in single phase ac by tap change and
phase shift control.

The RMS (root mean square) current is the equivalent DC current for an
alternating waveform and is the value normally indicated on a current meter.

Welding current is affected by variation of mains voltage or changes in the


resistance or inductance of the secondary circuit (eg wear in jumper cables or
flexibles). Timers often have a means of feedback control of current to maintain
a constant value, if the measured current falls compared to the present value,
the phase shift control is automatically adjusted to correct the deviation.

1.10 Weld quality requirements


The weld quality requirements are normally specified for a component, either
based on a standard such as BS EN 1140 or the appropriate application
standard. Under some circumstances, the standard requirements are modified
to satisfy fitness for purpose. Figure 1.27 illustrates the main features used to
define spot weld quality.

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Resistance Welding 1-22 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 1.27 Spot weld features.

The following factors are normally considered to describe spot welding quality:

Weld size
Nominal weld diameter is 5t where t = sheet thickness, mm. The minimum
acceptable diameter is normally 70-80% of this value.

Weld strength
Shear strength may be specified and the requirements usually relate to the
normal weld sizes. Tension or peel strengths are lower than shear and would be
more sensitive to weld hardening.

Appearance
Excessive indentation, surface splash (weld spurs), edge damage and surface
burning or cracking are usually limited.

Metallographic
Nugget penetration, weld hardness, internal cracking and porosity may have
specified limits.

Special requirements
Impact, fatigue or torsion properties may be required of a weld or component
and special requirements and test methods will be specified.

1.11 Weld quality monitoring and control


The control of the weld quality is achieved by attention to the following factors:

Monitoring and control of materials and pre-weld operations.


Welding process monitoring and control.
In-process weld quality monitoring.
Post-weld destructive and non-destructive testing.

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Resistance Welding 1-23 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Lack of control of material related factors and pre-weld operations will cause
loss of tolerance of the welding process. A compromise usually has to be made
as the component design and press work may not be ideal or tightly
controllable.

Welding process monitoring and control involves routine or continuous


monitoring of process variables, particularly current, time and force. A wide
range of commercial monitors are available and the basic requirement is a
current meter and a force measuring device with which to perform routine
checks of these parameters (Figure 1.28):

Figure 1.28 Welding toroid current meter and force meter.

Control of a constant welding current may be a feature of the weld timer and,
once set, current is maintained even under conditions of variable mains voltage
or circuit resistance.

In-process monitoring of weld quality depends on a feature of the growth of the


weld which can be monitored. The factors which are most suitable are weld
expansion and weld resistance change. These characteristics are shown in
Figure 1.29 for uncoated low carbon steel. Many commercial systems exist
which monitor the profile or the magnitude of the monitored parameter.
However, these must be proven for a given application to ensure that there is
sufficient correlation between monitor indication and actual weld quality and
that the uncertainty is low.

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Resistance Welding 1-24 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 1.29 Instrumentation traces for weld resistance and expansion.

A number of manufacturers, particularly within the automotive industry now use


adaptive control systems in production; mainly based on the measurement of
dynamic resistance. For each weld a given controller performs, the resistance
curve for an ideal weld is taught to the system. It subsequently compares
production weld traces with this curve and makes adjustments to weld current
and/or time to compensate for any deviations from this curve in order to
maintain weld quality (Figure 1.30).

Figure 1.30 Adaptive control system display (courtesy of Bosch Rexroth).

Periodic destructive tests or non-destructive testing (NDT), provide the normal


means of confirming weld quality. Such tests are detailed in BS EN 1140 and
ISO 10447. The sampling frequency depends on the component type, quality
required and production volume. Ideally, it should include at least:

At the start of each shift or daily work period.


Before and after electrode changes.
When machine services or settings have been changed.
When component or material supply source has changed.
At the end of the shift or daily work period.

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Resistance Welding 1-25 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
In the event of a failure a percentage of the previous production batch will be
tested.

Post-weld NDT of resistance welds was traditionally by chisel testing where the
area either side of a given weld was chiselled open to give an indication of the
presence of a nugget and to confirm that the weld held.

Ultrasonic testing of spot welds is a more robust process. It requires a special


purpose high frequency probe, with a water column retained by a plastic
membrane bubble, which is applied to the spot weld indentation, see Figure
1.31. Much training and skill is required to interpret the multiple reflections on
the flaw detector reliably, but the automotive manufacturers in particular have
achieved substantial reduction of destructive tests by using ultrasonics.

Figure 1.31 Ultrasonic testing of resistance spot welds.

* Ultrasound reflected from front face of sample.

Echo train 1, 2, 3, etc - ultrasound reflected after passage through nugget.

Echo train 1,2,3, etc - ultrasound reflected from unwelded sheet around
nugget.

1.12 Safety aspects of resistance welding


There are a number of potential hazards in resistance welding. Although the
machines are intrinsically safe, it is important to observe good welding practice,
provide adequate training and adopt the appropriate safety measures.
Reference should be made to the appropriate Health and Safety Regulations
and guidelines. (eg health and safety executive information document HSE
668/23 - safeguarding of resistance welding machines).

Mechanical hazards
Involve the risk of trapping fingers or other parts of the body between
electrodes or other moving parts. Safety devices include various types of guard,
interlocked two hand button operation and low force electrode approach and
where practicable, spot welding electrodes should have a working gap of no
more than 6mm.

Splash metal
May be expelled under pressure from the weld so eye protection and suitable
protective clothing should be worn.

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Resistance Welding 1-26 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Burns or lacerations
May result from careless handling of hot assemblies or materials with burrs or
sharp edges so suitable gloves and protective clothing should be worn.

Electrical hazards
Result from inadvertent contact with live terminals. Exposed conductors do not
normally exceed 20V, but mains voltage is connected to the control cabinet and
to the transformer taps and primary windings. The machine should be installed
and enclosed to the appropriate standards, using the correctly rated cables and
protection devices. Equipment should be switched off at the mains before
removing covers or opening doors, such as for changing taps and the doors
should be provided with safety interlocks. An additional hazard may be that the
strong magnetic fields produced close to resistance welding equipment could
affect the operation of heart pacemakers.

Fume
Results from the vaporisation or burning of metal or organic coatings on
materials being welded or from interweld adhesives, sealants, etc. Not normally
a major problem and adequate ventilation is usually sufficient. Local extraction
may be required in some cases, depending on the type and concentration of the
fume.

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Resistance Welding 1-27 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Appendix 1

Resistance Welding

The following table lists standards related to


resistance welding.
As standards are revised periodically,
Check that the most recent version is used.
Appendix 1 Resistance Welding

BS 1140
Specification for resistance spot welding of uncoated and coated low carbon
steel.

BS EN ISO 14554
Quality requirements for welding - Resistance welding of metallic materials:
Part 1 - Comprehensive quality requirements.
Part 2 - Elementary quality requirements.

BS EN 1418
Welding personnel - approval testing of welding operators for fusion welding
and resistance weld setters for fully mechanised and automatic welding of
metallic materials.

ISO 10447
Welding: Peel and chisel testing of resistance spot, projection and seam welds.

BS EN ISO 14270
Specimen dimensions and procedure for mechanised peel testing resistance
spot, seam and embossed projection welds.

BS EN ISO 14271
Vickers hardness testing of resistance spot, projection and seam welds (low
load and microhardness).

BS EN ISO 14272
Specimen dimensions and procedure for cross tension testing resistance spot,
seam and embossed projection welds.

BS EN ISO 14273
Specimen dimensions and procedure for shear testing resistance spot, seam
and embossed projection welds.

BS EN ISO 17653
Destructive tests on welds in metallic materials - torsion of resistance spot
welds.

BS EN ISO 17654
Destructive tests on welds in metallic materials - internal pressure test on
continuous seam welds.

BS 2630
Specification for resistance projection welding of uncoated low carbon steel
sheet and strip using embossed projections
BS EN 28167
Projections for resistance welding (ISO 8167:1989).

Rev 4 January 2011


Appendix 1 A1-1 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
BS 7670
Steel nuts and bolts for resistance projection welding:
Part 1 - Dimensions and properties.
Part 2 - Specification for welding of weld nuts and bolts.

BS 6265
Specification for resistance seam welding of uncoated and coated low carbon
steel.

BS 4129
Specification for welding primers and weld-through sealants, adhesives and
waxes for resistance welding of steel sheet.

ANSI/AWS/SAE/D8.9-97
Recommended practices for test methods for evaluating spot welding behaviour
of automotive sheet steel materials.

BS 499
Welding terms and symbols:
Part 1 - Glossary for welding brazing and thermal cutting.

BS EN 22553
Welded brazed and soldered joints - Symbolic representation on drawings (ISO
2553).

BS 4204
Specification for flash welding of steel tubes for pressure applications.

BS 6944
Specification for flash welding of butt joints in ferrous metals (excluding
pressure piping applications).

Electrode related

BS 807
Specification for spot welding electrodes.

ISO 5182
Welding - Materials for resistance welding electrodes and ancillary equipment.

BS EN ISO 5183
Resistance spot welding - electrode adaptors, male taper 1:10.

BS EN ISO 9312
Resistance welding equipment - Insulated pins for use in electrode backups.
BS EN 21089

Electrode taper fits for spot welding equipment - dimensions ( ISO 1089).

Rev 4 January 2011


Appendix 1 A1-2 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
BS EN 25184
Straight resistance spot welding electrodes.

BS EN 25821
Resistance spot welding electrode caps ( ISO 5821).

BS EN 25822
Spot welding equipment - taper plug gauges and taper ring gauges ( ISO
5822).

BS EN 25827
Specification for spot welding - electrode backups and clamps ( ISO 5827).

BS EN 27286
Graphical symbols for resistance welding equipment ( ISO 7286).

BS EN 28430
Specification for resistance spot welding - electrode holders (Parts 1, 2, 3).

BS EN 29313
Specification for resistance spot welding equipment - cooling tubes.

Equipment - general

BS 3065
Specification for rating of resistance welding equipment ( ISO 669).

BS 4215
Specification for resistance spot welding electrodes, electrode holders and
ancillary equipment (various EN and ISO equivalents).

BS EN ISO 5826
Resistance welding equipment - Transformers - General specifications applicable
to all transformers.

BS 4819
Specification for resistance welding water-cooled transformers of press-package
and portable types (various ISO equivalents).

BS EN ISO 5828
Resistance welding equipment - secondary connecting cables with terminals
connected to water-cooled lugs - dimensions and characteristics
BS 5924 (EN 50063)
Specification for safety requirements for the construction and the installation of
equipment for resistance welding and allied processes

ISO 6210
Cylinders for robot resistance welding guns. Part 1:1991. General requirements.

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Appendix 1 A1-3 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
BS 7125
Specification for transformers for resistance welding machines ( ISO 5826).

BS EN ISO 7284
Resistance welding equipment - particular specification applicable to
transformers with 2 separate windings for multi-spot welding.

ISO 7285
Pneumatic cylinders for mechanised multiple spot welding (no BS equivalent).

BS EN ISO 8205
Water cooled secondary connection cables for resistance welding (Parts 1, 2 and
3).

BS EN 20693
Dimensions of seam welding wheel blanks.

BS EN 27931
Specification for insulation caps and bushes for resistance welding equipment.

BS EN 20865
Slots in platens for projection welding machines.

Details of standards and full listing available from:


BSI Standards Tel: 020 8996 9000.
389 Chiswick High Road Fax: 020 8996 7400.
London W4 4AL www.bsi-global.com.

Rev 4 January 2011


Appendix 1 A1-4 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Appendix 2

Resistance Welding

Tables of Settings for Spot Welding


Uncoated
and
Coated Low Carbon Steel Sheets
Appendix 2
Table 2.1 Typical spot welding conditions for uncoated low carbon steel sheet of thickness
0.4-3mm

Rev 4 January 2011


Single sheet Welding conditions
thickness, mm
Electrode Medium force, long time
tip High force, short time conditions
conditions
Up to and diameter,
Over Weld Weld
including mm Electrode Current, Electrode Current,
time,* time,*
force, kN kA force, kN kA
cycles cycles

0.4 0.6 4 0.9-1.1 5-7 4-6 1.3-1.8 4-5 5.0-6.0

0.6 0.8 4 1.2-1.3 7-10 5-7 1.7-2.0 6-8 6.0-9.0


Appendix 2 Resistance welding

A2-1
0.8 1.0 5 1.4-1.5 9-12 6-8 1.9-2.6 7-10 7.0-10.0

1.0 1.2 5 1.6-1.8 11-15 7-9 2.5-3.2 8-12 8.0-12.0

1.2 1.6 6 1.9-2.1 14-18 8-11 3.0-4.0 9-13 10.0-13.0

1.6 2.0 7 2.6-2.9 18-22 9-13 3.9-5.2 10-14 12.0-15.0

2.0 2.5 8 3.4-3.7 22-28 10-15 5.0-6.2 12-16 14.0-18.0

2.5 3.0 9 4.4-4.7 28-35 12-17 6.0-7.5 15-20 17.0-20.0

* 1 cycle = 0.02s

Copyright TWI Ltd 2014


Appendix 2
Table 2.2 Typical spot welding conditions for double sided iron-zinc alloy and zinc-nickel coated steels
of sheet thickness 0.4mm to 3.0mm

Rev 4 January 2011


Single sheet thickness, Welding conditions
Electrode
mm
tip
Up to and diameter,
Over Electrode force, kN Weld time,* cycles Current, kA
including mm

0.4 0.6 4 1.4-1.9 4-6 6.0-8.5

0.6 0.8 4 1.8-2.1 6-8 7.0-9.5

0.8 1.0 5 2.1-2.8 7-10 8.0-10.5

1.0 1.2 5 2.7-3.4 8-12 9.0-12.0

A2-2
1.2 1.6 6 3.2-4.3 9-13 11.0-14.0

1.6 2.0 7 4.2-5.3 10-14 13.0-16.5

2.0 2.5 8 5.2-6.5 12-16 16.0-21.0

2.5 3.0 9 6.4-7.8 15-20 18.0-23.0

Notes to table
* 1 cycle = 0.02s
These conditions are applicable to iron-zinc alloy coatings of thickness between 5m to 10 m equal to a coating
mass 70 to 140g/m2 including both sides and zinc-alloy coatings of thickness up to 7m equal to a coating mass
of 100g/m2 including both sides

Copyright TWI Ltd 2014


Table 2.3 Typical spot welding conditions for hot-dip zinc, zinc -5% aluminium, zinc -55%
aluminium and electrolytically deposited zinc coated steel sheet of thickness 0.4mm to 3.0mm

Appendix 2
Single sheet Welding conditions
thickness, mm

Rev 4 January 2011


Hot-dip zinc, zinc -5%
Electrode aluminium, Electrolytically deposited zinc
zinc -55%
tip - see Note 2
aluminium - see Note 1
Up to and diameter,
Over
including mm Weld Weld
Electrode Current, Electrode Current,
time,* time,*
Force, kN kA force, kN kA
cycles cycles

0.4 0.6 4 1.5-2.0 6-8 7.0-9.0 1.5-2.0 6-7 6.5-8.5

0.6 0.8 4 1.9-2.2 8-10 8.0-10.0 1.9-2.2 8-10 7.5-9.5

A2-3
0.8 1.0 5 2.2-2.9 9-12 9.0-11.0 2.2-2.9 9-12 8.5-10.0

1.0 1.2 5 2.9-3.6 10-13 10.0-13.0 2.8-3.6 10-13 9.5-12.5

1.2 1.6 6 3.6-4.5 11-15 14.0-16.0 3.4-4.5 11-15 12.0-14.5

1.6 2.0 7 4.5-5.5 12-16 18.0-21.0 4.4-5.5 12-16 14.0-17.0

2.0 2.5 8 5.4-6.8 14-18 22.0-26.0 5.4-6.8 14-18 17.0-22.0

2.5 3.0 9 6.6-8.0 17-21 26.0-30.0 6.6-8.0 17-21 19.0-24.0

* 1 cycle = 0.02s
Note 1 - Applicable for a coating thickness of 20m on each surface
Note 2 - Applicable for a coating thickness of 7.5m on each surface

Copyright TWI Ltd 2014


Section 2
Brazing and Soldering
2 Brazing and Soldering
2.1 Definition of brazing
Brazing is: a process of joining generally applied to metals in which, during or
after heating, molten filler metal is drawn into or retained in the space between
closely adjacent surfaces of the parts to be joined by capillary attraction. In
general the melting point of the filler metal is above 450C for brazing and
below 450C for soldering, but always below the melting temperature of the
parent material.

2.1.1 General principles


To achieve a sound brazed joint, the filler and parent materials should be
metallurgically compatible and the design of the joint should incorporate a gap
into which the molten braze filler will be drawn or distributed by capillary
action. Where possible, the joint should be designed to be self-aligning, (or self-
jigging), since this reduces the cost of the operation.

The component should be clean and the joint parts properly fitted prior to
brazing. To assist with braze flow, the interfacial parts may be roughened using
grit-blasting and to inhibit unwanted braze flow, a stop-off agent may be used.
Flux may also assist with braze flow by forming an oxygen-free protective
environment around the joint. Alternatively, a gaseous atmosphere or vacuum
may be used (thus removing the need for a fluxing agent) since this inhibits the
formation of unwanted surface oxides. Under certain conditions, a self-fluxing
filler, such as copper-phosphorus may be used.

Inspection and testing are important parts of the brazing procedure since
defects may be present in the interface which could affect strength, thermal
conductivity or corrosion resistance, for example.

Brazing is a commercially accepted process, used in a wide range of industries,


due to its flexibility and the high integrity to which joints may be produced. This
makes it reliable in critical and non-critical applications and it is one of the most
widely used joining methods.

2.1.2 Advantages of brazing


Brazing is a unique process, since the metallurgical bonds are formed during
brazing by melting only the filler metal and not the parts being joined. Its
advantages over other joining processes are:

Many joints can be produced simultaneously.


Parts to be joined are not melted
Nearly all metals and ceramics can be joined
Complex geometries can be produced

2.1.3 Disadvantages of brazing


When compared with other processes, the disadvantages of brazing are:

Optimum strength is that of the filler metal.


Filler metals can be expensive.
Joint clearance and part cleanliness are critical.

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Brazing and Soldering 2-1 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Type of operation
Manual.
Mechanised.
Automatic.

Equipment
A heat source is required eg resistance heater, flux salt bath, blow pipe, furnace
(vacuum/controlled atmosphere), induction heater.

Consumables
Many pure metals and alloys are used as filler materials in brazing processes.
For satisfactory results, brazing filler metals need the ability to:

Wet the base materials

Produce (or avoid) certain base metal/filler interactions.


Flow using the brazing method proposed.
Be used safely and economically.

In addition, the user may want to consider appearance and joint geometries.

Brazing alloy Wire, shim, powder


Flux Powder, liquid, molten flux, vacuum, gas atmosphere.

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Brazing and Soldering 2-2 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
2.2 Joint design

(Source: TWI best practice guide for Brazing)

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Brazing and Soldering 2-3 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
2.3 Health and safety
Although brazing is well-established throughout industry as a reliable and safe
method of assembling metal components, attention to health and safety
precautions is necessary. In particular, these relate to burns, combustion
products from torches and fumes from fluxes and metals. Additional to this is
the need for good ventilation and general common sense.

Other considerations are the operation and maintenance of brazing equipment


as well as good housekeeping. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
eg footwear, overalls, gloves and eye protection or face-masks should also be
provided.

Some braze filler metals contain toxic elements and as such the relevant safety
standard should be consulted prior to use. Similarly, for fluxes, skin contact and
fume inhalation must be avoided.

Care should also be taken in storing materials before use and subsequent
disposal of residues, exhaust emissions and other associated effluent.

Rev 2 February 2012


Brazing and Soldering 2-4 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Section 3
Composites and Ceramics
3 Composites and Ceramics
3.1 What is a composite?
A composite is an inhomogenous material created by the synthetic assembly of
two or more materials. A typical example would be glass reinforced plastic
(GRP). This consists of a glass fibre reinforcing structure surrounded by a
continuous matrix of, for example, polyester. The function of the matrix is to
transfer the applied load from fibre to fibre.

Composites are used extensively in the aerospace, automotive, railways,


construction, electronics and sports equipment sectors. They are also used in
the construction of fast ships and wind-powered generators, for example.
Composites can also be used for tooling purposes. They offer advantages over
castings and other materials such as low weight, strength and durability. The
lifetime cost of these products is dependent on the volume of units to be
produced.

Machine manufacturers are also using composites as these materials can help
to reduce wear on bearings, improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
An important benefit of composites is that many components and structures can
be produced without supporting substructures, where the composite is designed
to take loads directly. This can be achieved by selecting the correct
reinforcement and matrix which will work together effectively for the composite
structure. Composites offer significant advantages and benefits over
conventional, basic materials, primarily:

Versatility - Wide range of uses and design possibilities


Low weight - Increased product efficiency
High stiffness/strength - Fewer substructures, less supportive framework
Durability - Excellent fatigue, impact and environmental resistance
Cost-effective - Allows adoption of innovative manufacturing solutions and
use of optimal technology
Quality - Greater process and product reliability

3.2 Manufacture with composites


In the past, manufacture with composites has largely taken place in jobbing
shops (small, non-productionised facilities) but many companies have
expanded. They are now using computer numerical control and direct numerical
control (CNC/DNC) workstations for machining components such as helicopter
blades, aircraft wing sections and railway vehicle floors.

For the manufacturer involved in producing composite structures, new


fabrication sequences may need to be applied to take full advantage of material
flow. An example would be to set up a manufacturing unit so that continuous
use of presses is achieved.

As the technical benefits of composites are more widely understood and the
materials become easier to use, consumption volumes will increase, requiring
material suppliers to improve production rates and eventually reduce costs.
Even now, companies can offer a composite material and composite structure
(board/panels) which can be used in a variety of fabricated components.

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3.3 Classification of reinforcing agents
The performance of a composite material is dependent on the constituent
materials employed. Properties can be tailored to meet specific requirements by
correct selection and arrangement of reinforcing agent and quantity employed.
Composite reinforcements can be classified into three main groups: fibrous,
laminar and particulate.

3.4 Fibrous composites


A fibrous composite is a material which consists of many reinforcing fibres held
in a supporting matrix. An example of this material class would be glass
reinforced plastic (GRP). The fibres, present to provide additional strength, are
of small diameter and when pushed axially will bend with ease. These fibres
have high tensile strength but require support from a matrix to prevent
buckling and bending.

Progress in this area was significant in the early seventies with many companies
producing advanced materials using fibres such as carbon, boron, graphite,
tungsten and other exotic materials and bonding these together with complex
matrix systems, taking advantage of the creative chemistry of the time.

These materials offered many industries, especially aerospace, a product


possessing the advantages of high stiffness, high toughness, low density, good
fatigue resistance and excellent thermal and dimensional stability over the basic
glass reinforced composites. One disadvantage, however, was cost because
production techniques in the early 1970s were basic and time-consuming and
material costs were high.

The term pre-preg is now commonly used and describes a combination of


matrix/resin and reinforcing fibres which is in a 'ready-to-use' form for the
manufacturing process. The advantage of this material is that you do not need
to add a matrix to the fibres during production, unlike traditional GRP
production. A pre-preg is already impregnated with the matrix, therefore
reducing production times and increasing efficiency compared with wet lay-up
techniques.

Alternative techniques are now available which can produce composite


materials in higher volumes with similar ultimate properties (figure 3.1),
although production costs may be increased due to the tooling required.

Figure 3.1 Selection of production methods.

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3.5 Laminar composites
A laminar composite consists of a number of layers of different materials held
together using a matrix binder. Typical examples of this material are sandwich
boards and plywood. The strength and stability of the plywood is produced by
bonding different types of wood together using an adhesive. The grain can be
layered at 90 to each other to achieve a stable and relatively strong material.
It is not necessary to have different types of wood, but it is important that the
grain is not layered in the same direction.

Wood in many ways can explain many of the characteristics of composite


materials. Wood has a grain that can vary, depending on the type used. Many
hardwoods have a very tight grain structure because they take many years to
grow. In softwoods, the grain structure is not so tight, resulting in a material of
lower stiffness. This is also true of composites where ultimate properties are
influenced by material and binder choice. Other examples of laminar composites
are combinations of glasses, plastic films and paper and sandwich and
honeycomb components.

3.6 Particulate composites


These materials contain very small particles dispersed in a matrix binder.
Particulate composites can be divided into two groups: fake and skeletal. Flake
particles can have any shape configuration and be of any size, but are generally
orientated parallel to each other. Skeletal particles are particles that are a
continuous skeletal structure (more than one material can be used).

Particles can consist of any material, eg glass, Kevlar , metallic or ceramic,


which is added to a matrix binder in different forms. An example of this would
be if a composite requires additional conductivity, so metal filler can be added
to create the particulate composite.

3.7 Matrix materials


A matrix is the material which holds the reinforcing materials together (this
could consist of one or more materials). The matrix strength is usually weaker
than that of the reinforcing materials and it must have the ability to be formed,
moulded and set into shape. The role of the matrix is to support the fibres,
bond them together in the composite material and add toughness to the
material. It transfers any applied loads to the fibres and keeps the fibres in
their position and chosen orientation. The matrix also gives the composite
environmental resistance and determines the maximum service temperature of
the composite.

Although there are a large number of composite materials on the market, the
various combinations of matrix and reinforcement can be described by generic
families: ceramic matrix, glass matrix, metal matrix and polymer matrix.

3.8 Ceramic matrices


Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) have found increased use in the aerospace
industry because of their high temperature capabilities. Ceramic materials,
however, are brittle and can be difficult and expensive to process (due to high
temperature requirements).

Fibres or particles are used to reinforce the matrix by acting as crack deflectors.
Examples of ceramic matrix composites include TiB 2 particles or silicon carbide
fibres in a silicon carbide matrix. Application areas for CMCs include furnace
shields and components in rocket engines.

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3.9 Glass matrices
Glass matrix composites are used in conjunction with metal oxide fibres/carbon
fibres. Glass and glass-ceramic composites are characterised by an elastic
modulus which is usually lower than the reinforcement (fibres, whiskers, etc).
Once again, this matrix can be brittle and difficult to use. Casting is one of the
most popular ways of forming difficult components. This material is typically
used in electronics and other areas which require resistance to heat.

3.10 Metal matrices


The most common metal matrices used are aluminium and magnesium,
because of their combination of properties. Adding ceramic fibres or particles
will improve the mechanical performance. The fibres must be coated or treated
to allow the matrix to adhere.

3.11 Polymer matrices


Typical natural resins such as amber or pitch were used many years ago in
conjunction with cloth fibres to produce some of the very first composite
materials. In the last 100 years, man has produced many synthetic polymers
using materials such as urea formaldehyde, asbestos and other formulations.
This includes phenolics which have excellent fire resistance, good temperature
resistance, low smoke and toxic emissions and the ability to be cured rapidly.
Engineers soon understood the benefits of using composite materials, especially
in aircraft design. One of the pioneers in this area was Dr de Bruyne who was
asked by Sir Geoffrey de Havilland to act as a consultant regarding the use of
plastics on aircraft. A paper was presented to the Royal Aeronautical Society by
Dr de Bruyne which showed that phenolic resins with suitable reinforcement
could be strong and light enough for use in aircraft construction.

The use of glass fibre as a reinforcing material was originally rejected by glass
manufacturers. However, after much investigation, a material was produced
using flax roving teased out into flat bands. These bands were interwoven with
thin paper soaked in a liquid phenolic resin and cured under pressure. This
material was called Gordon Aerolite. The material's properties were good along
the grain, but poor at right angles. To overcome this problem, laminated sheets
were made with cross grain (similarities with plywood). This composite material
was used in the wing span of the Bristol Blenheim Aircraft and was thirty feet
long.

The major problem in producing such a composite component was the size. It
was made in three-foot long sections using a special press that was made in
Germany at Dusseldorf. The press was collected from Germany just before the
outbreak of the Second World War.

Other industries also started to take note of the advances that were being made
using resins. The furniture industry, boat building industry and others were
quick to realise the advantages of using synthetic resins. This helped their
industry by speeding up production of cost-effective, composite components.

Progress over the war years illustrated that many components could be
manufactured using composite materials, mainly in the aircraft industry.
Polymers were selected as matrix binders because of their good mechanical
properties and ease of processing. Most of the polymers wetted the
reinforcement well, resulting in good adhesion.

Typical reinforcing agents employed at the time included cotton, silk and
polyester.

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What is a thermoplastic polymer?
A thermoplastic polymer is a polymer which can be made to flow when heated
and when cooled, becomes solid. These materials can be repeatedly heated and
cooled and therefore formed from one shape to another, which is a great
advantage for post-forming. The materials do not liquefy when heated but
become very viscous. If the materials are exposed to continuous heating above
their melting point they will degrade. Examples of thermoplastics include
polystyrene, polyethylene, polyvinyl, polycarbonates and many more.

All these products are available in a variety of forms but are generally fully
polymerised (molecules of the monomer are linked together to form molecules
whose molecular weight is a multiple of that of the original substance).

What is a thermosetting polymer?


Thermosetting materials cannot be reshaped or reformed once the material is
set into a final structural framework. Heat is sometimes applied during
processing to speed up the curing reaction. Examples of thermosetting
polymers include casein, epoxies, phenolics, polyesters and many more.
Thermosetting polymers are used extensively in producing many composite
materials. The most common thermosetting polymers that are used include:
polyester, vinyl, ester, epoxy, phenolic, bismaleimide (and polyimide). General
characteristics are shown in the table below. Please see figure 3.2 below for
mechanical properties.

Thermosetting Advantages Applications


polymer
Polyester Tough Automotive
Good dimensional tolerance mouldings
Low cost Construction panels
Good surface properties Vessel linings
Marine storage tanks
Vinyl ester Higher maximum operating Storage tanks
temperature than general polyester Piping
Low mould shrinkage Exhaust ducts
Better chemical resistance than
general purpose polyester
Low cost
Epoxy Excellent mechanical performance Aerospace
Good environmental resistance and Sport
high toughness Leisure
Easy processing Marine
Automotive
Railway
Transport
Building
Phenolic Excellent fire resistance Aerospace
Good temperature resistance Marine
Low smoke toxic emissions Railway
Rapid cure
Economic processing
Bismaleimide Excellent resistance to high Aeroengines
and polyimide temperatures High temperature
Service temp up to 260C components
Good mechanical characteristics
Good resistance to chemical agents

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Figure 3.2.

Matrix additives
There are many materials that can be added to the matrix to improve the
performance of the basic matrix binder. The benefits of using additives include
improved mechanical properties, reduced material costs, reduced shrinkage and
control of thermal properties, improved processability and control of reactive
species.

An additive not only changes the performance, but also determines what
process will be required to fabricate a component. It will also determine the
composite form.

3.12 Ceramics
General description
Widespread use of ceramics has been inhibited by the high relative cost and
difficulty of manufacturing complex shaped components. The attractive
properties of ceramics (and glasses), indicated in tables and figure 3.3 below
stem directly from the strong ionic and/or covalent bonding present. This also
accounts for the downside of ceramics - their susceptibility to sudden
catastrophic failure, particularly when in tension.

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Selected properties for a range of Selected properties for a range of
ceramics and metals - density ceramics and metals - coefficient of
thermal expansion (CTE).

Selected properties for a range of Selected properties for a range of


ceramics and metals - modulus ceramics and metals - hardness

Figure 3.3.

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Stress-strain data for typical metals and ceramics. Note the absence of plastic
deformation for the ceramic.

Limitations in size and geometry can potentially be overcome by joining small


and simple shaped parts together to form a complex component. Such a
philosophy has been a major driving force in the study of ceramic-ceramic
bonding, particularly via solid state techniques such as diffusion bonding. So
improved joining techniques are required so that the joint is not the
performance-limiting weak link of the component.

The difficulty in producing materials of adequate reliability (at reasonable cost)


has resulted in a change of direction among ceramic technologists who, in the
1980s, predicted the widespread replacement of metals with ceramics. The
consensus now is that ceramics should be used in conjunction with other
materials, usually metals, where they will enhance performance.

Properties of silicate glasses

Softening Density Coefficient of Thermal Elastic


point (1) g/cm -3 thermal conductivity modulus
C expansion W/m.k (2)
x10 -6/C GPa
Silica glass 980 2.2 0.6 1.4 75
(transparent silica)
Soda lime (window 520 2.5 8.5 1.0 75
glass)
Boro-silicate (Pyrex) 470 2.3 3.3 1.0 65
Alumino-silicate (fibre 590 2.7 5.2 1.0 85
glass)
Lead glass (28%PbO) 390 3.0 9.4 0.8 60
(1) The maximum operating temperature is about 100C lower than the softening point.
(2) Tensile strength of common glass (regardless of type) ranges between 30-100 MPa.
Compression strength ranges between 500-1500 MPa.

Typical properties of engineering ceramics and metals.

Melting Density Strength Coefficient of Thermal Elastic


point g/cm -3 (1) thermal conductivity modul
C MPa expansion W/m.k us
x10 -6/C GPa
BeO 2530 3.1 246 7.4 210 400
MgO 2800 3.6 280 11.6 62 395
Al 2O 3 2050 4.0 455 8.0 40 380
ZrO 2 2960 5.6 175 7.5 2 140
A1N 1900 3.3 441 4.4 180 320
Si 3N 4 1900* 3.2 210 3.0 17 175
TiN 2900 5.4 - 8.1 17 -
B 4C 2350 2.5 350 4.3 25 450
SiC 2700* 3.2 140 4.3 50 210
WC 2377 15.8 600 5.2 - 700
Diamon <3000 3.5 1500 0.5 2000 500
d
Al 660 2.7 55 24 235 70
Cu 1083 9.0 215 17 400 130
Fe 1535 7.9 200 12 78 210
Ni 1455 8.9 310 13.3 90 200
Ti 1677 4.5 240 8.9 22 120
W 3387 19.3 550 4.5 175 410
(1) 4pt bend * Does not melt: sublimes, decomposes or vaporises

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3.13 Ceramic joining
Exploitation of the unique properties of ceramic materials has resulted in
changes to both component design and fabrication. Size and complexity of
ceramic components are governed by physical and economic limitations. Many
components are restricted to relatively simple shapes due to the hardness of
high performance ceramics when formed.

Complex shapes would require extensive machining, which is very expensive. It


is often prudent to join smaller, simpler shapes together to form a component.
This method is favoured, as different portions of a component could then be
manufactured by the method best suited to that shape. Also, the inspection of
small, simple shapes is easier than that of larger, more complex shapes and
any defect would result in the rejection of only one small portion instead of a
complete component.

Coinciding with developments in the applications of engineering ceramics, joints


have to be made to withstand high temperatures and high stresses.
Considerable effort is now being directed towards improving the performance of
joints and the most appropriate technique for achieving them.

3.14 Ceramic-metal joining


Ceramics are rarely used in isolation. Frequently, at some point in the overall
assembly, it is necessary to produce a metal-ceramic bond. For this, two
complications arise. The main problem encountered, particularly for ceramic-
metal bonding, is the difference in coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE), as
shown in previously.

In general, metals expand much more than ceramics when heated and contract
more when cooled. This causes an increasing build-up of strain at the metal-
ceramic interface as the temperature changes and can lead to failure. Secondly,
ceramics do not readily wet (or react) with metals, again this is due to the
highly stable nature of the atomic bonding. This has led to a great deal of work
on how to join ceramics to themselves and other materials. Joining is
recognised as a key enabling technology for the practical application of
ceramics.

There are many possible methods for producing ceramic-ceramic and metal-
ceramic joints. These may be generally categorised as either mechanical or
chemical, as shown below. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

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Figure 3.4 below shows simple joints for several processes. The table that
follows outlines some of the characteristics of more frequently used joining
processes, including relative costs.

Figure 3.4.

Among the processes which have received the greatest attention are brazing (a
liquid phase process), glass to metal sealing (used extensively in the electronics
industry) and diffusion bonding (a solid phase process).

Characteristics of the common joining processes.

Characteristic Organic Inorganic Mechanical Brazing Diffusion Glass-


adhesive adhesive bonding metal
sealing
Ceramic-
ceramic joints
Ceramic-metal
joints
Joint strength low high low-med high high high
Service
low-
temperature low high low-med high med
high
capability
med-
Cost low low low-med med-high med
high
Currently used
in industry

In ceramics joining, the first issue which should be examined is selection of the
correct material for the required application. Each application should be treated
on an individual basis. Important questions are:

What is the function of the final component, eg strength, corrosion


resistance, wear properties, electrical insulation?
What is the maximum operating temperature?
What shape is the component (in terms of complexity)?
What is the desired product cost?
All of the above should be considered not only during selection of a ceramic
material but also for any subsequent selection of joining processes.

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3.15 Design issues
Design for a particular component is primarily based on requirements such as:

Functionality of component.
Environment in which component will operate.
Component properties, including chemical, electrical and thermal.
Required resistance to loading.
Ease of assembly.

3.16 Designing for glasses and ceramics


The design and testing of ceramics are more critical than for any other class of
materials. The reasons are that ceramics are inherently brittle and ultimately
contain flaws (although production methods control their size and frequency).

The following principles should be kept in mind when designing with glasses and
ceramics:

Operating conditions and requirements on the component must be specified


as closely as possible. It is necessary to know the external loading and
temperature regime: forces (dead weight, centrifugal force, etc), thermal
shock (thermal stresses in particular, can cause severe problems) and
whether conditions are cyclic or static, etc.
The design must take into account the specific properties of the glass or
ceramic:

a High brittleness (lack of ductility) compared with other structural


materials.
b High strength in compression but lower in tension, bending and torsion.
c Susceptibility to impact load and point load: high contact stresses,
particularly at points of support or load transfer, are very dangerous in
glass or ceramic because the associated stress cannot be
accommodated by plastic deformation. Thin, ductile metal interlayers
are sometimes inserted to distribute this stress more uniformly.
d Most glasses and ceramics have low thermal conductivity and increased
susceptibility to thermal shock: components subjected to temperature
fluctuations should have simple and symmetrical form as well as thin
walls. For example, a cylindrical rod will resist sudden changes of
temperature better than a rod with square cross-section.
e Sensitivity to stress concentrators: abrupt changes in shape or
thickness, notches and corners, etc - which increase the stress - should
be avoided or rounded to a suitable radius.
f Ceramics and glasses contain flaws, especially at the surface: the
probability of larger flaws increases with increasing body dimensions.
g Cracks and other faults are mostly produced during manufacture:
sometimes they form during use, eg through contact stresses or
thermal shocks.

It is clear from the above that design with brittle materials needs a different
approach to that with conventional engineering materials such as structural
steels or plastics.

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3.17 Joint design for ceramic-to-metal joints
Generic rules which should be followed when producing ceramic to metal bonds
include:

The ceramic should be thick-walled in comparison with the metal.


The ceramic should be in compression.
Use soft ductile metals next to ceramics.

Some of the preferred joint designs are shown below.

Best practice joint designs

Where joint dimensions are large, or there is a large CTE mismatch between the
materials, joint design and joining process are critical.

3.18 Use of interlayers


Interlayers can be soft, ductile metals which flex during heating and cooling to
absorb stress between the two materials. Their CTE value can lie between those
of the two materials being joined, or they can be functionally graded materials
which have a continuously graded composition and hence a continuously graded
CTE, to reduce the inherent mismatch.

Some generic interlayer designs are given below. For some joint configurations,
the use of stress-relieving interlayers is not possible and specialised joint design
is the only option for relieving stress at the interface.

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Typically, the use of a compressive stress on the ceramic is desired, since this
increases the potential joint strength. Such a bond takes advantage of the
mechanical properties, in particular ductility, of the metal, such that the metal
will yield in preference to the ceramic, so stopping the ceramic from exceeding
its fracture stress. Therefore, stress at the ceramic-metal interface should not
exceed the bond strength, provided that the metal is in tension whilst the
ceramic is in compression.

A final consideration is that where service performance dictates the need for
inspection, parts should be capable of being inspected by simple techniques.
There are limitations to non-destructive testing of ceramics and even a
component passing inspection may not necessarily be free of flaws, although
the flaws may not be significant in terms of engineering performance.

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Section 4

Basics of Laser Welding


4 Basics of Laser Welding
4.1 Basic principles
Lasers can produce high power beams of electromagnetic radiation (ultraviolet,
visible light, infra-red etc) which, unlike conventional light sources (lamps,
bulbs etc) have a number of special properties significant for the cutting,
welding and brazing of metals and other materials. Laser light is commonly of
a single wavelength (monochromatic) and all the light waves are emitted in the
same direction and are in phase, ie all their peaks and troughs are aligned
(coherent). As a result, laser beams can be focused down to spots only a few
tenths, or even hundredths, of a millimetre in diameter.

When a laser beam is focused on to a material, the beam can interact with the
material in a number of different ways, depending on the power density (ie the
amount of laser power divided by the area of the focused spot). With low
densities, lasers are used for surface heat treatments, or shallow penetration
depth cosmetic welding and brazing operations.

However, above a certain threshold value, the beam can not only heat and melt
the material, but vaporise it. This produces a deep, penetrating, narrow sided
column of expanding metal vapour, or keyhole, held in by liquid metal around
it, formed by conduction of heat away from the keyhole. If the beam, or
material, is then moved, this results in a laser keyhole weld. Material ahead of
the keyhole is heated and melts, moves around the sides of the keyhole to the
back and then cools and freezes. A similar process can take place during
electron beam and plasma welding, with the depths of penetration achieved
being typically intermediate between those of plasma (less penetrating) and
electron beam (more penetrating).

Figure 4.1 Keyhole formation and keyhole welding.

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4.2 Laser design, operation, equipment, consumables
A wide variety of lasers exist and a number of those are used in industrial
applications, eg for the cutting, welding and/or brazing of metals and other
materials. However, all lasers have a number of common design features:

A lasing medium, ie the material inside the laser in which the light is
generated. This material can be a solid (eg some crystalline materials), a
liquid or a gas (eg a CO2-based gas mixture).
An energy source or pump, which stimulates the emission of laser light from
the medium. The pump energy source can be electrical, or even another
light source, like a high intensity lamp or series of small, solid-state diode
lasers.
Lasers work by confining the light generated when the medium is pumped
along an axis. This axis can be parallel to the length of a solid lasing
medium, or the length of a tube of gas, for example. Light waves generated
parallel to this axis are reflected back in to the lasing medium, as mirrors
are placed at either end of the axis. This, in turn, stimulates the production
of more light waves parallel to the axis, in a cascade effect, leading to the
high intensity beams typical of lasers. Light waves generated at an angle off
of the axis are not amplified.
As one end of the axis is partially transparent, as soon as a protective
shutter over this end of the axis is released, light can escape from the laser,
which can then be focussed down for materials processing.
As the conversion of pump energy to laser light is relatively inefficient, heat
is generated. For the output of the laser to remain stable, this heat is
extracted using some form of chilling system.

Pump energy Focussing


system
Lasing medium

Optical elements Heat extraction

Laser cabinet
The basic design of a laser.

4.3 Advantages and disadvantages of laser welding


The general advantages and disadvantages of laser welding can be summarised
as follows:

Advantages
High welding speeds possible.
Low heat input.
Low distortion.
Narrow, deep penetration welds.
Square edge joint preparations can be used.

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Often just a single pass needed.
No vacuum necessary: welding in air or under shielding gas.
Often only needs single sided access.
Non-contact.
Consistent - as normally automated.
Complicated weld seams possible (depending on laser used).
Welding in any position can be possible (depending on laser used, material,
thickness etc).

Disadvantages
Closely fitting joints needed.
High accuracy manipulation needed.
High cost - requires recouping over high production volumes or high added
value components.
Health and Safety: laser light can burn the eyes and skin if appropriate
safety practices are not followed.
Case-by-case procedure. Development recommended.
High electricity consumption (some lasers).
Lack of portability/not suitable for site welding (some lasers).

Some lasers produce wavelengths which can be transmitted down optical fibres,
similar to those used in telecommunications, broadband delivery etc. These
fibres are very flexible and mean that the beam can be delivered to up to four
manipulators (not normally at the same time), for example multi-axis robots,
up to 100m away from the laser.

4.4 Common applications of industrial lasers


Depending on the type of laser used and the material being processed, lasers
are used in a wide variety of applications in industry, including materials
marking, scribing, etching, drilling, cutting, welding, brazing, surface hardening,
surface cladding, prototyping and repair, examples of applications include:

Cutting and profiling of plate material.


Butt welding automotive body panel tailored blanks, ie assemblies of flat
panel with different strengths, corrosion resistance etc, which are
subsequently formed in to their final shape.
High speed stitch and seam assembly welding of car bodies.
Simultaneous double sided welding of stiffeners on to aircraft fuselage skin
panels, eliminating rivets.
Single pass, deep penetration butt and T joint welding of stiffened steel
panels and stake welding of sandwich structures for lower distortion, lighter
weight shipbuilding applications.
Welding of plastics and textiles.

Laser welded tailored blank Blank after pressing.

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Cosmetic welding and brazing operations, where tight requirements on final
surface finish are placed.
Welding of very thin foils, eg for specialist electrical applications.

4.5 Important parameters for laser welding


Laser welding and variants of laser welding (including welding with wire feed
and welding at the same time as using another process, eg hybrid laser-arc
welding), are complicated processes with a relatively large number of
parameters or variables that need considering and optimising. However, after
appropriate procedure development and qualification, many laser welding
processes can, with suitable production monitoring and control, reduced to
automatic push button operations.

Laser welding parameters include:


Type of laser used.
Nature of power output: continuous, pulsed, chopped or gated pulse. For
pulsed lasers it is usual to also describe energy of pulse, pulse frequency,
peak power, etc.
Laser power (often quoted in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW)): due to small
(~5-10%) losses between the laser and the workpiece, it is good practice to
measure the laser power arriving at the workpiece at regular intervals. A
number of different types of power meter are available commercially for this
purpose. For pulsed lasers, delivering high power individual pulses, both
average and peak power are usually recorded.
Focused spot size (eg its diameter at focus, in mm): this is an important
parameter as it contributes to the power density. The spot size at focus is in
turn determined by a number of other parameters, including:
Beam quality (ie how focusable the beam is) of the laser.
Diameter of the optical fibre delivering the beam (if used).
Specifics of the focussing lenses used (eg the focal length).
Stand-off used (is the beam used in focus, or is a slight defocus being
used?).
It should be noted that the focused spot size is not easily measured, in
which case for a given laser system it is usual to describe this by recording
the standoff distance and the optical focusing system.
Welding speed: this is important as the heat input of the welding procedure
will be related to the ratio laser power / welding speed.
The wavelength of laser used: some wavelengths will be absorbed more by
certain materials than others. This will also usually be a function of the type
of laser and is more critical when the laser is used in a defocused condition.
The angle between the beam and the workpiece: by preference, the job is
usually set up so that the beam is positioned at right angles to the surface,
as then the absorption of the beam is the greatest.
Specifics of any gas shielding used: gas type, flow rate, position of delivery
nozzles etc. Note that inert gases are common (Ar, He) and gas mixtures
(Ar-CO2, Ar-He etc) are far less commonly used, as no arc is present when
laser welding. Ar shielding is to be avoided if a CO2 gas laser is being used
(as Ar can form an ionised plasma above the keyhole, which then absorbs
the energy of the CO2 laser beam).
Specifics of any wire feed if used: wire grade, diameter, feed rate,
positioning with respect to the beam etc.
Specifics of any arc welding technique, if hybrid welding is being carried out:
as above plus metal transfer mode, which process leads (arc or laser?),
separation between the two processes etc.

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As noted in the table in section 3, due to the deep penetration nature of laser
welding, square edge joint preparations are used commonly. Some examples of
joint types are shown below:

Examples of laser joint types between pipes or plates.

However, as also noted in section 3, as laser welds are often very narrow, very
good fit up between parts is essential if welding defects (weld face or root
concavity, lack of sidewall fusion etc) are to be avoided. As a rough rule-of-
thumb, joint gaps have to be typically <10% of sheet or plate thickness, or the
spot diameter, whichever is the smaller. For example, for plates 2mm in
thickness, this means gaps in butt joints have to be controlled to be <0.2mm in
width!

These tight tolerances can be alleviated somewhat by one or more of the


following:

Defocussing the laser beam, or, less commonly, using special optics
providing a weaving spot at focus.
Introducing filler wire.
Using a hybrid process, eg laser welding (for penetration) combined with arc
welding (for gap bridging).

4.6 Laser welding defects and their avoidance


Improperly optimised laser welding, in common with other fusion welding
processes, can result in levels of weld imperfections which are unacceptable to
standards and codes. In general, the types of weld imperfections are in
common with those seen in other processes, although laser welding can be
more prone to certain types and less to others. Laser weld imperfections and
how they might be avoided, include:

Hot cracking: as with other welding processes, the last of the liquid in the
weld metal to solidify can often be enriched in impurities (eg P and S in steel)
or alloying elements (eg in Al alloys) that result in hot cracks.

1 Laser welds are more susceptible to hot cracking as their deep, narrow
nature concentrates tensile stresses along the weld centreline, exaggerating
cracking tendency. However, cracking can be avoided by controlling fit-up,
base material composition (eg in steels), or adding filler materials to avoid
crack-sensitive weld metal compositions (eg in Al alloys). It can also be
controlled by moving from partial to full penetration welds.

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2 Porosity: atmospheric or shielding gases, or gases resulting from materials
in the weld zone or contamination on those materials, can all become
entrapped in welds, generating porosity. Laser welds are more prone to
entrapped porosity due to the small, narrow nature of the welds and the
often high welding speeds and short freezing times (all of which hinder the
escape of entrapped gases from the weld pool). Tight control on shielding
gases, materials and material cleanliness/handling/ preparation prior to
welding is therefore essential. Pores can also form in laser welds if the laser
keyhole is unstable and periodically collapses in an uncontrolled manner,
trapping in gases in the root of the keyhole. Keyhole stability however can
be improved through appropriate welding procedure development and
implementing production controls, eg periodic measurement of laser power,
focus position, cleanliness of optics etc.

Schematic of how solidification Coarse, irregular root porosity in a


contraction forces act on the lap weld, indicative of an unstable
centreline of a deep penetration keyhole.
laserweld.

3 Changes in materials properties: due to the low heat input of laser


welding, strength loss in the weld zone in certain materials (eg Al alloys)
can be reduced. Conversely, the fast cooling rate can result in the formation
of hard, brittle microstructures in laser welds in steels. As in arc welding,
weld zone toughness can be increased by preheating, PWHT, selection of an
appropriate filler material etc.
4 Distortion: again, due to the low heat input, laser welding is very well
suited to applications where control and minimisation of distortion is
important.
5 Failure of the material to absorb the beam: historically, power
densities high enough to form keyholes in reflective materials (eg Al alloys)
could not be reached, but this is no longer an issue for modern laser
sources.
6 Loss of volatile alloying elements: certain volatile elements (Zn, Mg etc)
can be lost by evaporation at a faster rate than others (Fe, Al etc) as the
keyhole passes over the material. This can result in changes in alloy
composition, loss of strength etc. However, appropriate choice and use of a
filler material can alleviate these problems.
7 Weld spatter and soot: the highly energetic nature of laser welding can
lead to the ejection of droplets of liquid metal from the weld pool (spatter)
and/or the deposition of condensated metal and metal oxide vapour on and
around the weld bead (soot). However, spatter can be reduced by lowering
the incident power density, appropriate weld pool shielding, material
cleanliness controls and the development of a stable keyhole welding
procedure. Soot generally wipes or brushes off and is not considered
detrimental to the mechanical performance of the weld, although soot build
up can be prone to ignition and rapid burning and should not be allowed to
build up in fume control systems.

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4.7 Laser health and safety
Laser welding systems are safe provided they are operated and maintained in
accordance with safety standards, legal requirements and manufacturers
procedures. Hazards that can arise when operating a laser include those from
the laser beam and, in common with arc welding, electrical and chemical and
fume hazards. Only those hazards associated with the laser beam are covered
here.

Direct and (from scattered light) indirect exposure to laser beams can cause
damage to the skin and especially the eyes. The wavelengths from some lasers
(eg far infrared CO2 lasers) are not transmitted through the cornea in to the
inside of the eye, but may still cause burning of the skin and cause cataracts in
the eye. The wavelengths from near infrared lasers (including Nd:YAG, Yb fibre
and Yb:YAG disk lasers) are particularly dangerous: the lens can transmit and
focus the energy of the laser beam down in to a small spot on the retina and
cause permanent blindspots.

For this reason, laser beams are often used within a safety-circuit interlocked
enclosure which is light tight with respect to the wavelength of the laser being
used. This enclosure can be accessed during jigging, clamping, set-up,
equipment programming etc, but is then evacuated and sealed off before the
weld is made, the welding process then being monitored and controlled
remotely, eg by CCTV.

The subject of laser safety is complex and a number of EC directives are in


place. The following is a list of laser standards and guidelines, but is not
intended to be exhaustive.

BS EN ISO 11553:2008
Safety of machinery - Laser processing machines: General safety requirements
(part 1) and safety requirements for hand-held processing devices (part 2).

BS EN (IEC) 60825-1:2007
Safety of laser products - Equipment classification, requirements.

BS EN (IEC) 60825-5:2003
Safety of laser products - Manufacturers checklist for IEC 60825-1.

PD IEC/TR 60825-13:2006
Safety of laser products - Measurements for classification of laser products.

EN 207:2009
Personal eye-protection - Filters and eye-protectors against laser radiation
(laser eye-protectors).

EN 208:2009
Personal eye-protection - Eye-protectors for adjustment work on lasers and
laser systems (laser adjustment eye-protectors).

EN 12254:1998 + A2:2008
Screens for laser working places - Safety requirements and testing.

BS EN (IEC) 60825-4:2006
Safety of laser products - Laser guards.

CLC TR 50448:2005
Guide to levels of competence required in laser safety.

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PD (IEC) TR 60825-14:2004
Safety of laser products - A user's guide.

Further standards are available which relate to topics including laser


performance and optimum operation, laser welding, brazing, marking and
cutting operations, welding operators, quality levels for imperfections in laser
welds and cuts and laser welding procedure specification and qualification. For
reference, the reader is referred to TWIs website for further information on the
numbers of these standards.

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Section 5
Polymers and Polymer Welding
5 Polymers and Polymer Welding
5.1 Introduction to polymers
Molecules and polymer chains
A plastic or polymer is a material made up of small molecular units, or
monomers, formed into much longer molecular chains or networks. A single
ethylene molecule, the basis of the common thermoplastic polyethylene, is
shown in Figure 5.1. It comprises of two carbon atoms and four hydrogen
atoms.

H H

C=C

H H
Figure 5.1 Single ethylene molecule.

The double line between the carbon atoms indicates that there are two links or
bonds between the atoms.

Figure 5.2 illustrates the formation of the molecular chain when the individual
molecules are linked together to form the polymer (poly means many).

H H H H H H

C C C

C C

H H H H

Figure 5.2 Basic chain construction of the polymer polyethylene.

During the process of manufacturing the polymer, one of the double links is
broken and attached to the adjacent molecule.

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Figure 5.3 illustrates the polymer chain for another common plastic material,
PVC. This basic molecule comprises two carbon atoms, three hydrogen atoms
and one chlorine atom.

H H H Cl H H

C C C

C C

H Cl H H

Figure 5.3 Basic chain construction of the polymer PVC.

The length of the chain, or molecular weight, dictates the form and properties
of the final material. For example, candle wax is based upon the same molecule
as polyethylene except the chain length is considerably shorter, around 40
monomers per chain length, as opposed to many thousands in polyethylene.
Hence both materials have a similar feel when handled and smell when burned.
As the chain length increases other properties change, for example, the
toughness of the material increases, hence polyethylene is very much tougher
than candle wax. Within any plastic, all the polymer chains will not be the same
length. Therefore, when describing molecular weight, the average is usually
quoted.

Plastic material classification


There are two types of plastic material; thermoplastic and thermoset. Within
the plastic material, there are many thousands of polymer chains closely
interwoven to form the material structure.

In a thermoset plastic material there are a number of discrete links between


adjacent polymer chains. This is illustrated in Figure 5.4.

Polymer chain

Discrete link

Figure 5.4 Structure of a thermoset material.

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The links are formed by chemical reaction and generally cannot be reversed by
either chemical or heating reaction. These materials are, therefore, not
weldable. An example of a common thermoset material is a two part epoxy
resin, where the chemical reaction occurs when the two constituent parts are
mixed. The final shape of the resin cannot be changed once the material has set
or cured.

In a thermoplastic material the polymer chains are not linked and the polymer
chains are free to move when heat is applied to the thermoplastic. When heat is
applied, the thermoplastic material can be moulded and formed into a new
shape, as in injection moulding. These materials are also, therefore, weldable
by a range of techniques involving the application of heat.

Thermoplastic materials can be categorised into two further groups; amorphous


and semi-crystalline. In an amorphous thermoplastic the polymer chains are
randomly orientated within the thermoplastic material structure. This is shown
in Figure 5.5.

Figure 5.5 Amorphous thermoplastic material structure.

Amorphous thermoplastics can be clear, have uniform (isotropic) properties in


all directions and have a softening temperature range rather than a melting
point. PVC, a common thermoplastic used in industrial fabrication, is a typical
amorphous thermoplastic.

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In a semicrystalline thermoplastic, the polymer chains are organised in a more
ordered structure. This is shown in Figure 5.6.

Crystalline region

Amorphous
region

Figure 5.6 Semicrystalline thermoplastic material structure.

Note that these materials are not wholly crystalline, as in salts or metals, but
contain amorphous regions in between the crystalline structure. When a
semicrystalline thermoplastic material is heated, the crystalline structure
relaxes into an amorphous type structure during melting. Semicrystalline
thermoplastics are generally characterised by their opacity, non-uniform
(anisotropic) properties and distinct or narrow melt temperature range.
Polyethylene and polypropylene are two common semicrystalline thermoplastics
used in industrial fabrications.

Figure 5.7 summarises the material classification in relation to welding of


plastics.

Monomer/Molecules

Thermoplastic Thermoset
(weldable) (not weldable)

Amorphous Semi-crystalline

Figure 5.7 Summary of weldable/non weldable plastic classification.

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5.2 Copolymers
Another important aspect of the thermoplastic structure is the chemical
construction of the polymer chain. A polymer chain can consist of a string of
identical monomer units as in polyethylene. These materials are known as
homopolymers. Figure 5.8 shows a typical arrangement of a homopolymer.
Each box in the chain represents a single monomer unit.

Figure 5.8 Homopolymer chain construction.

In some thermoplastics materials, the polymer chain can be constructed from


more than one monomer, as is the case in certain polypropylenes. In these
materials, the monomer units are arranged randomly or in blocks along the
polymer chain. The different types are illustrated in Figure 5.9.

Each polymer chain construction will give rise to different material properties,
for example, random copolymer polypropylene (PP-R) is more ductile and easier
to bend than homopolymer polypropylene (PP-H). It will also have different
characteristics when welding.
monomer A monomer B

Alternating copolymer

Random copolymer

Block copolymer

Figure 5.9 Copolymer chain constructions.

5.3 Glass transition temperature - Tg


A very important property of any thermoplastic is the glass transition
temperature (Tg). Below Tg the polymer chains remain rigid and cannot flex.
Above the Tg, the polymer chains are free to move and the material appears to
be rather more like a rubber than a solid plastic. When the material cools to
below the Tg, the material becomes rigid once again. The Tg of the material is
not always constant and can be affected by environmental effects such as
exposure to ultraviolet light. It will also depend upon the material's molecular
weight. Increasing chain length will generally increase the Tg of the material.

Table 5.1 lists the common thermoplastics used in industrial fabrication along
with their Tg and melting point.

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Table 5.1 Approximate glass transition temperatures, melting points and melt
processing temperatures of commonly used thermoplastics.
Material Type Approx. Tg Melting Point (1) Melt
(C)(1) (C) Processing
Temp (C)
Polyethylene (HD) SC -125 125-135 220-310
Polyethylene (LD) SC -130 105-115 220-260
PP SC -20-0 145-170 210-290
PVC A 80-90 - 170-190
PVDF SC -30 to 20 168-178 260-300
FEP SC 275 340-360
ECTFE SC 240 270-300
(1) will vary with grade, SC = semicrystalline, A = amorphous

5.4 Processing of polymers


5.4.1 Injection moulding
Process
Injection moulding is one of the most common methods of producing
thermoplastics parts from plastics granules. Figure 5.10 shows a schematic of
an injection moulding machine. The system consists of a screw driven by a
motor housed within a barrel. The barrel is heated along its length.
Thermoplastic granules enter the barrel via a hopper. As the granules enter the
barrel, they fall between the flights of the rotating screw and are moved
forward towards the nozzle. As the granules move down the barrel, frictional
shear forces, together with external heaters, soften and melt the material.
During the process, the temperature, screw speed and pressure are all closely
controlled. When the molten thermoplastic reaches the end of the rotating
screw, it passes a non-return check valve. When it passes this point it cannot
return back into the screw barrel and is ready to be injected into the mould
cavity. The mould cavity is then closed and the material in front of the check
valve is injected into the mould, producing the component, which is allowed to
cool and solidify before being removed from the mould cavity. The cycle is
repeated for each component.

Figure 5.10 Schematic of injection moulding machine.

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Applications
Applications of injection moulding include automotive components, such as
bumpers, light assemblies and manifolds and domestic products. Figure 5.11
shows some examples of injection moulded components.

Figure 5.11 Injection moulded components.

5.4.2 Extrusion
Process
Extrusion is the most common process used to produce thermoplastic sheet and
hot gas welding rod. Figure 5.12 shows a schematic of an extruder. The
operation is similar to injection moulding in that thermoplastic granules are
drawn into a heated barrel by a rotating screw and pushed along to the front of
the nozzle. Unlike the injection moulding machine, there is no check valve at
the front of the nozzle, therefore molten thermoplastic can flow freely from the
nozzle. Attached to the end of the nozzle is a die. The die is shaped to match
the profile of the component being produced.

Figure 5.12 Schematic of a plastic extruder.

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Applications
Applications of extrusions include films, sheets, pipes and profiles. Uses of
extruded film include audio tape, plastic bags and shrink wrap. Extruded sheet
is used for fabrications such as chemical storage vessels and containers.
Extruded pipes are used for transporting water, gas and chemicals and
extruded profiles include window frames.

5.4.3 Blow moulding


Process
Blow moulding is a process used to produce hollow thermoplastic products such
as soft drinks bottles. The process operation is again similar to injection
moulding. A single shot of molten thermoplastic is injected into a hollow mould
cavity as a single tube of material closed at one end, rather like a sock. Whilst
the thermoplastic tube is soft, air is injected into it causing it to expand and
take up the shape of the hollow cavity. The moulded part is then allowed to cool
and solidify within the cavity before being removed. Figure 5.13 shows a
schematic of a blow moulding machine and Figure 5.14 shows a mould cavity
used to produce a plastic bottle.

Figure 5.13 Schematic of a screw extruder blow moulding machine.

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Figure 5.14 Mould cavity for producing blow moulded bottles.

Applications
There are many applications of blow moulding including bottles and containers,
pressure vessels, automotive fuel tanks, toys and shipping containers.

5.5 Welding techniques for polymers


Introduction
There are 16 different techniques for welding polymers. These can be divided
into three main categories: techniques where heat is generated by mechanical
movement, techniques that directly employ electromagnetism and other
techniques that employ an external heat source.

5.6 Welding techniques where heat is generated by mechanical movement


5.6.1 Spin welding
This is a friction process that requires a relative rotational motion between the
parts to be joined to cause the thermoplastic to melt. At the end of the heating
cycle the motion is switched off and the thermoplastic cools to form the weld.
The technique can involve relatively simple pieces of equipment, such as lathes
or drilling machines. However, in practice, purpose-built machines (Figure 5.15)
are generally used, in order to provide greater control. Machines can be either
continuous drive, where the speed is constant during welding, or inertia, where
the speed reduces gradually to zero. Spin welding is used to produce items such
as polyethylene floats, aerosol bottles and transmission shafts.

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Figure 5.15 Spin welding machine.

5.6.2 Vibration welding


This is another friction process, where the parts to be joined are brought into
contact and rubbed together with a linear reciprocating motion. Once material
at the joint line has melted the vibration stops, the parts are aligned and the
joint cools under pressure. Vibration welding is used extensively in the
automotive industry, in the manufacture of components such as car bumpers,
air intake manifolds, fuel pumps, instrument panels and inner door panels.
Other applications include spectacle frames, typewriter covers and filter
housings. The major drawback with this technique is that the welding machines
(Figure 5.16) are expensive (typically around 100k).

Figure 15.6 Vibration welding machine.

5.6.3 Ultrasonic welding


This involves the use of high frequency mechanical sound energy to soften or
melt the thermoplastic at the joint line. Parts to be joined are held together
under pressure and are then subjected to ultrasonic vibrations usually at a
frequency of 20-40kHz. The heating effect of the ultrasound varies with the
degree of crystallinity of the material being welded. The ability to weld a
component successfully is governed by the design of the equipment, the
mechanical properties of the material to be welded and the design of the
components. Ultrasonic welding is a fast process (weld times are typically less
than one second) and can easily be automated. It is therefore ideally suited to

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welding components in mass production. However, the joint and horn designs
are critical and there is a restriction of approximately 250mm on the length of
weld possible. Examples of ultrasonically welded components include vacuum
cleaners, automotive light fixtures, audio and video cassettes, blister packs and
toys. A typical ultrasonic welding machine is shown in Figure 5.17.

Figure 5.17 Ultrasonic welding machine.

5.6.4 Orbital welding


This is similar to vibration welding; however, in this case, each point on the
surface of the moving part orbits a different point on the surface of the
stationary part (Figure 5.18). The orbit is of constant rotational speed and is
identical for all points on the joint surface. Orbital welding fills the component
size gap between ultrasonic and vibration welding. This means that items such
as medium-sized automotive components (fluid reservoirs, etc) may be joined
using this process.

Figure 5.18 Schematic of orbital welding motion.

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5.6.5 Friction stir welding
This process was invented in 1991, primarily as a means to weld metal sheets.
However, it has also been found to be applicable for welding thermoplastics.
The principle of the process is that a specially profiled metallic tool is moved
relative to the joint to generate heat by friction. The tool can either be
cylindrical in shape (Figure 5.19) or an aerofoil-shaped blade. The motion of the
tool is usually either rotary or linearly reciprocating relative to the joint. Welds
have been made in materials such as ABS, PMMA, PE and PP. However, the
technique has yet to be exploited industrially for plastics. Applications are
anticipated in the fabrication of tanks and vessels, where thick sections
(>5mm) are required.

Figure 5.19 Schematic of friction stir welding.

5.7 Techniques that directly employ electromagnetism


5.7.1 Induction welding
This involves trapping an electrically conducting implant between the two parts
to be joined. Heating of the implant is generated by an induction field, either by
eddy currents or hysteresis losses, using a work coil, which is connected to a
high frequency power supply and placed in close proximity to the joint. As
electric current at high frequency passes through the work coil, a dynamic
magnetic field is generated whose flux interacts with the implant. Electric
currents are induced in the implant and when these have sufficiently heated the
conducting material, the surrounding thermoplastic parts melt or soften. If
pressure is applied to the joint a weld is formed. Applications for induction
welding include attaching metallised tops to plastic bottles.

5.7.2 High frequency welding


High frequency (also called HF, radio frequency, RF or dielectric) welding is a
method for joining thin plastic sheets and relies on the vibration and orientation
of charged molecules within the polymer chain to cause the generation of heat
in a rapidly alternating electric field. This means that it is restricted to plastics
containing polar molecules, mainly PVC and polyurethanes. The process, which
dates from the early 1940s, revolves around subjecting the sheets to be joined
to a high frequency (27.12MHz) electric field, which is normally applied between
a metal bar and a base plate (Figure 5.20). The bar also acts as a pressure
applicator during heating and cooling. The dynamic electric field causes the
polar molecules to oscillate. The energy generated by this process causes an
increase in temperature and results in the melting of the material. A wide range
of products is manufactured using dielectric welding including ring binders and

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stationery wallets; inflatable items such as beach balls and life jackets; large
items such as tents and lorry covers; medical products such as blood bags and
colostomy bags; and automotive components such as air bags and sun visors.

Figure 5.20 High frequency welding of PVC sheet.

5.7.3 Laser welding


This technique was first demonstrated on thermoplastics in the 1970s but has
only recently found industrial applications. It involves the generation of an
intense beam of radiation, usually in the infrared area of the electromagnetic
spectrum, for melting thermoplastic in a joint. CO2 lasers can be used to weld
thermoplastic films in lap joint configuration very effectively (Figure 5.21). Weld
speeds can be many hundreds of metres per minute making the process ideal
for high volume production in areas such as the packaging industry. By careful
control of the laser beam profile it is also possible to make a weld and cut at the
same time in an operation called a cut seal.

Figure 5.21 CO2 laser weld in 100m polyethylene film.

Moulded plastics parts can be welded using Nd:YAG or diode lasers. This
technique is called transmission laser welding (Figure 5.22) and requires one
part to be translucent to the laser light. The other part must either be
absorbent to the laser energy or, alternatively, a laser absorbent surface
coating, such as in the Clearweld process, may be applied at the joint. Laser

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welding is a high volume production process with the advantage of creating no
vibrations and generating minimal flash. The technique relies on the initial
outlay for a laser system. However, the benefits of a laser system include a
controllable beam power, reducing the risk of distortion or damage to
components; precise focusing of the laser beam, allowing accurate joints to be
formed; and a non-contact process, which is both clean and hygienic.
Applications for laser welding in the areas of food packaging, medical devices,
fabrics and electronic displays are being developed.

Figure 5.22 Schematic of transmission laser welding of plastics.

5.7.4 Infrared welding


Two different approaches to infrared welding have emerged, both based around
the principle of hot plate welding. One is to use tungsten line heaters as the
heat source (Figure 5.23); the other, which is commercially available and is
sometimes called non-contact hot plate, is to use an electrically heated metal
plate.

Figure 5.23 IR lamp welding of plastics pipes.

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Both systems involve bringing the two plastic parts to be joined in close
proximity to the infrared source for sufficient time for the parts to become
molten, withdrawing the source and then pushing the parts together to form a
weld. Infrared welding has a number of advantages over hot plate welding:
weld times are reduced, the joints are free from contamination (since it is a
non-contact process) and low modulus materials can be welded (since there is
little or no shearing of the parts during heating). Currently the main application
for infrared welding is in the joining of plastics pipes, but it has the potential to
be used in many areas where hot plate welding is currently used and has been
demonstrated on composites.

5.7.5 Microwave welding


The possibility of using microwaves to weld thermoplastics has existed since the
development of the magnetron in the 1940s. However, the technology is only
now evolving for large scale industrial production. Most thermoplastics do not
experience a temperature rise when irradiated by microwaves. However, if a
microwave susceptible implant is placed at the joint line and pressure applied to
the components, melting of the surrounding plastic can occur when irradiated
by microwaves and a weld may be formed. Microwave susceptible materials
include, metals, carbon or conducting polymers. The particular advantage of
microwave welding over other techniques is its capability to irradiate the entire
component and consequently produce complex three-dimensional joints.
Microwave welding is still in the development stage and as such there are
currently no reported industrial applications. However, it is anticipated that the
technique may prove to be suitable for joining automotive under-bonnet
components and domestic appliance parts.

5.8 Techniques that employ an external heat source


5.8.1 Hot plate welding
Hot plate (also known as heated tool, butt fusion, platen or mirror) welding, this
is probably the simplest welding technique for thermoplastics. The parts to be
welded are held in fixtures, which press them against a heated metal plate. The
heating takes place in two stages; the hot plate melts the surfaces of the
thermoplastics parts and material is displaced so that a smooth surface is
obtained; mechanical stops in the equipment or a reduction in pressure prevent
further displacement but the parts continue to be heated by the plate until they
are softened some distance away from it. The fixtures then open, the heated
tool is withdrawn and the fixtures then force the parts together. Hot plate
welding has the disadvantage of being a relatively slow process, with weld
times up to 1 hour for very large joint areas. The most important application for
hot plate welding is in the joining of polyethylene water and gas pipes (Figure
5.24), PVC door and window frames and in the manufacture of fluid reservoirs
in the automotive industry.

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Figure 5.24 Hot plate welding of polyethylene pipe.

5.8.2 Hot gas welding


Hot gas welding of thermoplastics is a manual process. A stream of hot gas
(typically air but can be nitrogen) is directed towards a prepared joint between
the two thermoplastic parts to be joined, where it softens or melts the polymer.
A filler rod is also heated in the stream of hot gas and this is fed into the joint
between the two parts. A weld is formed by the fusing together of the
thermoplastic parts and the filler rod (Figure 5.25).

Figure 5.25 Hot gas welding.

The hot gas welding tool (torch) consists of a heater unit to heat the gas and a
nozzle to direct the gas onto the workpieces. If air is used, this is provided by
either a remote air compressor or an integral blower.

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The temperature of the hot gas stream is governed by the electrical supply to
the heater and is typically in the range 200-400C depending on the material to
be welded. A range of nozzle shapes is available and selection is based on the
type of weld preparation. Thermoplastic consumable filler rods are generally
circular in section although rods with triangular section are also available in
most thermoplastic materials. It is important that the filler rod is made from the
same base material as the two parts to be joined.

The main advantage of hot gas welding is that the equipment is easily portable.
The main disadvantages of the process are that it is slow and weld quality is
dependent on the skill of the operator.

Applications for the process are based around the fabrication of sheet and tube
into vessels and pipework. Industrial sectors that have exploited the technology
in these applications include industrial plant, agriculture and building.

5.8.3 Extrusion welding


Extrusion welding of thermoplastics is a near relative of hot gas welding and
shares some of its characteristic advantages and disadvantages. The technique
is based on the extrusion of thermoplastic through a heated die. As it emerges
from the die in a softened or molten form, the thermoplastic is forced into the
joint between two parts which themselves have been pre-heated using hot air
from a hot gas gun mounted on the extruder (Figure 5.26).

Figure 5.26 Extrusion welding.

5.8.4 Resistive implant welding


This is similar to induction welding in that an implant is required. In this case,
the implant is resistively heated by passing a high electric current through it.
The implants are frequently made of metal in wire, braid or mesh form and the
electric current is generally DC or low frequency AC. As the implant heats due
to resistive losses, the surrounding thermoplastic softens and melts. Applying a
pressure between the two parts produces a weld. Resistive implant welding is
particularly suited to the joining and repair of polyethylene gas and water pipes
since it can be performed in the field. In this case it is referred to as
electrofusion welding (Figure 5.27).

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Polymers and Polymer Welding 5-17 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 5.27 Electrofusion welds in polyethylene water pipes.

5.8.5 Heat sealing


Heat sealing is used for joining thermoplastic films, typically less than 0.5mm
thick. There are two main types of heat sealing: hot bar welding and impulse
welding.

Hot bar welding is based on the principle that if two thermoplastic films are
pressed together using a heated metal bar, they will soften and a joint can be
made between them. Since the technique relies on the conduction of heat
through one of the films, this limits the thickness of material that can be
welded. Sometimes two heated bars are employed, one either side of the films
and this has the effect of reducing the welding time. A coating of PTFE is often
applied to the bars to prevent softened or molten plastic from sticking to them.
Hot bar welding can be a rapid process with typical weld times, for thicknesses
of around 100m, in the order of 1-3 seconds. It is most widely used in the
packaging industry for sealing bags and films.

In impulse welding, the film layers are placed between two jaws, at least one of
which contains a nickel-chromium resistance wire strip, encapsulated with a
non-stick coating. Due to the low thermal mass of the strip it heats up quickly
and also cools down quickly. In this way the parts being welded experience a
well, controlled heating and cooling regime while still being held under
pressure. An impulse welding machine is shown in Figure 5.28.

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Figure 5.28 Impulse welding of polyethylene bags.

5.8.6 Flash-free welding


This technique, also called BCF welding or flow fusion, is a method for butt
joining thermoplastics parts (sheets, pipes or rods) without the generation of
weld flash. The parts to be joined are butted together and fixed in place to
prevent axial movement during the welding cycle. The parts are then
constrained laterally using heated metal parts, ie bars for joining sheets and a
collar for joining pipes and rod. As the metal parts are heated to above the
melting point of the thermoplastic, the material at the joint softens and melts.
However, it is totally constrained and a melt pressure is built up due to thermal
expansion. For pipes, the molten material is prevented from extruding into the
bore by using an inflatable bladder, which is expanded at the joint-line prior to
welding. After a predetermined time, which is related to the thickness of the
thermoplastic parts, the heat supply is switched off and the joint allowed to
cool. Flash-free welding machines are currently only commercially available for
joining thermoplastics pipes, where a smooth bore at the joint line is a major
advantage for high purity applications such as in the food or pharmaceutical
industries.

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Section 6
Fully Mechanised Processes
and Robotics
6 Fully Mechanised Processes and Robotics
6.1 Description
In arc welding and manufacturing in general, mechanisation refers to some or
all of the steps in an operation being performed in sequence by some
mechanical or electronic means. Certain functions may be performed manually
(partial automation); or all of the functions may be performed without
adjustment by the operator (total automation). Mechanisation can be applied to
many different processes. Equipment may accommodate a single
assembly/family of assemblies (fixed automation), or may be flexible enough to
be quickly modified to perform similar operations on different components and
assemblies (flexible automation).

Many terms are used to describe arc welding that is carried out by machine, as
summarized immediately below.

Mechanised welding
Welding in which the welding parameters are controlled mechanically or
electronically and may be manually varied during welding to maintain the
required welding position.

Automatic welding
Welding in which all of the welding parameters are controlled. Manual
adjustments may be made between welding operations but not during welding.

Robotic welding
Automatic welding using a robot that can be pre-programmed to different
welding paths and fabrication geometries.

Current status
Welding is a key task for industrial robots, with 25-35% engaged in arc welding
and 30-40% performing resistance welding tasks. The automotive sector is the
major user (50-60%) but yellow goods (earthmoving equipment) and white
goods (washing machines, refrigerators, etc) are growing sectors.

Robots are computer controlled servo feedback systems that move smoothly,
precisely and at considerable speed through a programmed path. Being
computer-based, the programs can be readily reconfigured (re-taught) to
enable new tasks and operations to be undertaken.

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Programs were initially generated by driving the robot, point-to-point, through
the required path while recording each point in turn (teach and learn). This
approach requires on-line use of the production robot. Increasingly, computer
simulation tools are used to generate, off-line programs which are then down-
loaded to the robot when required.

Sensors, usually based on a laser stripe or scanned spot, are increasingly being
used to follow the seam and to apply corrections to the welding parameters to
accommodate variations in joint fit up and volume.

A robotic installation is typically fixed, with components brought to the robot for
welding. However, for large fabrications, eg ships, portable robots can be
positioned for welding to be carried out in situ.

6.2 Benefits
Successful application of mechanized/automated systems can offer a number of
advantages. These include increased productivity, consistent weld quality,
predictable welding production rates, reduced variable welding costs and lower
part costs. Limitations include higher capital investment than for manual
welding equipment, a need for more accurate part location and orientation and
more sophisticated arc movement and control devices. As such, production
requirements must be large enough to justify the costs of equipment and
installation, the maintenance of equipment and the training of operators and
programmers for robot equipment.

The extent to which automation should be employed is governed by several


factors:

Product quality
Better process control, product improvement and scrap reduction are all
possible.

Production level
Higher output and improved inventory turn-over may be the most significant
advantages.

Manpower
Automation may allow the welder to work outside a hazardous environment and
it may be possible to use cheaper semi-skilled labour; however education and
training of personnel will be required to make optimal use of an automated
system.

Investment
Savings and costs resulting from an automated system must be identified,
including availability/cost of capital.

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6.3 Mechanised welding
Mechanised welding was first developed in the 1960s by the aerospace and
nuclear power industries and mechanised welding is now a mature technology
that is applied in almost every industry that uses welded tubes and pipes. It is
used in industries from semiconductor manufacture to shipbuilding, power plant
construction to marine gas pipelines and chemical plant maintenance to food
processing. The reasons for this lie not only in the process improved reliability
and quality of the weld joints, but also in the improved productivity, weld bead
smoothness, improved corrosion resistance and practicality when compared to
manual welding or other joining methods.

Reasons to change to mechanised TIG welding include:

Young welders are difficult to recruit.


Operator ergonomics are improved significantly.
Remote control and video options.
Increased duty cycle, so higher productivity.
Welding procedures repeatable, resulting in consistent weld quality.
Good control over heat input.
Equipment available for use on site.
Superior quality compare to manual welding.
Can be used in areas where access is restricted for manual welders.

Increased productivity is one of the main driving factors towards the selection
of mechanised welding to replace manual welding. However, the process limits
any substantial improvement in these factors over manual welding.

Mechanised welding can yield high deposition rates and higher torch travel
speeds, compared to manual welding. Increased productivity with mechanised
welding is primarily the product of duty cycle and reduced defect rates and
mechanised pipe welding is not guaranteed to increase productivity. Numerous
considerations, such as workflow and work piece geometry, may not make
mechanised welding cost-effective. Mechanised welding is only advantageous if
a number of similarly-sized pipes can be welded in uninterrupted succession.
Given a suitable application, mechanised welding often achieves a 70% duty
cycle, versus 20-25% for manual welding. Provided the above conditions are
met, productivity realistically can increase threefold over manual welding. In
addition, most companies can achieve rates of repair of less than 1%.

Weld quality and surface finish are the other main reasons for companies
replacing manual welding with mechanised welding. Mechanised welding
ensures the absence of crevices and cracks that could cause local concentration
of corrosive fluids, which are particularly harmful to stainless steels.

Another advantage of mechanised welding over manual welding is the


traceability and consistency of results. Once a weld program has been
established, a welding system can perform the same weld hundreds of times
with a high level of repeatability. Power supplies can also record a real-time
data log file that reports any deviation from set parameters. This can be directly
transferred to a PC allowing easier and faster quality control. If the application
of codes such as ASME or EN to welding qualification, performance and
inspection is required, orbital welding can guarantee improved weld quality to
meet these requirements. In addition, the use of a mechanised welding process
can justify requests for concessions on the frequency of quality control, with
respect to manual welding.

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One of the most common mistakes with mechanised welding is to expect
welders to become instant experts. Three to five days of direct instructions by a
technical specialist are usually required for multipass mechanised welding
systems. Welders typically need several weeks after that to reach full
proficiency. Operators must be able to adjust the welding systems according to
the pipe fit up. If the operators are required to program the power supply and
to do trouble-shooting, a longer training period is needed. In addition, the
ability to read a weld puddle is a big advantage. Tube-to-tube sheet welding
requires a higher level of skill and experience than orbital welding, because for
protruding T5 connections adjustments needs to be made in 3 dimensions.

Users of mechanised welding systems should be qualified to EN 1418 welding


personnel - approval testing of welding operators for fusion welding and
resistance weld setters for fully mechanised and automatic welding of metallic
materials, if required by the contractor or application standard. This operator
standard also includes a mandatory theory test to verify the operators
knowledge of the welding equipment. Operators who do not perform any
programming or adjustment of parameters during a weld do not need to be
approved.

To ensure quality welds the selection of appropriate material is a critical first


step, Even the best mechanised welding system cannot compensate for poor
material, fittings and other components. It is critical that certain elements in
the material such as sulphur are controlled. Attempting to weld two tubes
together with significantly different composition is likely to produce an offset
weld, potentially missing the joint line.

Variations in wall thickness, diameter and cleanliness will also affect the quality
of the weld, so the tube should be stored and handled correctly. For orbital
welding, tube faces must be machined square, so they butt together with little
or no gaps between them. The faced tube ends should have no hanging burrs
and chamfers should be kept to a minimum - less than 10% of wall thickness,
or 0.005 inch, whichever is less.

Variation in tube diameter and wall thickness is also a problem for tube-to-
tubesheet welding and tubes have to be seamless or have flattened welds. An
expanding mandrel in the head accommodates variations in inner diameter, but
concentricity variations between inner and outer diameters must be minimised
to allow repeatability of electrode positioning. The torch is aligned with the
inside of the tube, but welding is carried out on the outside diameter.
Concentricity variations may also cause unacceptable variations in arc length.
Sprung loaded torches will help to overcome slight variations in ovality.

In some cases, the play between the tube and the bore must be eliminated by
slight expansion of the tube. Play is necessary for assembly, but if clearances
become too great, problems of repeatability may occur. However, it is difficult
to specify a maximum amount of play as it depends on the thickness of the
tube and the quality required. A strong expansion of the tube inside the tube
sheet must never be carried out because this can lead to degassing effect which
affects weld quality. The contact between the tube and the tube sheet must be
clean. Grease, oil or other residue from tube manufacture or machining can
cause blow holes and porosity.

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6.4 Orbital welding heads
Orbital welding heads are clamped around the tube and the TIG electrode or
torch is mechanically rotated around the component. Orbital heads come in two
basic types, closed and open.

Closed heads (also known as fusion heads) form a chamber around the tube,
which is filled with shielding gas. The tube is clamped between two split collets
the same diameter as the tube. For small diameter tube the two pieces may be
fitted into a cassette which is then loaded into the head. This type of head is
designed for relatively small diameter tubes (typically from 5-75mm in
diameter) and is usually autogenous, ie without the capability for adding a wire
consumable, so applications are limited in wall thickness to about 3-4mm
depending on material. A set of collets is required for each tube outside
diameter, so flexibility is limited.

Open heads offer a greater degree of flexibility, although without the gas
coverage of a closed head. The head is clamped on the tube but in this case the
clamping arrangement can be adjusted to accommodate a range of tube
diameters. For example ESAB supplies three PRB heads with the following
ranges in pipe diameter, 17-49mm, 33-90mm and 60-170mm. Other
manufacturers provide a similar range of heads.

These open heads are fitted with a conventional TIG ceramic shroud to provide
gas coverage and usually have a wire fill capability. Additionally, the head may
be fitted with an arc length control (ALC) system and have a weave capability.
These added features permit thicker wall tube to be welded, ie above 3-4mm,
using a joint preparation and filler wire. Heads are available for pipe diameters
of up to typically 200mm with a welding current rating of up to 200A. Above
this size the head becomes impractical and unwieldy.

For pipe diameters above typically 100mm, orbital welding can be achieved by
using a welding carriage that travels around the circumference of the pipe along
a track (or band). Carriages are typically equipped with an AVC and weave
function, wire fill addition (one or two wires) and may also have a video camera
for monitoring and recording the weld. A track is required for each pipe
diameter. For TIG welding the maximum pipe diameter is typically 1m and
heads are rated up to 400A.

In addition to the standard heads mentioned above, specialist heads are


available from a number of companies for welding flanges to pipes, pulled tees
and areas with restricted access.

Large diameter pipe welding head (ESAB).

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6.5 Tube-to-tubesheet welding heads
For tube-to-tubesheet welding the range of equipment is more restricted. Most
manufacturers supply two types of head, open and closed.

Closed welding heads are usually manually clamped into position and do not
have a wire fill capability. The range of tube diameters is typically 10 to 25mm
and the current rating is less than 150A. These heads are designed for
autogenous welding of flushed tubes and are therefore not suitable for T5 and
T6 connections which require a filler wire.

Open heads are more sophisticated and usually feature pneumatic clamping,
expanding mandrels, wire feed capability and arc length control (ALC). The
range of tube diameters available is typically 10-80mm, although some heads
are restricted to a maximum diameter of about 40mm (within the specified
range). Current rating of all the heads surveyed is 200A, but duty cycles vary.
All open heads are suitable for welding flush T6 connections, but the capabilities
to weld T5, protruding connections vary. Manufactures specify a range of tube
protrusion between 3 and 13mm for open heads.

For protruding T5 connections, an inclined torch is required. For thin walled


tube (up to about 2mm) a torch angle of 15 is generally recommended to
avoid burn-through. For thicker walled tube (2.45mm and above), a 30 angle
is recommended if there is sufficient space between tubes. Different torches
with a range of adjustment are available depending on the type of connection.

The range of wall thickness is not specified by manufacturers but some head
include a chill follower inside the tube to minimise the possibility of burn-
through on thin wall tubes. Some manufacturers suggest a minimum wall
thickness of 1.6mm, so thinner walled tube may be a problem. Spring loaded
torches will accommodate slight ovality in the tubes.

Tube-to-tubesheet welding head (ESAB).

6.6 Narrow gap welding


Narrow gap welding is a generic term referring to a process that utilises
conventional arc welding techniques with a square edged preparation and with
such a groove angle as to take into account only angular distortion. Beads are
laid in multiple layers (except electro-slag) and the number of beads per layer
is constant (normally 1-2) compared with a standard V or U prep where the
number of beads increases on each layer. Various processes have been applied

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using the narrow gap technique, including gas metal arc welding (GMAW), gas
tungsten arc welding (GTAW) and submerged arc welding (SAW) as well as a
special variant of electro-slag welding (ESW). The most commonly used process
as recorded in the mid 1980s was GMAW comprising 55% of all applications
followed by SAW (18%), GTAW (11%), electro-slag welding (8%) (Matsuda et
al, 1986a). No such similar data exists today although it is likely that the GTAW
and SAW variants are used equally as much as GMAW.

NG-TIG offers a significant increase in productivity by reducing the number of


passes, quantity of weld metal and weld time. As a general rule, NG welding will
not be cost-effective for thicknesses of less than 25mm, but for thicknesses
greater than 60mm a saving in welding time of between 5-10 times is
achievable. However, accurately machined joint preparations and precise fit up
are required.

6.7 Equipment
A small number of companies supply equipment for NG-TIG. In Europe the main
suppliers are Polysoude, ESAB, Liberdi Dimetrics and Arc Machines. As this is a
limited market, equipment is often designed to meet customer requirements.

For relatively thin wall applications (up to 40mm), Polysoude provide a torch
with a motorised electrode. As the weld progresses the electrode is retracted
from the joint.

Narrow gap welding head (Polysoude).

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For thicker sections (typically up to 200mm) a narrow gap head is used. The
heads features an oscillating electrode and wire feed to produce a single pass
weaved bead.

Narrow gap welding heads (Polysoude).

For increased productivity, multiple wires and hot wire additions can be added
to the heads.

Component can either be rotated under a fixed NG-TIG head or the head can be
mounted on a band for orbital.

Narrow gap welding heads (Arc Machines).

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6.8 Preparation of grooves
The precise detail of the groove geometry will depend on the material and
thickness, to take into account weld shrinkage. Accurate machining and close
alignment is necessitated for Ng-TIG.

10.3 mm 12.5 mm 17.0 mm

1.5 2 5
45 mm

P91 15Mo3 316L


8 mm 9.4 mm 9 mm
Groove geometries for different materials. (Polysoude)

6.9 Applications for NG-TIG


Documented use of the process for joining thick section stainless steel pressure
vessels is available from the late 1970s. The majority of the reported
applications of the process are in high integrity applications such as steam
headers and pressure vessels typically in non-ferrous materials. The noted
advantage of the process is the independent control of the heat input and wire
feed speed and the noted disadvantage is the deposition rate.

The Oak Ridge national laboratory (ORNL) has developed a full penetration butt
weld made in the 2G/PC position by a completely automatic programmable
plasma arc welding system. The system incorporates an automatic welding
head using autogenous keyhole technique for welding, ASTM, A106, A516 and
A36 steels, to ASME boiler and pressure vessel section III division 1 for class 3
vessels .The narrow gap variant uses a specially designed torch capable of
fitting in very narrow grooves (minimum 9mm). The purpose of this torch is to
provide adequate gas shielding to the electrode so that a stable arc can be
formed. The torch also provides cooling to prevent degradation of the electrode
and torch components. NG-GTAW is always carried out with the addition of a
filler wire which is guided to the weld pool through a nozzle.

Variants of the process include the hot wire system mentioned previously and
also twin wire or twin arc systems. The electrode can remain stationary in the
centre of the groove or it can be oscillated to ensure better sidewall fusion.
During the widespread development of nuclear power stations within the UK in
the 1970s and 1980s, NG-GTAW was widely used for the fabrication of pressure
vessels, joining of steam turbine rotors and thick walled pressure piping. A
significant proportion of this welding was with high alloy, high Cr stainless steel
grades and Ni alloys. This included the Heysham II and Torness AGR stations,
where the NG-GTAW process offered excellent control over heat input and the
metallurgy of the weldment (Babcock power Ltd, 1983).

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Connections of 180mm thick high pressure inner turbine casings to a main
control valve have also been reported. These were carried out in Germany,
Japan and China by Siemens power generation ltd for 'ultra super critical' power
plants. Productivity benefits of an NG preparation over a conventional weld
preparation in terms of weld metal volume were reported. For a 160mm thick
weld it is shown that a narrow gap weld uses 3.5 times less weld metal than a
conventional groove design.

The use of orbital NG-GTAW equipment appears to be less widespread; however


applications are recorded such as the Toden power plant in Japan, where it was
used in the orbital configuration for welding of steam piping up to 70mm thick.

Productivity benefits of using hot wire NG tungsten inert gas (HW-NG-GTAW)


welding over conventional cold wire process were reported. Deposition rate
increases from 0.5-3kg/hour arc time using HW-NG-GTAW.

Areva NP is using the NG-GTAW process in the fabrication of all the nuclear
power plants with which it has been involved. This includes the newly proposed
EPR type reactors where the process will be used on the main coolant system,
reactor vessel and steam generator nozzles.

There are recorded applications of orbital welds being produced on fixed pipe
using NG-GTAW. This demonstrates its capability to weld overhead, vertical up
and vertical down should it be required.

To improve the reliability of nuclear power stations and to prevent stress


corrosion cracking, Toshiba manufactured a shroud; a large internal component
in the reactor, with a new material to replace the existing one after core shroud
cracking was discovered in 1990. Narrow-gap GTAW was used for the on-site
welding. This cylindrical pressure vessel is about 22.97 feet (7 meters) high and
weighs about 34 tons. Narrow-gap welding with minimal heat input was used to
weld the shroud to the existing shroud supports. Narrow-gap GTAW also was
used in the shop manufacture of the new shrouds. The single-wire (cold-wire),
double-gas shield method was used as the narrow-groove GTAW technique. An
argon and hydrogen mix was used as the center gas and argon with 50 percent
helium was the shield gas. Pulse welding was used to weld the 1.69-in. (43-
mm) length with about 21 passes at a welding speed of 5.51 inches per minute
(IPM) (140 mm per minute).

6.10 Power sources for mechanised welding


The TIG arc welding power source is usually designed specifically to interface to
a range of mechanised welding heads and to provide the programming
capability. Today, the majority of power sources will be inverter based with a
digital programming capability either built in or via a laptop computer.
Invariably, the power source will provide pulsed as well as DC output and most
power sources can be programmed for different parameters as the weld
progresses around the tube, (sectoring).

Increasingly, power sources are pre-programmed for a range of tube materials,


diameter and wall thickness. The operator selects the required programme
without need for parameter setting or adjustment.

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The power source will generally control the following parameters:

Pre and post purge of shielding gas.


Upslope and down slope of the welding parameters.
Welding current profile (DC and pulsed) around the joint.
Wire feed rate.
Torch rotation.
Arc length control (ALC).
Torch oscillation.

Older designs may be programmed using thumbwheel switches but more up to


date equipment will have an LCD screen. Windows based systems are now
starting to appear. The other recent improvement is the introduction of so
called digital power sources. Inverter power sources can respond much quicker
to changes in output and with fast sampling rates of over 10KHz the output
remains stable and can adapt rapidly to demands.

Increasingly, power sources include real time data acquisition for QA


requirements and off-line programming.

6.11 Capital investment


The benefits of mechanised welding need to be considered when making
decisions on capital investment. These benefits should be weighed against the
constraints of material preparation and tolerances, variations in component
through put and training requirements. Mechanised welding equipment involves
a significant capital investment and manufacturers should be approached for
their best prices. But, price is only one factor and support and training should
also be taken into account.

6.12 Robot welding


Robots are essentially machines which are programmed to carry out a series of
repetitive actions. Without intelligence they simply carry out the same
operations but do so repeat ably. A strength, over other machines, is that they
can be re-programmed to perform a different or several different During the
widespread development of nuclear power stations within the UK in the 1970s
and 1980s, NG-GTAW was widely used for the fabrication of pressure vessels,
joining of steam turbine rotors and thick walled pressure piping. A significant
proportion of this welding was with high alloy, high Cr stainless steel grades
and Ni alloys. This included the Heysham II and Torness AGR stations, where
the NG-GTAW process offered excellent control over heat input and the
metallurgy of the weldment (Babcock power Ltd, 1983).

Connections of 180mm thick high pressure inner turbine casings to a main


control valve have also been reported. These were carried out in Germany,
Japan and China by Siemens power generation ltd for 'ultra super critical' power
plants. Productivity benefits of an NG preparation over a conventional weld
preparation in terms of weld metal volume were reported. For a 160mm thick
weld it is shown that a narrow gap weld uses 3.5 times less weld metal than a
conventional groove design.

The use of orbital NG-GTAW equipment appears to be less widespread; however


applications are recorded such as the Toden power plant in Japan, where it was
used in the orbital configuration for welding of steam piping up to 70mm thick.

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Productivity benefits of using hot wire NG tungsten inert gas (HW-NG-GTAW)
welding over conventional cold wire process were reported. Deposition rate
increases from 0.5-3kg/hour arc time using HW-NG-GTAW.

Areva NP is using the NG-GTAW process in the fabrication of all the nuclear
power plants with which it has been involved. This includes the newly proposed
EPR type reactors where the process will be used on the main coolant system,
reactor vessel and steam generator nozzles.

There are recorded applications of orbital welds being produced on fixed pipe
using NG-GTAW. This demonstrates its capability to weld overhead, vertical up
and vertical down should it be required.

To improve the reliability of nuclear power stations and to prevent stress


corrosion cracking, Toshiba manufactured a shroud; a large internal component
in the reactor, with a new material to replace the existing one after core shroud
cracking was discovered in 1990. Narrow-gap GTAW was used for the on-site
welding. This cylindrical pressure vessel is about 22.97 feet (7 meters) high and
weighs about 34 tons. Narrow-gap welding with minimal heat input was used to
weld the shroud to the existing shroud supports. Narrow-gap GTAW also was
used in the shop manufacture of the new shrouds. The single-wire (cold-wire),
double-gas shield method was used as the narrow-groove GTAW technique. An
argon and hydrogen mix was used as the center gas and argon with 50 percent
helium was the shield gas. Pulse welding was used to weld the 1.69-in.
(43-mm) length with about 21 passes at a welding speed of 5.51 inches per
minute (IPM) (140mm per minute).

6.13 Power sources for mechanised welding


The TIG arc welding power source is usually designed specifically to interface to
a range of mechanised welding heads and to provide the programming
capability. Today, the majority of power sources will be inverter based with a
digital programming capability either built in or via a laptop computer.
Invariably, the power source will provide pulsed as well as DC output and most
power sources can be programmed for different parameters as the weld
progresses around the tube, (sectoring).

Increasingly, power sources are pre-programmed for a range of tube materials,


diameter and wall thickness. The operator selects the required programme
without need for parameter setting or adjustment.

The power source will generally control the following parameters:

Pre and post purge of shielding gas.


Upslope and down slope of the welding parameters.
Welding current profile (DC and pulsed) around the joint.
Wire feed rate.
Torch rotation.
Arc length control (ALC).
Torch oscillation.

Older designs may be programmed using thumbwheel switches but more up to


date equipment will have an LCD screen. Windows based systems are now
starting to appear. The other recent improvement is the introduction of so
called digital power sources. Inverter power sources can respond much quicker
to changes in output and with fast sampling rates of over 10KHz the output
remains stable and can adapt rapidly to demands.

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Fully Mechanised Processes
and Robotics 6-12 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Increasingly, power sources include real time data acquisition for QA
requirements and off-line programming.

6.14 Capital investment


The benefits of mechanised welding need to be considered when making
decisions on capital investment. These benefits should be weighed against the
constraints of material preparation and tolerances, variations in component
through put and training requirements. Mechanised welding equipment involves
a significant capital investment and manufacturers should be approached for
their best prices. But, price is only one factor and support and training should
also be taken into account.

6.15 Robot welding


Robots are essentially machines which are programmed to carry out a series of
repetitive actions. Without intelligence they simply carry out the same
operations but do so repeat ably. A strength, over other machines, is that they
can be re-programmed to perform a different or several different The approach
offers further benefit by enabling complex three dimensional or non-geometric
profiles to be programmed into the robot very rapidly. The basis for the control
of the robot movement may also be taken directly from computer aided design
(CAD) data for the component or product being processed. Direct use of CAD
data enables the OLP user to utilise computer aided design/computer aided
manufacture (CAD/CAM) or computer integrated manufacture (CIM) techniques
all the way to the robotic production cell and furthermore, enables the use of
simultaneous engineering principles, where product and process development is
carried out in parallel.

The level of use of OLP within manufacturing varies geographically, with


greatest uptake in Japan and the USA. Within the EU, Germany is the leading
adopter; the UK has been relatively slow to invest in the approach. Where
investment has been made within the UK, the major automotive users
dominate. The UK small to medium sized enterprise (SME) base is investing
ever more in robotics and the costs associated with OLP are reducing, therefore
the opportunity to enhance productivity using the technique is now within the
reach of smaller enterprises.

The OLP approach offers practical advantages compared to conventional robot


programming methods and new users can also use the system successfully with
adequate training. The OLP approach could be exploited by any organisation
with some robotic or CAD experience already in-house. Even with minimal initial
experience of robotics the technique is certainly not impenetrable, so the
decision to invest can be based on economics with a high confidence that the
system can be put to use successfully. The main risk in adopting the
technology, assuming that the investment decision was made on the correct
basis, is that users who do not interact with the system regularly, will slip back
down the learning curve. If a user is not confident with the technique they will
not be able to achieve the dramatic time savings that are possible using OLP.

Where a business is frequently programming and re-programming robot cells,


experienced OLP operators could reduce new product introduction (NPI) time by
a factor of three, dependent on the complexity of the task. The more complex
the task, the greater the savings in robot downtime enabled by the OLP
method.

The investment decision must be taken with care and the true basis established
and backed up with data before moving into OLP.

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Fully Mechanised Processes
and Robotics 6-13 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Section 7
Friction Welding Processes
7 Friction Welding Processes
7.1 Introduction
The action of rubbing two objects together causing friction to provide heat is
one dating back many centuries. The principles of this method now form the
basis of many traditional and novel friction welding, surfacing and processing
techniques.

The friction process is an efficient and controllable method of plasticising a


specific area on a material and thus removing contaminants in preparation for
welding, surfacing/cladding or extrusion. The process is environmentally
friendly as it does not require consumables (filler wire, flux or gas) and
produces no fumes.

In friction welding, heat is produced by rubbing components together under


load. Once the required temperature and material deformation is reached, the
action is terminated and the load is maintained or increased to create a solid
phase bond. Friction is ideal for welding dissimilar metals with very different
melting temperatures and physical properties.

Friction welding technologies can be categorised into three core technologies


which are detailed in this summary:

Rotary friction welding.


Linear friction welding.
Friction stir welding.

7.2 Rotary friction welding


Rotary friction welding was the first of the friction processes to be developed
and used commercially. No additional filler material is used and welding takes
place in the solid phase, ie no macroscopic melting is observed. One of the
inherent features of friction welding is efficient utilisation of the thermal energy
developed.

Figure 7.1 Schematic illustration of rotary friction welding.

There are two process variants: continuous drive rotary friction welding and
stored energy friction welding (eg inertia welding).

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The simplest mechanical arrangement for continuous-drive rotary friction
welding involves two cylindrical bars held in axial alignment. One of the bars is
rotated while the other is advanced into contact under a pre-selected axial
pressure (see illustration). Rotation continues for a specific time, sufficient for
achieving the temperature at which metal in the joint zone is in the plastic
state. Having achieved this condition, the rotating bar is stopped while the
pressure is either maintained or increased to consolidate the joint.

In inertia welding, the rotating component is attached to a flywheel which is


accelerated to a preset rotation speed. At this point, drive to the flywheel is cut.
The rotating flywheel (with a set amount of stored energy) is then forced
against the stationary component and the resultant braking action generates
the required heat for welding.

The process can be used to join many similar or dissimilar metal combinations.
Figure 7.2 shows two example applications for rotary friction welding.

Figure 7.2 Rotary friction welded engine valve stem (different steel alloys
joined) and an aluminium to steel transition joints for process plant application
(post weld machined to remove flash collar).

7.3 Linear friction welding


The world-wide industrial acceptance of the economic benefits and high weld
quality produced when using conventional rotary friction welding to produce
joints in round section metallic components led to the development of linear
friction welding (LFW). Non-round or complex geometry components, such as
aircraft engine blades to discs, can be welded using LFW, which is a solid phase,
machine tool based process.

LFW involves rubbing one component across the face of a second rigidly
clamped component, using a linear reciprocating motion. This motion is
currently produced using a smaller amplitude of 1-3mm, at a frequency of 25-
125Hz and a maximum axial welding force of 150kN. The linear reciprocating
motion shown in Figure 7.3 generates frictional heat and softening of material
at the weld interface which is expelled as flash as shown in Figure 7.4.

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Section 7 Friction Welding Processes 7-2 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 7.3 Schematic illustration of LFW.

Figure 7.4 LFW in action.

The two components are brought into perfect alignment towards the end of the
weld cycle and the welding force is maintained or increased to consolidate the
joint.

7.4 LFW application


Although available for around 30 years, the LFW process has only found
industrial application in aircraft engine manufacture, in part due to the high cost
of the welding machines. It has proved to be an ideal process for joining turbine
blades to discs where the high value-added cost of the components justifies the
cost of a LFW machine. This approach is more cost-effective than machining
blade/disc (blisks) assemblies from solid billets.

LFW has been used successfully to join a range of materials including steel,
intermetallic materials, aluminium, nickel, copper and titanium alloys with the
greatest emphasis on aircraft engine alloys. The process has also been
demonstrated as an effective way for joining copper to aluminium for electrical
conductors.
Today there is significant development work in progress which will ultimately
develop LFW as a bulk near-net shape manufacturing route where fabrications
can be rapidly built up from stock materials. This is of key interest to the
aerospace industry where the ratio of material purchased to that which flies can
be as high as 20:1 with the majority of the material being machined away and
wasted. Applications of LFW are shown in Figure 7.5.

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Section 7 Friction Welding Processes 7-3 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 7.5 LFW applications: an aero engine bladed disk as used in turbine
engines, each blade is welded to the hub, demonstrator shown here in
aluminium although manufactured in titanium for engine application (left). A
titanium alloy LFW pre-form made by welding three 20mm thick plates
together, partially machined with the enclosure showing the volume of
titanium billet normally machined away to make the part (right).

7.5 LFW benefits


The benefits of linear friction welding are:

A solid state process (no arcs) which gives reproducible, high quality welds.
No filler wire or shielding gas required.
No fume or spatter.
Less material loss when compared with flash welding.
Ability to weld a cross sectional area of up to 10,000mm2 in around 5
seconds.

7.6 Friction stir welding


In late 1991 a novel and potentially world beating welding method was
conceived. The process was duly named friction stir welding (FSW) and TWI
filed for world-wide patent protection in December of that year. Consistent with
the more conventional methods of friction welding, which have been practised
since the early 1950s, the weld is made in the solid phase that is no melting.
Since its invention, the process has received world-wide attention and today
many companies around the world are using the technology in production,
particularly for joining aluminium alloys.

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Section 7 Friction Welding Processes 7-4 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
FSW overview

Figure 7.6 Illustration of the FSW tool and process stages.

In friction stir welding (FSW) a cylindrical, shouldered tool with a profiled probe
is rotated and slowly plunged into the joint line between two pieces of sheet or
plate material, which are butted together. The parts have to be clamped onto a
backing bar in a manner that prevents the abutting joint faces from being
forced apart. Frictional heat is generated between the wear resistant welding
tool and the material of the workpieces. This heat causes the latter to soften
without reaching the melting point and allows traversing of the tool along the
weld line. The plasticised material is transferred from the leading edge of the
tool to the trailing edge of the tool probe and is forged by the intimate contact
of the tool shoulder and the pin profile. It leaves a solid phase bond between
the two pieces. The process can be regarded as a solid phase keyhole welding
technique since a hole to accommodate the probe is generated, then filled
during the welding sequence.

Figure 7.7 Typical appearance of FSW in an aluminium alloy. Here a lid has
been welded to enclose a cavity below.

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Section 7 Friction Welding Processes 7-5 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
7.7 FSW advantages, limitations and materials
The process advantages result from the fact that the FSW process (as all
friction welding of metals) takes place in the solid phase below the melting
point of the materials to be joined. The benefits therefore include the ability to
join materials which are difficult to fusion weld, for example 2000 and 7000
aluminium alloys. Friction stir welding can use purpose-designed equipment or
modified existing machine tool technology. The process is also suitable for
automation and adaptable for robot use. Other advantages are as follows:

Low distortion, even in long welds.


Excellent mechanical properties as proven by fatigue, tensile and bend tests.
No arc.
No fume.
No porosity.
No spatter.
Low shrinkage.
Can operate in all positions.
Energy efficient.
Non-consumable tool.
One tool can typically be used for up to 1000m of weld length in 6000 series
aluminium alloys.
No filler wire.
No gas shielding for welding aluminium.
No welder certification required.
Some tolerance to imperfect weld preparations - thin oxide layers can be
accepted.
No grinding, brushing or pickling required in mass production.
Can weld aluminium and copper of >50mm thickness in one pass.
The limitations of the FSW process are being reduced by intensive research and
development. However, the main limitations of the FSW process are at present:

Workpieces must be rigidly clamped.


Backing bar required (except where special self-reacting tools or directly
opposed tools are used).
Keyhole at the end of each weld.

Friction stir welding can be used for joining many types of materials and
material combinations, if tool materials and designs can be found which operate
at the forging temperature of the workpieces.

For aluminium alloys, the following alloys are easily welded. Maximum thickness
in a single pass is dependent on machine power, but values 50mm are
achievable. TWI has welded 75mm 6xxx material in a single pass and larger
thicknesses are possible.

2000 series aluminium (Al-Cu).


5000 series aluminium (Al-Mg).
6000 series aluminium (Al-Mg-Si).
7000 series aluminium (Al-Zn).
8000 series aluminium (Al-Li).
MMCs based on aluminium (metal matrix composites).
Aluminium alloys of the 1000 (commercially pure), 3000 (Al-Mn) and 4000
(Al-Si) series and;
Aluminium castings.

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Other materials successfully welded include:
Copper and its alloys.
Lead.
Titanium and its alloys.
Magnesium alloys.
Zinc.
Plastics.
Mild and C-Mn steels.
Stainless steel (austenitic, martensitic and duplex).
Nickel alloys.

7.8 Microstructure classification of friction stir welds in aluminium alloys

Figure 7.8 Illustration of the microstructural appearance of the weld in section.

Unaffected material or parent metal: This is material remote from the weld,
which has not been deformed and which although it may have experienced a
thermal cycle from the weld is not affected by the heat in terms of
microstructure or mechanical properties.

Heat affected zone (HAZ): In this region, which clearly will lie closer to the
weld centre, the material has experienced a thermal cycle which has modified
the microstructure and/or the mechanical properties. However, there is no
plastic deformation occurring in this area. In the previous system, this was
referred to as the thermally affected zone. The term HAZ is now preferred, as
this is a direct parallel with the heat affected zone in other thermal processes
and there is little justification for a separate name.

Thermo-mechanically affected zone (TMAZ): In this region, the material


has been plastically deformed by the friction stir welding tool and the heat from
the process will also have exerted some influence on the material. In the case
of aluminium, it is possible to get significant plastic strain without
recrystallisation in this region and there is generally a distinct boundary
between the recrystallised zone and the deformed zones of the TMAZ.

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Recrystallised zone: The recrystallised area in the TMAZ in aluminium alloys
has traditionally been called the nugget. Although this term is descriptive, it is
not very scientific. However, its use has become widespread and as there is no
word which is equally simple with greater scientific merit, this term has been
adopted. A schematic diagram is shown in the Figure 7.8 above which clearly
identifies the various regions. It has been suggested that the area immediately
below the tool shoulder (which is clearly part of the TMAZ) should be given a
separate category, as the grain structure is often different here. The
microstructure here is determined by rubbing by the rear face of the shoulder
and the material may have cooled below its maximum. It is suggested that this
area is treated as a separate sub-zone of the TMAZ.

7.9 FSW joint geometries


The process has been used for the manufacture of butt welds, overlap welds, T-
sections and corner welds. For each of these joint geometries specific tool
designs are required which are being further developed and optimised.

The FSW process can cope with circumferential, annular, non-linear and three
dimensional welds. Since gravity has no influence on the solid-phase welding
process, it can be used in all positions.

7.10 FSW applications


The shipbuilding and marine industries are two of the first industry sectors
which have adopted the process for commercial applications. The process is
suitable for the following applications:

Panels for decks, sides, bulkheads and floors.


Aluminium extrusions.
Hulls and superstructures.
Helicopter landing platforms.
Offshore accommodation.
Refrigeration plant.

At present the aerospace industry is welding prototype and production parts by


FSW. Opportunities exist to weld skins to spars, ribs and stringers for use in
military and civilian aircraft. The Eclipse 500 aircraft, in which ~60% of the
rivets are replaced by friction stir welding, is now in production. This offers
significant advantages compared to riveting and machining from solid, such as
reduced manufacturing costs and weight savings. Longitudinal butt welds in Al
alloy fuel tanks for space vehicles have been friction stir welded and
successfully used. The process could also be used to increase the size of
commercially available sheets by welding them before forming. The FSW
process can therefore be considered for:

Wings, fuselages, empennages.


Cryogenic fuel tanks for space vehicles.
Aviation fuel tanks.
External throw away tanks for military aircraft.
Military and scientific rockets.

The commercial production of high speed trains made from aluminium


extrusions which may be joined by FSW has been published. Applications
include:

High speed trains.


Rolling stock of railways, underground carriages, trams.
Railway tankers and goods wagons.

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The friction stir welding process is currently being used commercially and is also
being assessed by several automotive companies and suppliers to this industrial
sector for its commercial application. Existing and potential applications include:

Engine and chassis cradles.


Wheel rims.
Tailored blanks, eg welding of different sheet thicknesses.
Space frames, eg welding extruded tubes to cast nodes.
Tail lifts for lorries.
Armour plate vehicles.
Fuel tankers.

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Section 7 Friction Welding Processes 7-9 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Section 8
Explosive Welding
8 Explosive Welding
8.1 Introduction
8.1.1 Explosive and related solid state welding processes
Explosive welding is defined in the AWS handbook 9th edition, as a solid-state
process that produces a weld by high-velocity impact of work pieces as the
result of a controlled explosive detonation. Another way in which the process is
described by an explosive welding contracting company (pacific aerospace and
electronics Inc.) is explosive welding, simply stated and is a solid-state welding
process that uses controlled explosive detonations to force two or more metals
together at high pressure. The resultant composite material is joined with a
high quality metallurgical bond.

The link between these two statements is that explosive welding is a solid state
(or solid phase) welding process and it is important to understand what this
infers. In comparison with fusion welding techniques, in which a molten weld
pool is required to joint components, all solid-state welding processes are
characterised by the fact that all components to be joined, remain in the solid
form and no (intentional) melting occurs.

Solid-state welding has been in existence for at least 3000, years because gold
and silver welded components have been discovered in archaeological digs.
These two metals were joined simply by cold deformation, probably by
hammering or rolling them together. Both are noble metals, which are relatively
soft and ductile, they are easily deformed, which results in rupturing of any
surface oxide, allowing metallurgically clean surfaces to be forced together
under extreme pressure, creating an atomic bond.

The interplay between time, temperature and deformation is shown in Figure


8.1. Also identified, is the dependence of the main solid-state welding processes
on one or all of the solid-state welding parameters. For example, it will be
observed that explosive welding it totally reliant on extremely high deformation
(at the weld interface) but the temperature is low and the time very short.

Figure 8.1 Representation of the interplay between time, temperature and


deformation in solid phase welding (after R Fenn).

In contrast, diffusion bonding identified in Figure 8.1 requires relatively high


temperatures; long weld cycle time and law deformation.

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Explosive Welding 8-1 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
8.1.2 The origin of explosive welding
It was first reported during the First World War that ordnance and explosive
experts had observed bombshell fragments stuck firmly to other metallic
objects, albeit very close to the origin of the explosion.

However this feature was not pursued and it was not until 1962 that Philipchuck
and Bois were granted a US patent which described a method of using explosive
detonation to weld metals together in spots along a linear path. The DuPont
chemical company carried this work further and were granted a US patent for
explosive welding in 1964. Since then the process has been further developed,
such that the processing route has been characterised and process control that
results in good quality reproducible welds.

8.1.3 Benefits of using explosive welding


The main benefit of the explosive welding process is the capability of joining
metallurgically incompatible material systems (dissimilar material
combinations). Conventional fusion techniques require heat and liquid metal to
weld incompatible materials but the result can be the formation of brittle,
intermetallic compounds at the weld interface. These intermetallic compounds
reduce the mechanical properties of the weld.

However, the very short weld cycle times associated with explosive welding, in
combination with the very low welding temperature restricts the formation of
the intermetallic compounds and results in high bond strength. The low welding
temperature ensures that the parent metal properties are not degraded.

Unlike many welding techniques, explosive welding can produce large area
welds such as clad plates weighing up to 50 tons. In addition explosive welding
does not require expensive, complex equipment and the capital outlay is
modest.

Compared to alternative welding techniques that require heat input to either


melt, or soften the faying surfaces at a weld interface, (which can result in
severe distortion on cooling), the low heat input to explosive weld results in
reduced distortion.

An attractive feature of explosive welding is the ability to carry it out remotely


in a hostile environment, as the explosive set up can be located using a robotic
arm and the weld initiated from remote location.

8.1.4 The main uses of explosive welding


The most significant use of explosive welding is for the manufacture of clad
plate or tubular components. The clad plate is used extensively to provide
corrosion resistant barriers on tube plates, used to cap either end of heat
exchangers, in oil or chemical production plant and power generation
equipment.

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A wide range of dissimilar metal joints or clads are produced, such as the
following:

Relatively thin layers of stainless steels, nickel, titanium and aluminium


alloys welded to thicker, cheaper carbon and low alloy steels.
High temperature resistant, expensive refractory metals such as tungsten,
molybdenum, tantalum and zirconium are welded to cheaper, less exotic
substrates.
The production of ultra-high vacuum joints and attachment of low expansion
rate materials.

8.2 The fundamentals of the explosive welding process


The general arrangement of the components used to produce an explosive weld
are identified in Figure 8.2.

Detonator
Explosive Standoff
distance

Flyer plate

Parent plate

Figure 8.2 The general arrangement of components for explosive welding.

Identified in Figure 8.2 are the fundamental components of an explosive


welding system which consist of the following:

Flyer plate, on which the explosive medium is located.


Parent plate, which is also known as the base or backer plate.
Explosive medium.

A weld is produced via the explosive detonation which accelerates the flyer
plate across the short, standoff distance to collide progressively with the parent
plate. This process is illustrated well in Figure 8.3.

Detonation front

Flyer plate

Parent plate

Advancing bend angle Standoff distance

Figure 8.3 The explosive welding process in action.

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Explosive Welding 8-3 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
It will be noted that as the explosion progresses at very high velocity across the
flyer plate the force of the explosion bends the plate. The plate confirms to an
advancing bend angle as it accelerates rapidly and collides with the parent
plate.

A unique feature of explosive welding is the so called jetting mechanisms that


enable a weld to take place. This jetting action is illustrated in Figure 8.4.

Figure 8.4 Situation at the collision front showing the jetting mechanism.

Figure 8.4 demonstrates the dynamic situation at the location known as the
collision front, identified as the immediate, but rapidly moving point of contact
between the flyer and the parent plate. It is essential that the velocity of the
collision front is lower than the speed of sound, so that the shock wave
precedes the weld being made. If this were not the case, the shock wave would
interfere with weld formation.
It is important that the peak pressure at the collision front must exceed the
yield strength of both plate materials, to ensure that plastic deformation does
occur.

With reference to Figure 8.4, it will be observed that a jet of highly plasticised
metal is formed at the collapsing space preceding the collision point. This jet is
paramount for the explosive welding mechanism as its extreme energy removes
metal oxides from the faying (contacting) surfaces producing metallurgically
clean surfaces. A weld is produced as these very clean surfaces are rapidly
brought together under an extremely high force, via atomic bonding. The weld
cycle time is so fast, due to the speed of the explosion and thus only a small
temperature rise occurs.

The diagram in Figure 8.5 shows the action in more detail that takes place
between components that are being explosively welded.

In order for the explosive welding process to produce good weld quality, the
explosive detonation must occur progressively across the surface of the flyer
plate (cladding) metal as illustrated in the sketch shown in Figure 8.3. The
speed at which this so called detonation front moves across the flyer plate
establishes the velocity at which the collision between the flyer plate and base
plate processes over the weld area. This velocity is known as the detonation
velocity.

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Explosive Welding 8-4 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Figure 8.5 Action between components during explosive welding. (Source: DMC
Clad Metal US).

The detonation velocity of the explosive is paramount in the maintenance of


weld quality, as is the correct preparation of the explosive. In addition a
uniform detonation front is absolutely essential and is maintained via the
following variables:

Standoff distance (Figure 8.2).


Explosive detonation velocity (Figure 8.5 VD).
Explosive load (quantity and thickness of the explosive layer) and the
energy of the explosive.

The explosive welding variables that must be considered and the factors that
influence them are as follows:

All explosive welding variables are influenced by the material combination


being welded, the heat treatment condition and the thicknesses of the
materials.
The collision velocity is the speed at which the flyer plate impacts the base
plate.
The advancing bend angle (identified in Figure 8.3) or collision angle is
dependant and results from the thickness of the flyer plate, the velocity of
the explosive, the force and the standoff distance.
Very important process variables are:
Detonation velocity (2000-3000m/sec; Figure 8.5).
Collision angle (Figure 8.3).
Collision velocity.

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8.3 Characteristics of the weld
The micrograph shown in Figure 8.6 is characteristic of the wavy interface
formed between two explosively welded component which in this case are
tantalum to copper.

Tantalum (Ta)

Interface (sine-
curve waveform)

Copper (Cu)

Figure 8.6 Typical wavy interface formed between two explosively welded
components, tantalum to copper.

When optimised explosive welding parameters are used the explosive weld
interface is almost always a sine-curve waveform. The size of the waveform is
dependent on the collision parameters and the properties of the materials being
joined. In some metal combinations, pockets or cavities of material that have
been molten for a very short period and re-solidify at the front and back slope
of the waves. These pockets generally do not degrade the weld properties but
in material combinations where interfacial intermetallic compounds form,
problems can be experienced. This can occur when titanium or zirconium alloy
are welded to steel.

Obviously every effort is made to reduce the occurrence of pockets and the
formation of intermetallic compounds. Therefore excessive collision energy,
which is a result of the detonation and collision velocity and collision angle,
which generates large pockets, is avoided.

In general the wavy interface is preferred because a flat weld interface indicates
that the collision is below a critical value for the material combination in
question, which equates to a low energy input.

Despite the aforementioned information, that could infer that explosive welding
requires extremely exact parameter settings to obtain good quality welds, in
fact the welding parameter tolerance envelope is relatively wide. This factor
makes the process suitable for production application.

8.4 Facilities and equipment required


The major application of explosive welding is for the manufacture of clad plate
and indoor facilities are required for metal preparation of a size shown of the
DMC clad metal plant in the US.

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Some of these facilities are shown in Figure 8.7 and include the following
preparation aides:

Flame cutting or sawing plates to size.


Mechanical descaling (removing oxidation) or abrasive grinding. Wet
grinding is mandatory for reactive materials such as titanium or zirconium.
Fusion welding equipment for joining plates together.
Presses or rollers (shown in Figure 8.7) for straightening plate after welding.

Figure 8.7 Part of the SMC Clad Metal facility in the US. (Photograph courtesy of
DMC Clad Metal US)

As well as indoor facilities, a firing site is required, which could be a remote


open field, an underground chamber or cave or a vacuum chamber. Heavy duty
cranes are necessary for lifting loads up to 50 tons and vehicles to transport the
plates to the firing site.

In line with H&S requirements and of course national security, strict rules apply
to the storage and handling of high explosives which require a magazine and
safe working practice. As with any welding process thermally or mechanically
induced stresses need to be relieved before the welded component is machined
to the final shape and size and thus a suitably size furnace is an additional part
of the explosive welding facility.

8.5 Explosive materials


The explosive materials used for welding and their performance would take an
individual course to describe, but the basic requirements of an explosive
welding system are as follows:

Bulk explosive to provide the energy for welding.


Detonator that initiates the explosion.
Booster explosive that is ignited by the detonator an in turn ignites the bulk
explosive.
Detonator cord that links the detonator to the booster.

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There are a range of explosive materials used for explosive welding but in
general granular ammonium nitrate (AN) is used. Very often the energy of
increased by adding fuel oil, which is known as ANFO and has a detonation
velocity of 2000-3000m/sec.

8.6 Metal combinations that can be explosively welded


The metal combinations that can be joined by explosive welding are adequately
identified in the chart assembled by PA&E (US) which is shown in Figure 8.8.

Figure 8.8 Metal combinations that can be explosively welded.

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8.7 The practical application of explosive welding
The sequence of events that needs to take place in order to make an
explosively welded clad plate assembly is shown in Figure 8.9. Even though
explosive welding does not generate high welding temperatures the degree of
interface deformation required to produce a weld does result in some distortion.
Sequence 5 in Figure 8.9 shows that the clad plates need to be flattened before
final machining can take place.

Figure 8.9 Sequence of operations in clad plate manufacturing with explosion


welding collision, jetting and welding.

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An explosive welding firing sequence at the PA&E firing site at Sequim,
Washington, US is shown in Figure 8.10.

Figure 8.10 A firing sequence at the PA&E firing site in the US.

8.8 Applications of explosive welding


The major application of explosive welding is the cladding of flat plate used to
construct pressure vessels and heat exchangers in oil refineries and chemical
processing, such as shown in Figures 8.11 and 8.12. The main purpose of the
clad material which is very often titanium is to impart corrosion resistance to a
cheaper steel substrate.

Figure 8.11 A hydrotreater reactor column for an oil refinery fabricated from
explosion clad plate. (AWS Handbook)

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Figure 8.12 Clad plate for the manufacture of tube sheets.

An additional, important application is the manufacture of bi-metallic transition


joints. These joints are either in pipe form, for connections between dissimilar
metals as shown in Figures 8.13 and 8.14, or flat transition joints for strength
or electrical connections.

Figure 8.13 Transition joints.

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Figure 8.14 Explosively welded electrical connections.

Marine transition joints are used where the method of constructions requires a
steel hull and an aluminium structure. This connection used to be made using
mechanical fasteners but crevice corrosion was an on-going problem.

The explosively welded transition joints did not completely stop crevice
corrosion but the joints between aluminium and steel could be much more
easily coated and protected, in comparison with a large number of bolt holes.
An example of steel decking to superstructure is shown in Figure 8.15 from a
Mevrem Andr de la Porte, the Netherlands brochure.

Figure 8.15 Example of a maritime transition joint.

Tubes clad externally and internally are used in corrosive environments in the
power generation and chemical processing industries. A range of clads are
shown in Figure 8.16.

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An application with great potential for the production of metal matrix composite
materials (MMCs) is explosive compaction of two or more powders. Figure 8.17
shows a copper/molybdenum power compaction.

Figure 8.16 Clad tubes.

Figure 8.17 Explosive power compaction.

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8.9 Explosive weld quality and testing
The range of quality tests used to assess explosive welding is listed in Figures
8.18 and 8.19 and examples of the test pieces are illustrated.

Figure 8.18 Quality and testing.

Figure 8.19 Testing and quality.

In addition to these tests metallographic examination of selected areas is also


undertaken. Most of the mechanical tests carried out are used for other welding
processes but the shear lug and ram tensile tests are used to assess the shear
strength and the clad layer bond strength respectively.

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8.10 Summary
It should always be borne in mind that explosive welding is a niche technology
with around twenty explosive contractors worldwide serving a small number of
industries, as have been identified in the sections of these notes.

The process has the unique ability to weld metallurgically incompatible


materials but is most economically used to produce large clad plates. Explosive
welds can be produced with excellent reproducibility and quality but the
individual companies who provide this service are extremely secretive so as to
maintain a commercial advantage over their competitors.

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Section 9
Electron Beam Welding
9 Electron Beam Welding
Electron beam welding (EBW) is a fusion process for joining metals using a
highly focused beam of electrons as the heat source. Usually the electrons are
extracted from a hot cathode, accelerated by a high potential - typically 30-
200kV and magnetically focused into a spot with a power density of the order of
30,000 W/mm2. This causes almost instantaneous local melting and
vaporisation of the workpiece material. The EB is thus able to establish a
keyhole delivering heat deep into the material being welded, producing a
characteristically narrow, near parallel fusion zone allowing plain abutting edges
to be welded in a single pass for material thicknesses from less than 0.1 to
greater than 200mm.

The process was initially used in the nuclear industry for fuel element
encapsulations but rapidly spread into the aerospace, automobile and
electronics industries and is used over a very wide variety of applications
ranging from high speed welding of band saw blade materials to joining thick
section marine components.

EBW is used for joining numerous metallic materials including steels,


aluminium, copper, nickel, titanium and magnesium alloys and refractory
metals and produces high integrity welds with minimal thermal distortion and
freedom from component oxidation.

In most materials the mechanical properties of EB welds are better than welds
made with conventional fusion processes. Generally filler additions and preheat
are not required, but in some cases the addition of filler material or postweld
heat treatment (PWHT) may be necessary to develop the full mechanical
properties. Material cleaning is essential and for ferritic steels and dissimilar
metal combinations it is important to avoid residual magnetism and thermo-
electric fields to prevent beam misalignment.

EBW equipment typically comprises an electron gun, high voltage power source,
vacuum chamber or enclosure, pumping equipment and a workpiece or gun
manipulator and control system. It can be quite complex but is very versatile
and although relatively expensive compared with arc welding equipment, is
capable of economic high volume production.

Beam generation, electron gun separately pumped due to higher vacuum


required, <5x10-5 mbar.
High voltage power supply typically 30-200kV, 3-100kW.
Welding chamber - 5x10-3 to ~10mbar.
Pumping equipment, roughing pump, mechanical booster pump, diffusion
pump, turbomolecular pump.
Beam manipulation, focus position, beam oscillation.
NC control, welding parameters, motion axis.

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9.1 Vacuum systems
Electron beams for welding are normally generated in a relatively high vacuum
(better than 5x10-5 mbar) but the workpiece can be housed in a chamber
maintained at a coarser vacuum level eg 5x10-3 to ~10mbar. It is also possible
to project high power EBs into the atmosphere and produce single pass welds in
steel in thicknesses of more than 40mm, but the weld width is typically greater
than welds made in vacuum.

1 bar = 1 atmosphere = 1000mbar.


Alternative units: pascal, torr (mm of Hg - mercury).
Top of Mt Everest ~ 300mbar.
100km high ~ 10-3mbar (partial vacuum).
200km high ~ 10-6mbar (full vacuum).

Modern vacuum systems are made up of four main pumps:

Roughing.
Mechanical booster.
Diffusion.
Turbomolecular.

9.2 Rotary pump


Very common type of pump, best described as a positive displacement
pump.
Has an offset inner rotor with sprung sliding vanes which provide the
vacuum seal.
Its primary uses are as a:
- Backing pump.
- Roughing pump.
Available as a two stage pump (two pumps in series in one housing) with a
working range of 1000-10-2mbar.

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9.3 Mechanical booster pump
Has a high volumetric flow rate but it cannot exhaust directly to
atmosphere; it must be backed by another, usually rotary pump.
Counter rotating lobes are interlocked and synchronised and the small
clearance. (0.3mm) between the lobes acts as the seal.
Working range of 100-10-4mbar.

9.4 Diffusion pump


Unique in that it has no moving mechanical parts: A heater element vaporises
pump fluid constricted via the vapour chimney; as it is constricted the vapour
stream accelerates and eventually forms a supersonic vapour jet. The vapour
jets can be thought of as an oil umbrella which imparts downwards momentum
on any gas molecules entrained in the vapour jets.

Gas molecules are removed via a secondary backing pump (rotary pump).
Water cooling on the sides of the pump causes the oil vapour to condense and
run down to the base to be evaporated once again.

The working range of the diffusion pump is 10-1-<10-5mbar.

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9.5 Turbo molecular pump
The molecular drag pump works by imposing a net downwards momentum on
gas molecules that enter the top of the pump. The tip velocity of the rotor
blades is approximately the same as the velocity of gas molecules and as the
latter are hit by the moving blades they are forced downwards and compressed
by the different stages in the pump and must be removed by a backing pump
(rotary pump).

As the rotor is spinning at very high speeds (100,000rev/min) the unit must be
kept cool to operate properly so water cooling is used.

The working range of the turbo molecular pump is 10-2 to <10-8mbar.

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9.6 High voltage and gun systems
Electrons are emitted from a heated cathode in a process called thermionic
emission, a voltage field shapes and accelerates the electrons away from the
emitter or they would be absorbed back into the emitter. The anode further
shapes the beam to the pencil-like beam used in EBW machines. The
electromagnetic lenses further down the gun column, after the anode, further
focus the beam to an intense point at the surface of the metal at the working
distance chosen.

High voltage is produced by a high voltage power supply which can be of two
typical designs. Older designs use motor-driven generators to produce the high
voltage required, newer systems use semiconductors which are much smaller
and produce stable, low ripple accelerating voltages. EBW machines can be split
into two categories depending on their high voltage range. High voltage
machines (150kV and over) provide a weld depth-to-width ratio of 25:1,
whereas the ratio a low voltage machine (30-60kV) is around 12:1.

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9.7 EB triode gun
The triode gun design consists of the cathode (filament), bias cup (grid) and
anode. Other sub-assembly components that contribute to the triode are: the
high voltage insulator feed-through and the high voltage cable. The voltage
field around the emitter formed by the grid voltage or bias field initially shapes
the stream of electrons and also controls the flow. The anode provides further
shaping and accelerates the electrons to their final speed ~1/3 speed of light. A
good analogy for the triode gun is a tap and water flow. The high voltage
differential between the emitter and the anode is analogous to the water
pressure and the bias voltage is like the tap, which controls the flow of
water/beam current.

9.8 Penetration mechanism stages


Initial impact of the high energy electrons cause sub-surface heating, depth
is directly related to material and accelerating voltage.
Further heat conducts to the surface and a small region is now very hot.
As extra heat builds up some surface melting occurs.
Melting and vaporisation increases, this combined with surface tension of
the molten metal causes material movement and a slight depression.
Increasing vapour pressure displaces more material, so the beam can now
access and heat further into the metal.
The beginning of the classic keyhole liquid column of material held open by
vapour pressure of the vaporised metal.

In full penetration welding the beam exits the back of the metal forming the
through thickness keyhole held open by vapour pressure.

In partial penetration welding the keyhole does not penetrate the work but is
still held open by vapour pressure.

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9.9 Calculating beam power and energy per unit length
Power (kW) = voltage (kV) x current (A)

Eg 60kV accelerating voltage, 20mA, 17mm/s

20mA = 20/1000 A = 0.020A


60kV = 60*1000 V = 60000V
Power = 60000 x .020 = 1.2kW

Energy per unit length (J/mm) power (kW)/speed (MM/s) = 1200/17 = 70.59
J/mm.

9.10 Welding parameters


A specific weld geometry and penetration is usually developed using parameter
variation experiments. Melt runs on flat plate material or joints in
representative samples are used and sectioned to interpret the effects of
changing the different parameters. Deeper penetrations can be achieved
primarily via an increase in power and to some extent by slower welding
speeds. Weld widths can be increased by changing the beam focus position
into/above the surface or more easily by increasing the deflection circle size.

All the information necessary to repeat the welding programme must be written
down in a weld procedure document, usually called a weld procedure
specification (WPS). A WPS contains enough information about the job and the
set up that it can be used by any qualified operator to repeat the weld.

9.11 Electron beam welding materials


All metallic materials that can be melted using a focused EB and consequently
most pure metals and alloys can be successfully welded. In its simplest form
EBW is carried out by translating the beam with respect to the parts to be
joined and locally melting the material. No filler addition or consumable is
necessary and welding is achieved in a single pass almost irrespective of
material thickness. Consequently weld quality and properties achievable are
controlled by the composition of the material alone. For simplicity metallic
materials can be divided into discrete groups based on the main constituent
element.

9.12 Steels and iron alloys


Most steels weldable by conventional fusion welding processes can be
successfully joined using the EB process. Because of the narrow thermally
strained region that results and the hydrogen free welding atmosphere
associated with welding in vacuum, many steels otherwise considered difficult
or impossible to fusion weld can be joined using EBW without special
consumables or preheating. It is important that steels are specified with low
levels of impurities such as sulphur and phosphorus to prevent solidification
cracking and that materials are sufficiently well de-oxidised, ie degassed or
aluminium treated, to minimise the risk of gross weld porosity.

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9.13 C-Mn and structural steels
C-Mn and structural steels can be joined in a single pass in thicknesses from
less than 1mm to in excess of 200mm and provided certain composition
controls are recognised, good weld quality can be consistently achieved.

The rapid thermal cycle associated with the process invariably results in welds
in steels with overmatched tensile strength and hardness so it is sometimes
necessary to add material to modify the weld metal composition or perform a
PWHT operation if high levels of fracture toughness or low hardness are
required.

9.14 Alloy steels


In many applications including aeroengine and automobile transmission parts,
components are EB welded in high strength alloy steels and frequently used in
the as-welded condition. NiCrMo steels, for example and high alloy creep
resistant steels can be welded in substantial thicknesses, without preheat.
Again low impurity levels are beneficial particularly if toughness properties are
important.

9.15 Stainless steels


Most common types of stainless steel are readily weldable using the EB process
including austenitic grades, ferritic, duplex and precipitation hardening
martensitic stainless steels. The duplex and austenitic materials are commonly
alloyed with nitrogen so welding procedures must be developed which minimise
the risk of porosity formation due to nitrogen outgassing and which compensate
for the detrimental effect of nitrogen loss on phase balance and stability. The
precipitation hardening grades show a slight degradation in tensile strength
when EB welded which can be restored, if required, by a post-weld ageing
operation.

9.16 Soft iron


Soft and silicon irons, used in transformer and electric motor manufacture, are
EB welded successfully in a variety of industrial applications.

9.17 Nickel alloys


Many of the popular nickel alloys used in welded fabrication can be joined
satisfactorily using the EBW process. Pure nickel, nickel/copper alloys and many
nickel/iron alloys can be welded without difficulty. The complex high
temperature alloys designed to have good creep resistance at high temperature
can be welded using EBW often in preference to arc welding because of the
minimal metallurgical disturbance and low thermal strains induced by the EB
process. Care must be taken to prevent HAZ liquation during welding and to
avoid cracking during PWHT of the more complex alloys.

9.18 Aluminium and magnesium alloys


Welding of the majority of wrought aluminium and magnesium alloys available
commercially can be achieved satisfactorily using the EB process. Evaporation
of volatile constituents during welding, particularly in the 7000 and 5000 series
Al alloys, can cause difficulties due to gun flash-overs, loss of alloy content and
subsequent degradation of properties. Cleaning prior to welding is especially
important and the majority of weld defects that occur are often a consequence
of poor cleaning practice. Many of the cast alloys can also be EB welded
although the weld quality achievable depends heavily on the quality of the
casting and, in particular, the residual gas content.

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9.19 Copper and its alloys
Unlike many of the other thermal processes used for joining pure copper, EBW
can be carried out without any preheating operation and can join components in
excess of 100mm thickness in a single pass. So called pure copper may
contain impurities such as oxygen, sulphur and carbon which can compromise
its weldability and OFHC copper or phosphorus de-oxidised grades are
preferred.

The majority of copper alloys, with the marked exception of the brasses, can be
welded but cast materials can be problematic especially if the parent material
quality is poor and residual gas content is high. Some high strength materials,
eg those alloyed with zirconium, can suffer from cracking problems if due care
is not exercised.

9.20 Refractory and reactive metals


The extreme power density associated with the electron beam and the ability to
work in a vacuum environment make it possible to use the process for joining
metals which not only have high melting points but also those which are
extremely reactive when hot or molten. Titanium and many of its alloys can be
welded readily using the EB process without the danger of oxidation and
subsequent undetectable degradation of ductility. For this reason, the process is
used widely in the aero engine industry for welding safety-critical titanium alloy
parts. Similarly zirconium and its alloys, which are also extremely reactive, can
be welded without difficulty under vacuum. Likewise tungsten, tantalum,
molybdenum, niobium, vanadium and their alloys can be joined successfully
using EBW but again impurity levels can profoundly influence the weld quality
and properties achievable.

9.21 Dissimilar metals


One of the particular advantages offered by the EB process is that the beam
intensity is such that dissimilar metals with vastly different thermal
conductivities and melting points can be welded successfully without
preferential melting of the lower melting point material. Although not all
combinations are possible due to metallurgical incompatibility and the formation
of undesirable intermetallic compounds, many dissimilar combinations are
possible. It should be noted that thermo-electric currents will be generated
whilst welding dissimilar metal combinations which can give rise to strong
magnetic fields and deflection of the electron beam. The severity of this
phenomenon is very dependent on the material combination, their magnetic
properties and the component geometry.

Where the combination of materials gives rise to embrittlement it is often


possible to introduce a mutually compatible transition material or to employ an
EB brazing/diffusion bonding approach with an appropriate interlayer.

9.22 Non-metals
Whilst welding of non-metals using the EB process is generally not possible,
drilling, cutting and etching can sometimes be performed.

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9.23 Welding - joint design
As a result of the high power density the beam is able to melt material to a
depth of several centimetres and allow it to flow together to make a weld. Thus
the machining of V or K type preparations and the addition of filler materials are
not required. Although when welding some material combinations, the weld
metal composition can be tailored by adding metal inlays/foils into the joint is
so desired.

The most basic joint preparation is the square edged butt joint. This needs little
in the way of machining but the surface must be fine machined to achieve a
good intimate contact (3.2m Ra), as there is no filler metal to take into
account any joint gaps. As a rough guide the maximum allowable joint gap is 1-
2% of thickness. So for a 10mm squared edged butt joint, joint gap should be
less than 0.2mm, otherwise weld cap underfill may occur.

Simplest square edged butt joint preparation for


either tubes or plates

Square edged butt joint with added backing bar

Butt joint with a 'consumable' joint preparation

Square edged butt joint with excess material for post


weld machining

Joint preparation for joining very thin sections to thick


sections

In this section poor fit-up may give problems with


porosity and/or weld bead concavity

9.24 Defects associated with EB welding


As with all fusion welding processes there is the possibility of defects occurring
during or after welding. The two main defects are cracking and porosity,
distortion is also a problem but thermal welding strains are related to heat input
and EB welding is a low heat input welding process so these thermally induced
distortions are minimised compared to other fusion processes.

Cracking can be split into several different types, such as:

Solidification cracking
Due to low melting point compounds which exist when rest of weld is solid eg
Fe +S + P in steel. Can be transverse or centre line. Avoided by low restraint
geometries, low impurities (S, P) and slower travel speed (slower cooling rate).

Liquation cracking
Occurs in mainly in the HAZ. Common in Nickel and Aluminium alloys. Due to
back melting of low melting point eutectics in HAZ grain boundaries + stress.
Similar defects can occur in precipitation hardened material.

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Quench cracking
Is usually H2 induced. In EB small defect + residual stress ==> brittle crack
growth.
Often high restraint + hard weld metal leads to cracking. Ni Cr Mo steels
prone.
Can reduce instance of cracking by pre-heat or post-heat and using <0.4%C
in steel.

Porosity can also occur due to different sources:

1 Contamination
Joint faces and surrounding areas not properly cleaned of oils and dirt.

2 Trapped volumes in the joint


Poorly vented areas of the joint or item to be welded can cause trapped gas
=>pores.

3 Gas in solution in materials to be welded


Trapped gas in castings, poorly deoxidised materials, N sometimes used as
an alloying element.

4 Root or spiking porosity


Caused by a narrow root tip which either prevents vapour escaping or is
insufficient to support the molten metal above it.

5 Flashover defects
Flash over defects (breakdown of high voltage in the gun) are caused by
ions and vapour from the weld pool travelling up the beam path to the gun
and shorting out the high voltage by arcing. Modern semiconductor HV
systems can detect and manage these discharges with little effect on the
weld quality. Older motor generator HV systems cannot and the beam shuts
down resulting in holes in the solidifying weld.

Other defects such as distortion, undercutting, magnetism and missed joints


are also problematic but can be avoided or remedied by correct use of welding
parameters and material preparation.

9.25 X-ray safety


X-rays are produced when fast moving electrons hit an object. In EB welding
the electron beam has enough power to produce X-rays which can cause a
hazard to the operator if there is not enough shielding on the machine. The X-
rays produced are a form of ionizing radiation and have enough energy to break
up molecules, cause damage to cells and DNA.

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To protect the operator EB machines must be lead shielded or so designed that
the thickness of chamber walls prevents X-rays pass through. In low voltage
machines, 60kV, the lower energy X-rays can be stopped by the steel chamber
walls if the walls are of the correct thickness (~1 inch). High voltage machines
need to be either much thicker >6 inches or lead lined. Lead windows are also
use to allow the user to view into the work chamber. These windows must be
shielded from weld spatter which could cause pitting and/or cracking of the
vacuum window.

Natural background ~ 2mSv/year.


Chest X-ray = 1mSv, Body CT scan = 10mSv.
1m away from 60kV, 20mA beam on Tungsten target = 324mSv/hour (with
no shielding!).

The effective (whole body) dose limit for adults is 20Sv per year, but exposure
must be kept as low as reasonable practical.

Operators must wear personal dosimeters which are regularly checked and
exposure limits recorded. Machines must be surveyed at least once a year to
detect any deterioration in the shielding.

9.26 EB welding standards


There are many different standards from different countries eg BS EN ISO and
AWS standards.

Some of the more useful ones are:

BS EN ISO 13919 parts 1 and 2 (guidance on defect sizes for steels and
aluminium alloys for EB welding).
BS EN ISO 15609 part 3 (welding procedure specification).
BS EN ISO 15614 part 11 (WPS qualification by welding test).
BS EN ISO 14744-1 (acceptance of EBW machines).
AWS C7.1:2004 recommended practices for EBW.

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The AWS standard is very readable and contains lots of information about set-
ups, joint profiles welding of different materials, beam deflection effects and
several case studies.

The BS EN ISO 13919 standard is used for quality assessment of welds. It


contains various detailed criteria for the measurement of defects (porosity,
cracks, undercutting etc) and a weld quality classification system, level B, C
and D. B being the highest quality level with the most stringent limits placed
on defects.

BS EN ISO 15609 part 3 is the specification and qualification of welding


procedures for metallic materials -- Welding procedure specification. This
gives information on what level of detail must go into a WPS.

BS EN ISO 15614 part 11 gives the information on how a WPS is qualified


by welding procedure testing, ie the manufacture of a test piece, using the
WPS and the subsequent testing.

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Section 10
Wire Bonding (Practical)
10 Wire Bonding (Practical)
10.1 Introduction
Exciting developments in micro technology are leading to faster, smaller and
cheaper products on the market. From computers to microwave ovens,
households in the UK contain a vast array of electronic goods. This rapid
development has been made possible by the integrated circuit (IC), which
allowed many components to be contained within a small area. Now the number
of circuit elements per chip is over a million and growing fast. To maintain this
pace of development requires innovation at every stage of microelectronic
processing and joining technologies are an important element of this progress.

Components that make up an IC are formed by doping a semiconductor


material (usually silicon) and are connected through lines of metallisation (thin
metal film) on the surface. The IC is attached to a chip carrier (Figure 10.1) and
a connection is made from metallised bond-pads on the chip, to corresponding
bond-pads on the chip carrier. The most common way to form this chip-to-
package connection is a welding process known as wire bonding, where metal
wire is joined to the bond-pads using ultrasonic energy and pressure. Following
an encapsulation process, the package is inserted into a circuit board and
delivered to its destination product.

Wire bond
Bond pad

Bond pad
Integrated circuit

Chip carrier

Figure 10.1 A chip on a chip carrier, with wire bonds creating a connection from
the bond pad on the silicon chip, to the bond pad on the chip carrier.

10.2 Basic principles


Wire bonding is a solid-state welding process, creating metal contacts without
damaging underlying films on the IC or carrier. Wire diameters can range from
12.5 (fine pitch) to 500m (heavy wire bonding). For IC bonding, bond pads are
often around 1m in thickness and 100m square. The standard wire size used
for this type of application is typically 25m.

Figure 10.2 shows a typical wire bonding setup. The substrate (ie the IC) is
clipped firmly onto a stage, while the bonding wire is threaded into the machine
tool. Following the location of the correct first bond position, the bonding wire is
pressed down onto the bond pad and ultrasonic agitation is applied. Scrubbing
in-line with the bonding arm removes oxides and allows the wire and bond pad
to come into intimate contact. Bonding occurs through plastic deformation,
mechanical interlocking and electron sharing at the bond-wire/bond-pad
interface. Diffusion of atoms also occurs across the interface. The wire bonding
arm is then lifted and a loop is made to the second bond position. Following
alignment to the second bond pad, the tool is brought down and a bond is
made. The wire is then gripped by the clamps and broken at the back of the
second bond.

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Heating the workpiece can accelerate the bonding process and this is known as
thermosonic bonding. The temperature is usually above 150C but varies
according to the materials in use. If the temperature is raised above 300C then
ultrasonic vibration is no longer required and the process is known as
thermocompression bonding.

Welding force
Wire spool counterweight
Welding Wire
force clamp

Transducer
Ultrasonic
vibration

Work piece
Bonding
tool

Moveable (heated)
workstage
Ultrasonic generator
and pulse timer

Figure 10.2 A typical wire bonding set up.

The two variations of wire bonding are wedge bonding and ball bonding. On a
ball-bonding machine, the bonding wire is threaded through a conical tool
known as a capillary and an electric spark is applied to the end of the wire to
form a ball. The ball is crushed against the surface of the bond-pad and
ultrasonic energy is applied to form the bond. The wire is then brought up and
drawn out to the second contact area; where the capillary is brought down to
form a wedge-bond. A wedge-bonding machine uses a similar process, but the
bonding tool is wedge-shaped and both the first and second bonds are wedge
bonds. Ball bonding gives flexibility in bonding direction and can be used to
bond difficult or unusual samples. However ball bonding is less suitable for fine-
pitch bonding, as the ball must be 2.5-5.0 times the wire diameter. A wedge
bond width can be just 1.5 times the diameter of the wire.

10.3 Materials
There are many possible wire-bond/bond-pad combinations, however gold and
aluminium wire, to gold and aluminium pads, remains a popular choice.
Aluminium has a number of desirable properties including low cost, easy to
produce as a metal film, high electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion
and oxidation. Gold has excellent oxidation and corrosion resistance, as well as
high ductility and electrical conductivity. Nickel bonding pads are also often
used, with palladium and gold surface layers to improve the welding process.
Copper wire is also sometimes used as a low cost alternative to gold, but it
requires an inert gas shield to prevent oxidation.

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10.4 Bonding parameters
Figure 10.3 shows the welding parameters of interest during wire bonding. The
force ranges typically between 100-800mN, the power between 5-250W, the
vibration amplitude between 0.2-5m, the welding time between 5-50ms and
the temperature between 80-200C (for thermosonic bonding only). The
frequency is normally fixed for each particular wire bonder between 0.2-5MHz.
The looping height and shape is also an important feature and can affect the
reliability the device. For instance, an excessive loop height could sag and cause
shorts in the circuit. In modern autobonders, there is a large amount of
flexibility in the loop shape, catering for unusual pad layouts and high density
applications.
Force
Sonotrode

Vibration/
Time

Heat *

Force

Figure 10.3 The welding parameters used in wire bonding.

10.5 Joint preparation


Wire bonding can only be successful if both the wire and the substrate are
clean. The process usually takes place in a clean room, where dust and grease
contamination is minimal. The substrates are often cleaned with a solvent or
plasma cleaner before welding and the wire is handled using gloves. Several
other contaminants can affect bonding or reliability, including halogens and
plating additives. These can arise from previous IC processing or can travel
from other areas on the package (eg from the IC mounting adhesive).

10.6 Conclusions
Wire bonding is an important process for the electronics industry.
Process uses ultrasonic energy to scrub oxides away.
Important parameters are force, power and time.
Ensure bond pad surfaces are clean.

Rev 2 February 2012


Wire Bonding (Practical) 10-3 Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Practice Questions
Practice Questions
Resistance welding
1 List the 7 main resistance welding variants and define which types of joints each is
used to weld. For two of the variants, describe the principles of operation and list 3
process applications.

2 Describe the three main functions of a spot welding electrode and give two examples
of electrode cap designs (types) and when they would be normally used.

3 What is electrode dressing and why is it used?

4 Which of the following is used primarily for producing resistance welds in lap joints?

a Flash welding.
b HF resistance welding.
c Spot welding.
d Resistance stud welding.

5 What are the three main welding parameters used to control resistance weld
process? Weld:

a Current, squeeze time, cooling water flow rate.


b Current, weld time, weld force.
c Force; weld current, number of weld pulses.
d Current, weld voltage, weld time.

6 Which power supply utilises a light weight integral weld transformer and is often
used for robot mounted weld guns in the automotive industry?

a Single phase AC.


b Medium frequency DC (MFDC).
c Secondary rectified DC.
d Capacitor discharge.

7 In addition to conducting current to the weld and transferring weld force to the weld
zone, it is also intended that welding electrodes perform the following useful
function? They:

a Transfer material to the weld area.


b Improve the corrosion resistance of the completed weld.
c Help dissipate heat from the weld zone.
d Reduce shielding gas consumption.

8 In addition to chisel checking, which NDT method is commonly used for checking
spot weld quality in production?

a Ultrasonic testing.
b Radiography.
c Dye penetrant testing.
d MPI.

Rev 2 February 2012


Practice Questions Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
Laser welding
9 A 5kW CO2 gas laser is used to weld a 12mm thickness steel plate at a welding
speed of 2m/min. The heat input of the weld, in kJ/mm, will not exceed:

a 0.15.
b 2.5.
c 150.
d 5000.

10 A 3kW Nd:YAG laser is focused using optics which provide a 0.6mm diameter spot at
focus. If the laser is used at focus, what is the power density achieved, in kW/mm2?

a 2.7.
b 3.0.
c 5.0.
d 10.6.

11 Which of the following is NOT true about laser welding? Laser welding can:

a Be carried out without using shielding gases.


b Be carried out in vacuum.
c Can only be carried out in vacuum.
d Be carried out with inert shielding gases.

12 What is NOT one of the special properties of laser light that make it of use for
materials processing?

a The beam is emitted at very high powers.


b The beam is often of a single wavelength.
c All the light waves in the beam are in phase with each other.
d The beam is highly directional.

13 Which of the following are not used to make deep penetration keyhole welds?

a Laser.
b Electron beam gun.
c MIG/MAG arc welding torch.
d Plasma welding torch.

Mechanised processes and robotics


14 In robot programming, what do the letters TCP stand for? Torch:

a Control point.
b Centre point.
c Centre point.
d Control point.

15 How many axis are there on a typical articulated (jointed arm) welding robot?

a 2.
b 4.
c 6.
d 8.

Rev 2 February 2012


Practice Questions Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
16 Which of the following is NOT commercially used to locate or follow a joint/seam in
robotic welding?

a Through the arc sensing.


b Laser scanning.
c Phased array sensing
d Touch sensing.

17 Which of the following is NOT true? Narrow gap welding:

a Is used for arc welding of thick sections.


b Is used for arc welding where access is restricted
c Increases productivity.
d Reduces the weight of weld metal deposited.

18 Which of the following is NOT a term associated with robot programming?

a Off-line programming (OLP).


b Simulation.
c Computer integrated manufacture (CIM).
d In-line programming (ILP).

Friction welding
19 Which of the following welding processes would give a high quality joint between
dissimilar materials such as stainless steel and aluminium?

a Friction welding
b MIG welding
c Sub-arc welding
d Laser welding.

20 Which of these processes results in a fine grain forged microstructure?

a Electron beam welding.


b Friction welding.
c Laser welding.
d TIG welding.

21 Which process uses a non-consumable tool?

a Friction stir welding.


b TIG welding.
c Diffusion bonding.
d Linear friction welding.

Polymer welding
22 Which of the following is not weldable?

a Thermoplastic material.
b Thermoset material.
c Semi-crystalline material.
d Amorphous material.

Rev 2 February 2012


Practice Questions Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
23 What does PVC stand for?

a Plastic vinyl chloride.


b Polyvinyl chlorine.
c Polyvinyl chloride.
d Plastic virtually clean.

24 What plastic welding process is shown in the Figure below?

a Extrusion.
b Vibration.
c Ultrasonic.
d Microwave.

25 Which of the following statements is true? All plastic materials:

a Have a melting point.


b Have a glass transition temperature.
c Can be welded.
d Are resistant to chemicals and solvents.

26 The weldability of a polymer depends on?

a Temperature, pressure, colour and stiffness.


b Welding pressure, wetability, ambient conditions and new equipment.
c Temperature, pressure, weld time and molecular weight.
d Thickness, colour, ductility and welding pressure.

Wire bonding

27 Which one of these mechanisms does NOT contribute towards welding at the
interface?

a Ultrasonic scrubbing of oxides.


b Plastic deformation.
c Melting.
d Mechanical interlocking.

28 What are the important welding parameters for wire bonding (circle all that apply)?

a Force.
b Power.
c Time.
d Rotational speed.

Rev 2 February 2012


Practice Questions Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
29 From the list below, select two wires which are commonly welded using this process.

a Steel.
b Aluminium.
c Gold.
d Titanium.

Rev 2 February 2012


Practice Questions Copyright TWI Ltd 2014
EWF/IIW Diploma
Advanced Welding Processes and Equipment Resistance Welding and Micro Resistance
(Advanced Processes) Welding
AWP1

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 AWP February 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Spot Welding Machine - About 1920

Part 1: Resistance Welding

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Spot Welding 1930s Style Spot Welding in Action

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

1-1
Welding Resistance Welding

Heat generated by electrical resistance of parts.


The joining of two or more pieces of Application of both Heat AND Pressure to
material by the application of heat melt/forge.
and sometimes pressure

Joining of materials in localised area.


No extraneous materials ie filler, fluxes etc.

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Advantages of Resistance Welding Disadvantages of Resistance Welding

Flexible process. Joint configurations limited for some process


Established technology. variants.
Reliable. Access normally required both sides of joint.
High speed. Generally limited to thinner materials.
Low skill levels required. Single point welds from some process variants.
Readily automated. Some material limitations.
Low distortion. Aluminium alloys more difficult to weld.

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Joint Classifications Resistance Weld Processes

Lap joining/joints. Resistance


Electrodes conduct current and apply a welding welding
force.
Not end-to-end or edge-to-edge.
Lap joints Related processes Butt joints

Butt joining/joints. Spot Welding Flash Welding


Welding of ends of bars or edges of sheets. Seam Welding Resistance Butt Welding
Electrodes induce current to two members being
Projection HF Resistance Welding
Welding Resistance stud-welding
welded.
Electrodes may/may not transmit upset force.
Resistance
Brazing
If used gripping action of electrodes.
Parting

If not used auxiliary clamp members. Forging


Upsetting

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1-2
Resistance Spot Welding (RSW)

Most widely used example of


resistance welding in lap
joints.
Shaped electrodes
concentrate current and
Process Variants clamp joint.
Heating of material at
interface causing melting and
creating weld nugget.
Ferrous, non-ferrous and
dissimilar materials, typically
in 0.5-3.0mm thickness range
plates up to 6mm thickness
can be joined.

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RSW Applications Resistance Seam Welding

Principle use in joining Profiled wheel electrodes


overlapping sheet rotate under load whilst
metal where weld is being made.
gas/liquid-tight joint Pulsed or continuous
current.
not required.
Pulsed current produces
Automotive bodies. overlapping spot welds to
Appliances (white form leak tight joint.
goods). Variant - Roll spot
Enclosures. welding; interrupted
current welds do not
Furniture. overlap.
Manual or fully automatic
process.

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Resistance Seam Welding Seam Welding Variants

Mash seam welding (222) - narrow


overlap of sheet edges crushed
together during welding.
Prep-lap seam welding (223) -
shearing part of the ends off two
pieces of steel, overlapping the ends
slightly before welding and then
planishing the resulting join.
Wire seam welding (224) - shaped,
consumable copper wire fed between
the wheels and sheets to be joined to
give consistent clean contact.
Foil butt-seam welding (225) -
welding foil on to each side of butted
edges of the sheets giving improved
corrosion resistance (stainless steel Wire seam welding Foil butt seam welding
foil) and/or virtually flush finish.

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1-3
Mash Seam Welding Seam Welding Applications

Gas-tight and liquid-tight


welds.
High speed welds with
consistent joint strength
and appearance.
Ferrous/non-ferrous
materials.
Domestic radiators.
Fuel tanks.
Drums and cans.
Other sealed containers.

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Projection Welding Weld Nut Sections

Uses projections in one or both workpieces.


Large flat electrodes used .
Current and force localised at projections.
Many welds or an annular weld can be made in single
shot.
High speed process, easily automated.

Projection

Sheet
Embossed Stud to plate Annular Weld nut section
projection projection

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Projection Welding Applications Projection Welding Applications

Versatile process, Natural projection -


limited only be crossed wires.
ingenuity of designer. Embossed projections
Principle uses where for sheet
punched, stamped or brackets/attachments.
formed parts are Formed projections for
assembled with nuts, studs or other
embossments formed threaded components.
during stamping Machined annular
operation. projections for bosses.

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1-4
Flash (Butt) Welding Flash Welding Applications

Two workpieces (rods or Butt joints between parts


bars) clamped end-to with similar cross-sections.
end. Ferrous/non-ferrous matls
Light contact of abutting including Al, Ni and Ti
ends with application of alloys.
current. Automotive industry wheel
Flashing action, burn-off. rims.
Move parts together to Electrical industry motor
maintain flashing action. and generator frames,
transformer cases.
Attain welding
temperature. Petroleum industry drilling
pipe-fittings joints.
Apply upset force > weld.
Railroad tracks.

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Resistance Butt/Upset Welding Resistance Butt Weld Applications

Also known as pressure butt welding. Clean, high speed process


Similar to Flash welding: preferred to flash welding for
many small components.
Two rods or bars clamped in dies or electrodes.
Require well matched
Held in contact as welding current/force applied.

abutting ends/contact areas.
Size limitation of 320-
500mm2 for reasonable
strength welds.
Applications include:
Chains.
Wire, rods and strips.
Smaller composite
components.

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Resistance Stud Welding Applications

Variant of capacitor Fasteners or supports.


discharge stud welding.
Consists of a stud gun, Aircraft and aerospace appliances.
control unit, studs and Building construction.
available source of DC
welding current. Components of insufficient thickness for threaded
Rapid resistance heating/ fasteners.
vaporisation of stud base
from electrical discharge.
Very short weld cycle (3-
6ms).
Low heat input/distortion.
No damage to rear side of
part.
Large range of (dissimilar)
material joints can be made.

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1-5
High Frequency (HF) Welding

Strip material formed


continuously into a tube.
Strip edges come
together in a V.
High frequency current
introduced by sliding How Resistance Welding Works
contacts or by induction.
Current concentrated
along edges of V. Applications:
Sufficient local resistance Exhaust pipes.
heating of edges > solid Fuel lines.
phase forge weld Hydro-formed tube.
formed.
Tailored blanks.

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Resistance Heating Electrical Resistance

Created by current flowing through an electrical Material property - Volume resistance.


resistance Copper - Low resistance
Steel High resistance

H=I2Rt Increases with conductor length and current


concentration.

H = heat generated. Low resistance High resistance


I = current.
R = resistance.
t = time. Higher at junctions Interfacial resistance.

During welding, heat is also lost into the electrodes.

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Material and Interface Resistance Modelling of Weld Growth

Weld time

50ms 100ms 140ms

electrode contact

sheet interface

electrode contact

Low Resistance High

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1-6
Spot Weld Formation

Materials cut to
centreline.
2mm Zn coated
steel.
High speed film. Weldable Materials
Action slowed down
by x200.
Weld time 0.22s.

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Material and Interface Resistance Resistance of Materials

Resistance
Resistivity, Conductivity,
relative
Material cm %
to pure copper
Pure copper
Copper 1%
1.7 1 100 Electrode
chromium
2.1 1.2 80
materials

electrode contact Low carbon steel 13.0 7.6 13


Zinc 6 3.6 28
sheet interface Stainless steel 72 42 2.4

electrode contact
Pure aluminium 2.7 1.6 63
Aluminium alloys 3 to 6 1.8 to 3.6 28 to 56

Brass 6.4 3.8 26


Low Resistance High Tungsten 5.4 3.2 31
Molybdenum 5.7 3.4 30
Nickel 6.9 4.1 25

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Weldable Materials Steel Coatings Can Reduce Weldability

Most common metals can be readily spot welded Electroplated zinc.


Steels. Zinc
Low carbon. Steel
High strength.
Coated.
Stainless.
Hot dip zinc coating.

Nickel alloys.
Aluminium and its alloys. Zinc
- Iron/zinc
Copper and its alloys. Steel
Magnesium alloys.
Titanium. Iron/zinc alloy coating (galvanneal).
Iron/zinc
Steel

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1-7
Tip Size Versus Electrode Wear

11

10

9
Tip size, mm

hot dip zinc


8
coated steel
Equipment
7

uncoated steel
6

5
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000
Number of welds

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Pedestal Spot and Projection Welders Features of Welding Equipment

Air cylinder

Air
controls

Upper arm Transformer


(moveable)

Electrodes

Lower arm
(fixed)
Timer

Secondary Tap switch


circuit

Foot switch

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Welding Gun Resistance Welding Power Supplies

Pneumatic or servo operation. Single phase AC.


Manual or robotic application. Inverter - Medium frequency/DC (MFDC).
Range of shapes and sizes. Secondary rectified DC.
Frequency converted DC.
Capacitor discharge.

Courtesy ARO

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1-8
Single Phase AC AC Welding Current

Simple transformer. 20

Low cost. 15
high tap

Standard sizes and configurations. 10 low tap

Welding current, kA
Connected across two mains phases. 5
low heat

AC welding current at mains frequency (50Hz in 0


Europe).
-5

-10

-15

-20
0 10 20 30 40
Welding time, msec

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Single Phase AC Transformer Inverter - Medium Frequency/DC

Portable suspension
spot welding M/C

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Inverter - Medium Frequency DC (MFDC)

DC welding current.
Balanced and lower
mains current demand.
Low inductive effect
(lower power losses). Resistance Welding Electrodes
Lower weight, integral
transformer.
Used for robot guns.
Adaptive feedback
control.
Higher cost.

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1-9
Electrode Functions Electrode Materials

Conduct welding current to the work. Normally shaped copper alloy electrodes.
Electrical property > require a good electrical conductor. Sufficient conductivity to prevent overheating or
alloying of the electrode face to the workpiece.
Transmit required pressure or force to the work to Adequate strength to resist deformation/change
produce a satisfactory weld. during operation.
Mechanical property > require good strength.

Defined by ISO 5182.

Help dissipate heat from the weld zone.


Thermal property > require good thermal conductor.

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Electrodes and Holders Electrode Caps and Adaptors

Single-piece electrodes consist of an end which fits into Various electrode


a holder. adaptor shapes.
Shape depends on component and access limitations. Consumable electrode
If possible use straight/centred forms, avoid angled cap fixed on to end of
electrodes. adaptor.
Electrode alignment, wear and dressing are likely to be Electrode tip degrades
more difficult with offset or angled tips. during welding, cap
easily replaced.
Various cap designs
(ISO 5182):
Type B Truncated.
Type F Domed.
Type C Flat face.

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Electrode Configurations Water Cooling

Electrode life is critically


dependent on water cooling.
All adaptors and electrodes
have an internal cooling
passage.
Permits passage of water to the
internal surface of the electrode
cap.
a) Conventional matching electrodes.
Min. flow rate of 4l/min to
b) Dissimilar tips for large difference in sheet
electrodes.
thickness.
Max. inlet/outlet temperatures
c) Flat electrode for minimum surface marking.
of 20C/30C respectively.

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1-10
Electrode Dressing Equipment Electrode Dressers

Extend life of electrode


caps.
Maintain electrode tip
size and alignment.
Electric motor or air
drive cutters.
Various cutter types
available for different
tip profiles.
Controlled force and
cutting time during
dressing.

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Resistance Welding

Metallurgical process.
Heat/force refine metal grain structure.
Weld physical properties in most cases equal to
parent metal.
Welding Parameters

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Spot Welding Process Electrode Force

Welding force. Each material being welded will have its own optimum
electrode force, depending on the electrode tip size used for a
particular sheet thickness.
A reliable range of electrode forces for spot welding uncoated
and coated low carbon steels are given in BS 1140.

Welding current.
The electrode force required for low carbon steel is normally
1.4 to 2.0kN per mm of the single sheet thickness

Electrode force (N) = electrode tip pressure (N/mm2)


x tip contact area (mm2)
Welding time.
(Note: 1kg force is approximately 10 Newtons (N)
or 1 deca Newton (daN))

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1-11
Welding Pressure Range: Welding Pressure Range:
Rules of Thumb Uncommon materials
Multiplying Welding Electrode Multiplying Welding Electrode
Material type factor pressure force, kN per Material type factor pressure force, kN per
range, N/mm2 mm of single range, N/mm2 mm of single
sheet sheet
thickness thickness

Uncoated low Uncoated low


1 70-100 1.4 2.0 1 70-100 1.4 2.0
carbon steel carbon steel
Coated low carbon Stainless steels
1.2 - 1.5 100-160 2.0 3.2 2 140-250 2.8-5.0
steel

High strength low


1.2 - 1.5 100-160 2.0 3.2
alloy steels High nickel alloys
(heat resisting) 3 200-400 4.0-8.0

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Electrode Force Weld Time

Verify force using a load cell or force meter. Usually in units of 1/50 (0.02) second = 1 cycle.
Adequate squeeze time allowed to ensure force is
achieved prior to current flow. UK frequency 50Hz (50 cycles/second).
Extra electrode force to compensate for poor part
fit-up. Example:
Control rate of electrode approach to avoid 5 cycles = 5/50 s = 0.1 s = 100ms.
hammering of the electrodes . 10 cycles = 10/50 s = 0.2 s = 200ms.
Avoid welding on large machines with low air 20 cycles = 20/50 s = 0.4 s = 400ms.
pressure (poor follow-up characteristics).

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Spot Welding Sequence Time Periods

Squeeze time: The time set to ensure the set


welding force is achieved before current flow.
Some timers are also equipped with a pre-squeeze
time setting.
Weld time: The time for which the welding
current is switched on. When spot welding steels,
a weld time of 10 cycles/mm of the single sheet
thickness is a reasonable starting point.
Hold time (forge): The time the electrodes are
held together under pressure after the weld time.
5-10 cycles is normally adequate for thin
materials.

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1-12
Time Periods Importance of Squeeze Time

Cool time: The current off time between


successive current pulses in pulsation welding or
seam welding.
Off time: The time used for repeat welding such
as stitch welding. The time between the end of the
hold time on one weld and the start of the squeeze
time on the next, during which the electrodes are
re-positioned. Short squeeze time. Acceptable squeeze time.
Low force when current Set force reached when
starts. current starts.

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Welding Current AC Current

Traditional AC welding machines, control of RMS is


equivalent DC
welding current is achieved by transformer current.
tappings and by the percentage heat control Current can be
(phase shift control). affected by
mains
Tapping alters the turns ratio of the transformer by fluctuations/
giving a different voltage to the transformer and changes in
therefore a variation in welding current. secondary
circuit.
The percentage heat control (phase shift control)
Constant
delays the firing of the electronic switching which
current
reduces the amplitude of the welding current. machines.

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Spot Welding Sequence Spot Weld Formation

Materials cut to
centreline.
2mm Zn coated
steel.
High speed film.
Action slowed
down by x200.
Weld time 0.22s.

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1-13
Growth Curve and Weldability Lobe 1D Growth Curve

weld time t
Weld diameter

splash
welds

welding range

Welding current
Weld time

acceptable splash welds


t welds

undersize
welds

Welding current

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Growth Curve For 0.75mm EZ Settings For 1mm Materials

20 Force Time Current


OK welds kN cycles kA

15 OK welds Low Carbon steel 1.5 8 7


Weld time, cycles

Weld splash High strength steel 2 8 7


10 Coated steel 2 12 9
Undersized welds Aluminium 3 4 25
5

0
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Welding current, kA

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Weld Size

Target weld diameter


d1
d2
D = 5t
Weld Quality
D = diameter mm.
t = sheet thickness mm.

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1-14
Weld Strength Spot Weld Shear Strengths

Shear strength may be Minimum spot weld strength for steels, Ni and Co
specified and the alloys based on AWS D17.2/D17.2M:2007
requirements usually 40
relate to the normal
35 above 1275N/mm2
weld sizes. 1035 to 1275N/mm2
30

Failure load, kN
Tension or peel 25
strengths are lower 20
620 to 1035N/mm2
below 620N/mm2
than shear and would 15
be more sensitive to 10
weld hardening.
5
0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5
Material thickness, mm

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Appearance Metallography

A number of external Dimensional features


features indicate incorrect Indentation.
weld settings, poor weld Weld penetration.
quality are normally
limited: Nugget diameter.
Surface splash (weld spurs). Mechanical properties:
Edge welds. Hardness.
Excessive indentation. Flaws and defects:
Surface burning. Porosity.
Cracking. Cracks.

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Spot Weld Section Details Fatigue Testing Spot Welds

Cyclic loading.
Load range set, record No. of cycles to failure.
Produce S/N curve.
0.8mm steel.
5

3
Load (KN)

2
Resistance Welding
Self-piercing riveting
1
Hybrid adhesive/resistance welding
Hybrid adhesive/riveting

0
1.E+03 1.E+04 1.E+05 1.E+06 1.E+07
Number of Cycles

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1-15
Spot Weld Fatigue Cracks Fatigue Classification of Spot Welds

Surface appearance

Cross section view

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Monitoring Quality

Monitoring and control of materials and pre-weld


operations.
Welding process monitoring and control.
In-process weld quality monitoring.
Quality Control Post-weld destructive and non-destructive testing.

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Materials and Pre-weld Operations Welding Process Monitoring and Control

Lack of control of material Routine or continuous monitoring of process


related factors and pre-weld variables, particularly current, time and force.
operations will cause loss of
tolerance of the welding
process.
A compromise usually has to
be made as the component
design and press work may not
be ideal or tightly controllable.

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1-16
In-process Monitoring and Control Adaptive Control System

Constant current control.


Monitor secondary current.
Adjust output to compensate for mains fluctuations.
and/or changes in inductance of secondary weld circuit.

Adaptive control systems.


Measurement of dynamic resistance during weld cycle.
Compare resistance curve to that of a good weld.
Adjust weld parameters during weld cycle to maintain
weld quality.

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NDT and Destructive Testing NDT and Destructive Testing

Periodic destructive tests or non-destructive Post-weld, non-destructive testing of resistance


testing (NDT), provide the normal means of welds was traditionally performed by chisel
confirming weld quality. testing.
Such tests are detailed in BS 1140 and ISO 10447. Ultrasonic testing - requires a special purpose high
The sampling frequency depends on the frequency probe which is applied to the spot weld
component type, the quality required and the indentation (significant training and skill is
production volume. required to interpret results).

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Destructive Testing of Spot Welds Ultrasonic Spot Weld Testing

Peel testing

Chisel testing

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1-17
Ultrasonic Probe Ultrasonic Testing of Spot Welds

Courtesy AGFA

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Ultrasonic NDT Interpretation

Good weld

Undersize weld
Safety
Stuck weld

No weld

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Resistance Welding Safety

Mechanical trapping
hazard.
Weld splash.
Burns or lacerations.
Electrical hazard. Discussion
Fume.
Magnetic fields.

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1-18
Outline

Fundamentals.
Electrode
configurations.
Examples:
Part 2: Micro Resistance Welding

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Basic Opposed Set-Up Resistance Welding Processes

Spot and stitch.


Single or overlapping
weld points.
Seam.
Series of welds made
with wheel electrodes.
Projection.
Shape of component
localises force and
current.
Resistance butt.
Forge butt weld for
wire, rod and strip.

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Fundamentals of Resistance Welding Power Control Problems With Micro

Current passed through the work piece. Heating power


F
Heating caused by resistance of P = i2. R

workpiece.
Heat energy, E, developed in Joules is: Thermal balance
E = I2Rt [strictly t=0t (I2R).dt ] H = [i2. R . t] C where C is heat loss.
I = Current (Amps) most sensitivity.
R= Electrical tesistance ().
t = Time.
Small heat sources have large surface area to heated
volume ratio, so C is relatively large and process is
Force will vary the contact area.
much more sensitive time/power.
Materials wide range eg steel, nickel,
titanium, copper, gold, high
temperature alloys.

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1-19
Micro Resistance Welding Resistance Welding Advantages

Applications: Motor connections, cables, battery Rapid cycle time.


tabs, sensors. Readily mechanised or automated.
Low skill requirement once engineered.
Challenges with jigging and power control: No consumables required (wire, gas).
Parts are thin heat sinking from jig more Relatively low heat input and low distortion.
significant. Reliable, established technology.
Delicate and complicated 3D shapes. Will weld through some coatings - eg zinc,
Unusual materials (eg gold, platinum, other thin uncured adhesives and sealants.
films). No arc and little or no fume, better H&S.

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Resistance Welding Disadvantages Micro-Resistance Spot Welding Machine

Joint configurations are limited.


Access normally required both sides.
Normally single point welds.
Some material limitations.
Material coatings affect weldability.

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Resistance Welding Bond Types Key Resistance Welding Variables

Normally a fusion bond with a solidified weld Materials -


nugget. Manufacturer

Energy GOOD Force -


Power Supply Weld Head
WELD
However can be predominantly solid state for
certain materials resistance forge welding for eg
high temperature materials.
Resistance welding can also be used to reflow Time -
solders and brazes. Power Supply

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1-20
Resistance Welding
Micro Resistance Welding
Projection Welding
Coil to terminal to terminal welding Current and force concentrated by shape of the part.
Typically large flat electrodes to ensure
Conventional stripped wire Fine wire - without concentration at the projection.
removing wire
insulation Many weld points or an annular weld can be made in
single shot.

Projection

Sheet
Embossed Stud to plate Annular Nut to plate application
projection projection

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Single Sided Resistance


Principle of Resistance Seam Welding
Welding electrodes Welding Techniques
Shunt Welding electrode
Continuous joint Discontinuous joint current path Contact pad

Current
path

Main current path


Series welding Indirect welding
Welding electrode Current path

Lead
Metal circuit
Substrate
Parallel gap welding

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Micro Resistance Seam Sealing Power Supplies

AC cheap and ruggedised, can use pulse clipping


to vary power, pulses available for seam welding.
High Frequency Inverter excellent control for fine
wires and thin foils.
DC excellent control for fine wires and thin foils.
Capacitive discharge short rapid burst of energy,
good for very conductive materials.

Pulse waveform control

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1-21
Summary

Micro resistance welding is a process using current


and force to form a weld.
Localised melting occurs to form the weld in most
cases.
Different electrode configurations are available to Thank you for your attention
extend the range of applications, for single sided
welding.
Micro resistance welding has particular challenges
associated with jigging and power control.

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1-22
Overview

Brazing and soldering process, materials,


heating methods and design.

Soldering and Brazing


TWI Training & Examination
Services
EWF/IIW Diploma Course

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Differences in Process Brazing and Soldering

Conventional welding is a fusion Brazing and soldering are techniques in which an alloy
process. melts and flows between two materials to be joined.
The parent material is melted. solders melt <~450C
brazes melt >~450C

Soldering and brazing - Liquid


Alloys selected with reference to base materials and
phase.
application requirements.
Parent material is not melted.
Parent materials remain solid (unlike welding).

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Brazing BS 499:1983 Brazing Advantages (1)

A process of joining generally applied to metals in Why use brazing for joining?
which during or after heating, molten filler metal is
drawn into or retained in the space between closely
Very good electrical conductivity.
adjacent surfaces of the parts to be joined by capillary
action. Adequate mechanical strength.
Very good thermal conductivity.
In general, the melting point of the filler metal is above Convenient process temperatures
450oC, but always below the melting temperature of Re-workable.
the parent material.
Cheap.

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2-1
Brazing Advantages (2) Brazing and Soldering - Summary

Many joints can be produced simultaneously. In general:


Base materials are not melted. Introduces a 3rd body
which melts and wets.
Complex geometries can be produced.
No(?) need for pressure.
Retain dimensional accuracy.
Tolerant of surface
No post-braze machining required.
defects.
Wide range of materials can be joined.
Short times.
Dissimilar materials may be joined.
Lowers the temperature
capability.
Produces excellent bonds.
Always Liquid Phase.

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Wetting Filler Form

Filler is available as wire, rod, foil, powder and


lv sv sl paste.
Cos
lv
sl s For volume production, pre-cut shims may be
Substrate v
cost effective.
Wettability improves with:
Increasing sv (cleaning)
Decreasing sl (temperature) Paste.
Decreasing lv (atmosphere)
has lower concentration of filler by volume (typically
50-70%)
requires burning out of binder
Substrate

Form selection depends on placement.

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Requirements for Soldering and


Soldering
Brazing
Solderable/brazeable components: Due to legislative pressures in Europe (RoHS
Material Directive) and other parts of the world, the
Geometry electronics industry is moving towards the
Clean surfaces. adoption of lead free solders.
Correct filler alloy. There is not a universal drop-in replacement
Correct flux. for the near eutectic tin-lead (Sn/Pb) solder
alloys widely used.
Suitable heating system.
Component specifications must change.
Tin/lead reflow is conducted at 200-230C and wave
solder between 245-255C.
Lead-free reflow between 235-250C and wave
solder at 260-265C.

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2-2
Lead-Free Solder Materials Soldering Techniques
Alloy Melting Point, oC Comment

In52/Sn48 118 Alloy for low temperature applications. Costly due


to indium content. May suffer from corrosion and
poor joint strength.
Commonly used soldering techniques include:
Sn42/Bi58 138 Alloy for low temperature applications. Joints may
suffer embrittlement and thermal fatigue.

Sn42/Bi57/Ag1 138 Offers improved fatigue characteristices.


Hand soldering.
Sn91/Zn9 199 Similar melting point to Sn/Pb. But suffers Wave soldering.
corrosion and oxidation, requires special flux
formulation. Reflow soldering.
Sn96.5/Ag3/Cu0.5 217 Lowest cost SAC alloy. Infrared reflow
SAC305
Sn95.5/Ag4/Cu0.5 217 Similar to SAC 305 but higher silver content Vapour phase reflow
SAC405 resulting in good strength and ductility but
increased cost. Induction soldering.
Sn96.5/Ag3.5 221 May not be thermally reliable. Requires higher
soldering temperatures than SAC alloys.

Sn95/Ag5 221-240 Costly due to high silver content


Sn95/Sb5 232-238 High temperature applications only
Au80/Sn20 281 Used to solder gold to gold. High cost

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Braze Families Silver Based Fillers

Melting range 600-970C.


Used for ferrous and non-ferrous metals
(except Al and Mg).
Good corrosion resistance.
Mainly based around silver-copper eutectic.
Nickel is added to increase wetting and for
joining stainless steels (reducing susceptibility
to interfacial corrosion).

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Ag-Cu Phase Diagram Copper Based Fillers

Melting range 645-1100C.


Used for ferrous and non-ferrous metals
(except Al and Mg).
Phosphorous additions may be used for
fluxless brazing (however, brittle phosphides
are formed if iron or nickel are present).
Cheaper and stronger than silver based.
Less corrosion resistance.

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2-3
Nickel Based Fillers Capillary Flow

Melting range 875-1150C. Wetting of a single surface useful for trials, joints
Used for ferrous and non-ferrous metals made up of two faying surfaces.
(except Al and Mg). <90C - positive capillary flow.
Good corrosion resistance. Meniscus increases with gap flow gets easier.
Good strength properties.
Suitable for high temperature service.
Less ductile than Au/Pd.

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Cleaning and Surface Treatment Cleaning Process Selection

Cleaning Cleaning process is dependent upon:


A means for removing from the faying surfaces Nature of the contamination.
contamination that would prevent brazing filler metal Specific base material to be cleaned.
flow and wetting eg removal of mineral oils, Degree of cleanliness required for brazing.
emulsion lubricants and synthetics.
Braze joint configuration.

Surface treatment
Modification or addition to a surface to enhance
wetting and the adherence of the molten filler metals
eg electrodeposition (plating), hot dip coating,
thermal spraying and cladding.

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Chemical Cleaning Chemical Cleaning


Solvent cleaning
Electrolytic cleaning:
Soak in an organic solvent.
Anodic (oxygen gas evolved) or Cathodic (hydrogen gas
evolved).
Vapour degreasing Acid cleaning and pickling:
Immersion in warm or boiling solvent, condensation of Mixture of mineral acids and acid salts.
hot vapour. Control of residual dirt and chemical attack.
Removal of oxides and light metals, performed after removal of
Emulsion cleaning organic material.
Molten salt bath descaling:
Applied at a temperature below the flash point of any
Electrolytic and non-electrolytic.
solvent.

Salts chosen that will chemically reduce the surface oxide film.
Removal of heavy scale.
Aqueous cleaning
Mechanical assistance:
Mixture of organic and inorganic chemicals from three Increases speed and efficiency of cleaning.
separate groups. Stirring, ultrasonic agitation, spraying.

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2-4
Mechanical Cleaning Mechanical Cleaning

Removal of surface oxide layers. Blasting:


Eg chilled cast iron fragmented shot, modified hard
Roughen faying surface in preparation for brazing. nickel-based brazing filler metal.
Rolling, grinding or lapping may result in an glass beads, alumina etc can embed in surface not
excessively smooth surface. recommended.
increase capillary attraction of the brazing filler Followed by ultrasonic cleaning in solvent.
metal. Roughen the surface.
Heavy oxide fragmented media.
Care required over generation of residual stresses. Thin oxide spherical media.

Reduction in fatigue life due to surface damage and/or


cracking.

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Mechanical Cleaning Thermal Treatment

Wire brushing: Clean and modify the surface at near or above brazing
Metal (stainless steel) wire brushes. temperature.
Fracture and disruption of oxide or other inorganic
scales. Vacuum or controlled atmosphere (dry hydrogen)
Avoid damage to base metal. reduction of oxides.
Avoid burnishing (embedding oxide into the surface).
Removal of light-duty mineral oils possible (avoid
residual contamination).

Vacuum furnace can be used to remove contaminants


from capillary spaces and cracks.
Relevant to repair and filling by brazing.

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Surface Pre-Treatments Stop-Off

Protect clean surfaces. Restriction of braze flow:


In joint regions.
Prevent oxide formation. Base metal features, eg in holes, threads.
Storage

During heating
Commercially available from braze suppliers:
Oxides of aluminium, magnesium, titanium and rare
Reduce preferential wetting and flow on one base earth minerals.
material when brazing dissimilar materials.

Stable in vacuum or reducing atmospheres.


Electroplating of low stress nickel on stainless steel:
Caution with electroless nickel required (contains P).

Water based slurries or organic binder


mixtures.

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2-5
Fluoride-Ion Cleaning Nickel Alloys
Pre-cleaning is essential:
Typically applied to nickel- and cobalt-based
Attack by low-melting-point elements at elevated
superalloys for braze repair.
temperatures, lead and sulphur.
Hydrogen fluoride gas, fluorine reacts with
residual oxide on surface. Embrittlement cannot be recovered.
Removal of oxide formers:
Aluminium, titanium. Mechanical cleaning followed by ultrasonic cleaning.
Process variables:
Temperature (above 950oC). Chemical cleaning:
Soluble oils removed by cleaning in 10-20% solution
Concentration of fluorine.
of sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide (1:1 for
Pressure level.
30 minutes).
Duration.
Mineral oils removed using trichloroethylene and

other solvents.
http://www.hi-techfurnace.com/fic.htm

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Nickel Alloys Butt Joint

Fluoride-ion cleaning. Single thickness (ie no overlap) at the joint.

Hydrogen fluoride cleaning. The preparation is very simple.

Nickel plating: Strength of any joint is dependent on the


Provides a clean surface over high concentrations of bonding area available.
aluminium and titanium.
Thickness <0.015mm for < 4% Al + Ti.
Bonding area is determined by the thinnest (in
Thickness 0.020mm - 0.030mm for > 4% Al + Ti.
cross section) member of the joint:
Thickness temperature dependent above 980oC.
This dictates the maximum joint strength.

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Butt Joint Lap Joint

Almost all of the load is transmitted as tensile Bonding area of a lap joint may be larger than
stress. that of a butt joint.

A butt joint should only be chosen when joint Overlap may be varied such that the joint is as
thickness is a critical consideration and strong as the weaker member.
strength secondary.
Strength dependent upon: The lap joint has double thickness at the joint.
Strength of the filler metal.
Joint clearance.
Load is transmitted primarily as shear stress.
Interaction between braze filler metal and base
metal.
Service environment.

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2-6
Lap Joint Minimising Stress

Overlap of at least three times the thickness of


the thinner member yields maximum joint
efficiency.
Longer overlaps than this may waste preparation
time and filler metal with no gain in joint strength.

Strength of braze filler metal less critical.

Can be self jigging or self aligning.

Stress concentration at the edge of a lap joint


From Brazing for the
engineering
technologist, M.
due to abrupt change in cross-section. Schwartz,1995

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Joint Clearance Filler Placement

Depends on: Filler ideally placed between the faying


Base material combination. surfaces.
Braze alloy selected.
Brazing method used: Filler may be placed in a pre-cut groove.
Flow tends to improve with increasing gap, at
expense of joint strength. Where pre-placement is impossible, braze
Better quality surfaces can use lower joint should only flow from one side to allow
clearances.
inspection.

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Brazing Atmospheres Brazing in Air Usually Requires Fluxes

Joining
Atmospheres
For removal of surface contaminants
(principally oxides).
Protective Reduce surface tension (improve wetting).
Air (usually
Atmosphere
requires a flux)
(usually fluxless) Protect surface from re-oxidation during pre-
heat.
Gaseous
Atmosphere
Vacuum Proprietary mixtures of:
Borates fluorides.
Chlorides Acids.
Chemically Inert
(Ar, He, N2) Alkalis.

Chemically Active
(H2, CO, CI2, F2,
NH3)

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2-7
Fluxes Brazing Temperature

Type specific to materials combinations, Low as possible to:


process, and filler metals used. Minimise heating effects (grain growth,
Flux should melt and become active ~50C distortion etc).
below braze melting point and remain active Minimise material interaction.
to ~50C above brazing temperature. Economise on energy.
Preferable to add too much rather than too
little.
Ensure that residue is fully removed after
brazing to avoid corrosion.

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Flame Brazing Induction Brazing

Advantages: Advantages:
Simple, low maintenance technology. Rapid and controlled localised heating.
Low capital cost. Economical.
Flexible. Range of component sizes.

Disadvantages: Disadvantages:
Labour intensive. High capital cost.
Trained operators. Coil design is difficult.
Health and safety. Safety (RF).

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Resistance Brazing Immersion Brazing

Advantages: Advantages:
Rapid and controlled localised heating. Large number of joints brazed.
Low running costs.
Rapid and uniform heating rates.
Disadvantages:
Limitations on size and shape. Disadvantages:
High capital cost. Parts that float cannot be brazed.
Not good for high temperature Blind joints can trap air.
materials.
Salt baths require temperature control.
Post braze cleaning required.
Pre-heating required (salt freezing).

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2-8
Laser Brazing Brazing Atmospheres

Joining
Atmospheres

Protective
Air (usually
Atmosphere
requires a flux)
(usually fluxless)

Gaseous
Vacuum
Atmosphere

Chemically Inert
Almost no distortion. (Ar, He, N2)

Good wetting produces smooth joint.


Some surface roughness requires finishing. Chemically Active
After painting not possible to tell there is a joint. (H2, CO, CI2, F2,
NH3)

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Why use Vacuum Brazing? Vacuum Brazing - Disadvantages

Quality of atmosphere. Volatilisation of base/filler materials.


Removal of gases expelled from interface. Zinc, cadmium
Dissociation of oxides. Batch process.
Long cycle times
Removal of volatile impurities.

Cost of heating
Flux not required/no post-braze cleaning
Changes in microstructure
Good process control. Initial investment high/maintenance critical.
Intricate jigging required.

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Materials for Vacuum Brazing Vacuum Brazing Procedures

Filler metals: Parts:


Ag, Cu, Ni, Au, AlSi, Ti filler metals. Joint design.
(precautions for Zn, Ga additions). CTE.

Base materials: Filler metal placement.

Ceramics. Preparation.
Refractory/reactive metals (tungsten, molybdenum, Process:
aluminium, titanium, zirconium). Furnace cleanliness.
Stainless steels, ODS alloys, titanium aluminides. Gettering.
Thermal cycle.

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2-9
Heating and Cooling Cycle Vacuum Brazing Furnaces

Typical brazing cycle

Step Heating and cooling Temperature Dwell time


rate (C) (C) (min)
1 10 30C below solidus 15
2 5 Desired brazing temp (850C, 900C, Desired time
950C, or 1000C) (5-60) Laboratory scale vacuum Molybdenum heating
3 10 650 _
(550C for Incusil-ABA) furnace elements for small scale
4 5 500 - vacuum furnace
5 2 20 End

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High Temperature Brazing

High temperature applications (service


temperatures >800C).
Pt, Pd, Ni, Au based alloys.
Mobile liquidus depressants (eg boron) used to
increase remelt temperature. 8. Codes and Standards
Application dependent (eg Boron not suitable for
Brazing Codes and Standards

honeycomb structures or nuclear applications).

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Codes and Standards Bodies Code Topics

European committee for standardisation (CEN). Definitions and symbols.

American welding society (AWS).


Filler metals and fluxes.
American national standards institute (ANSI).
Qualification and testing.
American society of mechanical engineers (ASME).
Section IX Welding and brazing qualifications, BPVC-
Brazing processes.
IX.
International organisation for standardisation (ISO).
Safety and health.
Unified numbering system (UNS).
SAE and ASTM

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2-10
Brazing Filler Metals Brazing Filler Metals

Brazing filler metals. AL: aluminium is the major element.


BS EN 1044:1999 AG: silver as a significant addition, but may
not be the major element.
BS EN 1044 NI102 and BS EN 1044 NI103. CP: copper as the major element, with
HTN Johnson Matthey alloy. addition of phosphorus.
CU: copper as the major element, not
Examples. classified elsewhere.
Filler metal EN 1044-AL 104 NI: nickel as the major element.
Filler metal EN 1044-B-Al88Si-575/585 CO: cobalt as the major element.
PD: contains any quantity of palladium.
AU: contains any quantity of gold.

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Brazing Filler Metals Brazing Filler Metals

Typical compositions provided in the standard. Filler metal for soft soldering, brazing and
braze welding Designation:
BS EN ISO 3677:1995.
Special vacuum requirements:

Silver and palladium alloy.


Applicable for brazing in vacuum or service in S soft solder alloy.
vacuum. B braze and braze welding alloys.
Grade 1 for most demanding applications.
Grade 2 for less demanding applications.
(C, Cd, P, Pb, Zn, Mn, In). Example: B-Ag72Cu-780:
72% silver.
28% copper.
Melting temperature 780oC.

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Application of Brazed Joints Application of Brazed Joints

Brazing Guidance on the application of Materials:


brazed joints: Parent materials.
BS EN 14324:2004. Filler materials.
Fluxes.
Joint design, sub-categories include: Atmospheres.
Types of joint.
Surface preparation. Methods of brazing.
Stress distribution in service.
Application of filler material.

Heat treatment.

Inspection.

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2-11
Destructive Testing Destructive Testing

Destructive tests of brazed joints: Shear tests:


BS EN 12797:2000 (BS1723). Type I and Type II configuration.
Tensile tests:
Specific testing to fabricators requirements: Type I, Type II and Type III configuration.
eg hermeticity. Metallographic examination:
Macroscopic, Microscopic, others.
Purpose of the test: Hardness testing:
Generate basic data on filler metal performance. Macro-hardness Vickers, Brinell and Rockwell.
Develop optimum brazing design and procedure. Micro-hardness.
Relate production results to development results.

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Destructive Testing Non-Destructive Testing

Peel tests: Non-destructive examination of brazed joints:


Specific test specimen. BS EN 12799:2000 (BS1723).
Specimen detached from a brazed assembly.
Bend tests: Visual examination:
Free bend test. Technique and requirements.
Supported bend test. Ultrasonic examination:
Simple bend/flexure. Incomplete flow into the capillary gap.
Constant moment. Large pores or flux inclusions.
Information provided on: Longitudinal cracks.
Test specimen. Fine pores.
Reporting requirements. Incomplete wetting.
Transverse cracking.

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Non-Destructive Testing Imperfections

Radiographic examination: Brazing Imperfections in brazed joints:


Differential X-ray absorption between filler metal and BS EN ISO 18279:2003.
parent material.
Penetrant examination (EN 571-1): Imperfections are classified into 6 groups:
Surface braking defects. Group I Cracks.
Leak testing: Group II Cavities.
Gas flow out pressure test (prEN13184:1998). Group III Solid inclusions.
Gas flow in vacuum test. Group IV Bonding imperfections.
Proof testing: Group V Shape and size imperfections.
Overload applied to brazed assembly. Group VI Miscellaneous imperfections.

Thermography.

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2-12
Other Standards Other Standards
Brazing Fluxes for brazing Classification and
technical delivery conditions: BS1723-1 (withdrawn September 2004):
BS EN 1045 : 1997.
superseeded by BS EN 14324:2004.
BS1723-2 (withdrawn September 2004):
Brazing Procedure approval: superseeded by BS EN 14324:2004.
BS EN 13134:2000. BS1723-3 (withdrawn September 2000):
superseeded by BS EN 12799:2000 & BS EN
Brazing Brazer approval: 12797:2000.
BS EN 13133:2000. BS1723-4 (withdrawn October 2000):
superseeded by BS EN 13133:2000 & BS EN
Welding and allied processes Vocabulary: 13134:2000.
Part 2: Soldering and brazing processes and related

terms.
BS ISO 857-2:2005.

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Brazing and Soldering - Key Points Summary

Correct choice of filler metal. Brazing and soldering:


Appropriate process selection. Materials, process selection and joint design
Clean and smooth surfaces. are all interlinked closely.
Good joint design. Decisions made will impact on suitability of
Appropriate braze gap between parts. other parameters.
Suitable health and safety.

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2-13
Introduction to Composites

Composites and Ceramics


TWI Training & Examination
Services
EWF/IIW Diploma Course

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Composites Composites

Two or more materials working together. Two major components are:


Each contributes its own properties. Fibre reinforcement (Tension).
Each material maintains its own form Matrix resin.
ie not melted together. (Compression and shear)

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Are Composites New? Matrix

Non orientated material (resin) in which fibres


Wood Adobe bricks are embedded.
Allows load transfer into fibres.
Holds fibres together and gives shape.
Protects fibres from environmental
degradation (Moisture, UV, impact, chemical,
etc).
Matrix dominated structural properties are:
compression, shear, service temperature.

Cellulose fibre and lignin resin Straw and mud

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3-1
Organic Matrix Systems Thermoset Matrix Systems

Thermoset: Least Matrix Initial cure Service High


Polyester, vinyl ester, epoxy and phenolic). expensive shrinkage

system temperature temperature
Crosslinking during curing chemical change. range (oC) range (oC)
Cannot be reformed or remelted after cure. Polyester 25 -120 60- 40
Thermoplastic: Vinyl Ester 25 50 -160
Plexiglass, ABS, polyethylene, PEI, PEEK, nylon. Epoxy 25 -180 50 -185
Goes from solid to liquid on heating and solid again Phenolic 60 -235 150 -260
when cooled. Bismaleimide 190 -290 200 -285
Can be reheated and reformed recycles well. (BMI)
Cyanate- 120 -180 90 -320
Ester

Most Polyimide 320 -400 260 -320 Low


(PI)
expensive shrinkage

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Thermoplastics Advantages Thermoplastics Disadvantages

Faster processing minutes no hours. Very high temperature processing.


Re-workability possible recycling. Often requires high pressure processing.
Room temperature storage indefinitely. Lack of tack and drape in dry pre-pregs
Solvent resistance. forming complex shapes difficult.
Minimal out gassing. Wet pre-pregs contain solvent which must be
Greater damage tolerance/higher resistance to
removed during processing.
delamination in some systems.
Some systems allow high modulus fibres to utilise their Expensive materials and tooling.
full strength. Limited design database.
Potential of higher tg in some systems. Liquid resins for wet lay-up unavailable.
Possibility of fast/easy temporary repairs.
Woven fabric pre-pregs expensive due to
Low moisture uptake.
difficulty of impregnation alternative may be
Low Micro cracking.
bi-axial woven tape.

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Thermoplastics Matrix Systems Reinforcement

Matrix system Process Service


temperature temperature range
Fibres:
(oC) (oc) Glass.
Carbon (PAN and Pitch).
Polyether-ketoneketone 372 121
(PEKK) Aramid.
Weave styles:
Polyether-imide (PEI) 399 121
Plain.
Polyphenylene-sulfide (PPS) 454 107
Twill.
Satin.
Polyether-etherketone 454 107 Others.
(PEEK)
Fabric styles.
Polyimide (PMI) 399 204
Polyamide-imide (PAI) 399 204

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3-2
Fibres Carbon Fibre vs. Glass

Common reinforcement fibres Higher tensile and compressive strength than


glass fibre.
More brittle, lower impact resistance.
The grade of tape determines the aerial weight
(gsm or g/m2) and hence thickness.

Glass Carbon Aramid

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Common Weave Styles Different Weave Style

Plain. Plain weave.


Twill.
Satin.
Basket.
Chopped strand mat (CSM).
Continuous filament mat (CFM).
3-Dimensional (Knit).
Braid.

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Different Weave Style Different Weave Style

Chopped strand mat (CSM). Continuous filament mat (CFM).

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3-3
Different Weave Style Thermoset Manufacturing Techniques

3D weave. Wet lay-up (Hand lay-up).


Spray-up.
Resin transfer moulding.
Resin infusion.
Light resin transfer moulding.
Resin film infusion.

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Wet Lay-Up Spray Up

Manual operation (Bucket and brush) Advantages: Fast and cheap process, suitable for large
products.
Advantages:
Disadvantages: Leads to heavy parts, only short fibres
Complex shapes, marine, ambient, low tooling cost. can be used, still needs manual rolling, H&S issues.
Disadvantages:
Poor weight control, H&S issues, voids.
Chopper gun Resin catalyst Gel coat
Gel coat pot (Optional)
Dry reinforcement Air pressurised
fabric/mat Resin (Optional) resin

Consolidation Fibre spool


roller Mould/tool
Mould/tool

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Resin Transfer Moulding Advantages of Composites

Dry fabric, closed tool, resin injected (vacuum). High strength to weight ratio.
Advantages: Controlled process, good finish both sides, (4-10 x Steel).
labour reduction, low H&S problems. Can tailor structures to meet
Disadvantages: Match tool cost, tool design skills. load/environmental
requirements (orientation of
fibres).
Press/Clamps hold tool together
Good fatigue properties.
Resin Injected Composites do not corrode.
Vacuum
(Pressure) Complex (Aerodynamic) shapes moulded in one shot
(Optional)
(replacing expensive machining/forming).
Mould/tool
Dry fibre
Fewer fasteners, ideal for adhesive bonding.
preform

Mould/tool

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3-4
Disadvantages of Composites Joining Composites

Thermoset
Expensive raw materials. Cant be melted, therefore cant be welded.
Harder to recycle. Adhesive bonding or mechanical fastening.
Labour intensive.
Health & Safety concerns. Thermoplastic
Easily damaged hidden damage difficult to Can be melted, therefore can be welded.
detect. Also adhesive bonding or mechanical fastening.
Special training required for manufacturing
and repair. In both cases, joining the matrix is easy,
joining the fibres is very difficult.

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Conclusions on Composites

Composite materials:
Have been extensively used in the past.
Are multi-functional and low weight.
Are here to stay. Ceramic Materials

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Introduction What is a Ceramic?

Ceramic materials. A solid which is neither a metal nor an organic


Joining ceramics. polymer.
Designing for ceramics.
Case studies.

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3-5
Ceramic Materials Common Advanced Ceramics

Whitewares: Relatively simple combinations of


Glazed. Si, Al, Zr
B, C, N, O
Refractories:
Shapes, monolithics. eg
Al2O3 (alumina)
ZrO2 (zirconia)
Advanced ceramics:

SiC (silicon carbide)


Aerospace.
Si3N4 (silicon nitride)
Power generation.
Biomedical.
Electronics.

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Ceramics (mis-) Information Applications of Engineering Ceramics

These are the most technologically advanced knives in the world.


You may not believe your eyes but they are made of Zirconium Ceramic
- a material second in hardness
only to diamond and was originally
developed to tile the exterior of the space
shuttle. With appropriate care these
revolutionary knives will maintain their ultra
sharp edge for years.
Due to its extreme sharpness and wonderful
lightness, the knife needs little or no pressure
to cut.

Unbelievable - they are light and smart, as sharp today as the day I
bought them a few years ago.

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Properties of Ceramics Properties of Ceramics

Hard Soft
Diamond/c-BN Graphite/h-BN

Tough
Brittle Zirconia
Silicon Nitride Ceramic steel

Conductivity
Insulators Diamond
Alumina Si-YBCO

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3-6
The Need for Joining

Joining Ceramics

Materials selection.
Design and functionality.
Joining technology.

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Mechanical Attachment and Shrink


Joining Ceramics
Fitting
Simple in design.
Limited (hermetic)
Joining ceramics temperature
Mechanical Chemical capability.
Impose point stresses
Solid state Liquid state
so limited load
Shrink fit Ultrasonic bonding Adhesives capacity.
Bolting Electrostatic bonding Glass sealing

Screw thread Diffusion bonding Brazing

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Solid Phase Processes Liquid Phase Joining Processes

T 1500oC
Ceramic
E adhesives
M
Ultrasonic Glass-
P 1000
bonding ceramics
500 nm E
R
Electrostatic bonding E 800 Brazes
Diffusion bonding T Ceramics
A Metals
400 Glasses
U
R Solders
E 150
Adhesives
Polymers
Friction welding

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3-7
Adhesive Technology Glass to Metal Sealing

Simple to design and


implement.
Limited to temps
below 175C.

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Glasses Brazing Ceramics

Most widely used joining method for


Readily tailored.
Readily processed.
engineering ceramics.
Crystallizing/non-
crystallising.
Two factors to control:
The braze alloy must wet both components.
The mismatch in thermal expansion between the
components to be joined must be managed (design).

Used in glass to metal


sealing.
Useful for ceramic-
ceramic joints.

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Brazing Ceramics Wetting - Contact Angle

You cant braze zirconia


A liquid metal will not
wet a ceramic surface.

The surface must be


modified to promote
wetting.
Discoloured
region
Joint

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3-8
Methods for Wetting Ceramics Sputter Coating

Three methods: Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) technique.


Metallize the surface (moly-manganese process). Components are bombarded with high energy
Modify the braze (active metal brazing). metal particles.
Plate the surface (sputter coating).

Energy is sufficiently
high to promote
bonding.

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The Moly-Manganese Process The Moly-Manganese Process

Alumina ceramic
Mo-Mn metallising
Benefits:
process Moly paint The most common process (by volume).
Sinter 1500C
Wet hydrogen atmosphere
The drawbacks:
Nickel plate
Requires intergranular glassy phase.
Sinter 1500C Only designed for alumina.
Wet hydrogen atmosphere
Unreliability..
Kovar Black art.
Ag-Cu eutectic foil

Kovar

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Active Brazes Active Metal Brazing

Benefits: Liquid metals will not directly wet ceramic


Single step process. surfaces.
Can be locally applied. Some metals will react with the surface to
Applicable to most ceramics. promote wetting (active metals)
Ti, Zr, Hf, V etc.
The drawbacks: Adding active metal (commonly Ti) to
Dependent on available compositions. conventional braze system (typically Ag or Cu
Require close process control. based) allows direct brazing of ceramics to
No suitable brazes for service T>900C. themselves or to metals.

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3-9
Active Braze Compositions Interfacial Control

Add active metal (commonly Ti) to


conventional braze system (typically Ag or Cu Ag-Cu-Ti
braze
based).
Too little - higher, non-metallic oxides are
formed.
Too much - alloy becomes brittle.
Commercial compositions contain ~1.2-4.5%
Ti.

Braze Reaction layer Silicon nitride


(Thermodynamics and kinetics)

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Designing for Ceramics

Ceramics are less stress-tolerant than metals.

Ceramic component design should allow for


stresses.
Designing for Ceramics
Manufacturing process should provide suitable
surface finish.

System may be used to accommodate


additional stress.

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Properties - Thermal Expansion Relative Thermal Expansion

25
Schematic of relative expansions of stainless
20 steel and Si3N4 at 1000C.
/ C

15
Si3N4 + 0.3mm
-6
X10

10

5
SS + 1.8mm
0

100mm

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3-10
The Problem of CTE Joint Design

Two basic
types of joint
design:
Butt joint.
Lap joint.

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Joint Strength - Butt Joint Strength - Lap


t1 t2 L
F = safety factor (dependent on L = length of lap.
criticality of component, or F = safety factor (dependent
function). on criticality of component,
T1, T2 = tensile strengths of t or function).
thinner and thicker members. T = tensile strength of
D t1 ,t2 = wall thicknesses of thinner member.
thinner and thicker members. t t = wall thickness of thinner
T3 = tensile strength of filler D member.
metal (measured value, L S = shear strength of filler
dependent on joint gap). metal (measured value,
D = inner diameter of thinner dependent on joint gap).
member. Tt D = diameter of the lap.
Flat : L F ( S
)
T3 FT1
T3(d 2t 1)2 FT2(d 2t 2)2
T t (D t )
Tubular : L F ( S
)

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Design Considerations

Minimise shear and tensile stresses.


Minimise thermal expansion mismatches.
Fitness-for-purpose materials selection.
Design for ceramics not for metals.
Case Studies

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3-11
Case Study - Joining Carbon
Joint Design - Interlayers
Composites to Copper
Single interlayer No interlayer

Double interlayer

The solution
The problem Round the corners.
Cracking at Use low temp braze
the corners. alloy.
Reduce thickness of
copper.

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Active Metal Brazing - Interlayers Case Study - Valve Tappets

Control strain in the


joint.

No interlayer The problem


Cracking across
bond line.
Dimensions and
weight fixed. The solution
Flexible interlayer.

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Conclusions

Ceramic is a wide-ranging term.

Materials selection and joining process must


be chosen with fitness-for-purpose as a major
consideration.

Ceramics have very different properties to


metals which should be considered when
designing all aspects of an assembly.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

3-12
Contents

Principles of laser welding.


Types of laser.
Important parameters.
Consumables.
Introduction to Laser Welding
Joint types.
TWI Training & Examination
Weld imperfections.
Services
Examples of applications.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course
Summary.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Principles of Laser Welding

What can lasers weld?


Many metals (eg steels, stainless steels, aluminium,
titanium, nickel alloys);
Plastics, textiles
Large material thickness range (0.1<t<20mm);
Many joint types (butt, overlap, T, stake);
Principles of Laser Welding Most orientations

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Principles of Laser Welding Principles of Laser Welding

Welding by light (light = UV, visible, IR). Welding by light.


Power beam process (like electron beam). This power density not only melts but vaporises
Power density required of ~106W/cm2. metal.
Eg a 10kW laser beam can be focused down to a Produces a column of vapour surrounded by liquid
small spot (<0.3-0.6mm). metal, called a keyhole.

2kW 2kW 2kW


electric electric electric
fire fire fire

2kW 2kW
electric electric
fire fire

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4-1
Principles of Laser Welding Principles of Laser Welding

Welding by light: Keyhole welding.


Laser beam, or workpiece, is then traversed.
Keyhole moves through material.
Molten material freezes on trailing side.
a weld is made.

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Principles of Laser Welding Deep Penetration Keyhole Welds


25mm thickness C-Mn steel
Keyhole welding.

11 MMA passes 2 laser beam passes

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Laser Welds in 12mm C-Mn Steel Laser Welds in 1mm Aluminium

1mm

Filler wire weld with 1mm Autogenous weld


Autogenous weld no
joint gap, 9.5kW, 0.7m/min 3kW, 5.0m/min
gap 8.5kW, 1.0m/min

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4-2
Laser Welds in Titanium Principles of Laser Welding

Welds produced at TWI. Laser can also be used more like a TIG torch.
Laser beam less focused
Ti-64 9mm
Lower power density
Metal only melts, not vaporised
Size of weld limited by rate of heat conduction
through material
Conduction limited welding

7kW Yb fibre laser welds

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Principles of Laser Welding Principles of Laser Welding

Conduction limited Conduction limited


welding: welding:
TIG welding. Laser welding.

CL Nd:YAG weld in 8mm


2024

Hybrid TIG-CL weld in 8mm 2024

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Advantages/Disadvantages
PROS: CONS:
Low heat input. Expensive capital
Low distortion. investment (,-
High speeds possible. ,).
Deep penetration. High volume
Single pass. High value
Job-shop sub-contract
Narrow weld beads. Types of Laser
Single-sided access. Tolerances to:
Performed in air or Part preparation
under. inert shielding. Placement and
Non-contact. fit-up
Automated. Beam safety issues.
Robot delivery in 3D. Electricity consumption.
(Bulky equipment).

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4-3
What is a Laser? What is a Laser?

One wavelength.
Light bulb Many different All waves in phase
wavelengths. (coherent)
Many directions.
All travelling in
Laser same direction
light (collimated).

Discharge Allows light to be


Few (or one) focused down in to
lamp
wavelength. very small spots.
(eg sodium
Many directions.
street lamp)

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What is a Laser? Common Types of Laser

Most lasers constructed Lasing medium Excitation by:


along similar lines.

CO2 gas mixture electricity.


Excitation Focusing
Solid state diode electricity.
Laser Nd:YAG crystal lamps or diodes.
medium Yb:YAG crystal diodes.
Yb doped glass fibre diodes.

Optical cavity Heat extraction

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Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages and Disadvantages

CO2 laser (cutting, welding): Diode laser (brazing):


Established technology. Economical.
High powers available. Fibre delivered.
High beam quality BUT.
Robotically manipulated BUT.
Gantry delivered.
Lower power.
Limited flexibility for welding complicated geometries.
Low beam quality.
Nd:YAG laser (welding):
Established technology. Fibre and disk lasers (welding):
Fibre delivered. High power.
Robotically manipulated BUT. High beam quality.
Lower power. Fibre delivered.
Lower beam quality. Robotically manipulated BUT.
Newer technologies.

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4-4
CO2 Gas Laser CO2 Gas Laser

Images from www.trumpf-laser.com/en/products

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Gas Laser Beam Delivery Nd: YAG Solid State Laser

Images from www.trumpf-laser.com/en/products

Image from www.trumpf-laser.com/en/products

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Nd: YAG Laser Beam: Fibre Delivered Nd: YAG Laser Beam: Fibre Delivered

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4-5
Nd:YAG Laser Beam: Fibre Delivered Fibre and Disk Lasers

Images from www.ipgphotonics.com Images from www.rofin.com

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Important Parameters for Welding Important Parameters


Type of laser:
Wavelength, .
Type of output, eg continuous or pulsed.
Power, W or kW.
Spot size on surface, mm2:
Diameter of fibre, mm (if fibre delivered).

Focal length(s) of optic(s), mm.

Defocus position, mm (if used).

Power density (power/spot area).


Welding speed, m/min.
Available heat input (power/speed).
Angle, .
(Gas shielding details, if used).
(Wire feed speed, m/min, if used).

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Important Parameters Important Parameters


Wavelength, .
Continuous vs pulsed output.
Laser power can be output as a continuous wave
(cw), ie constant power, or as a series of high power,
short time pulses.

Pulsed lasers often used for very high quality welds


From: Nonhoff, C.J. 1988, Material Processing with Nd-Lasers. 1st edn. Electrochemical Publications Ltd., Ayr, Scotland in small-scale applications.

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4-6
Important Parameters Important Parameters

Spot size on surface determines power What determines the spot size?
density: Fibre diameter (if used).
Power density = power/area. Collimating optic (if used).
For example, a 5kW laser beam focused in to a Focussing optic.
0.3mm diameter spot. Beam starts to diverge when Near parallel
Power density = 5000W / *r2 it comes out of fibre beam Beam is focused to
a spot here
Power density = 5000W / *(0.15mm)2

Power density = 5000 / 3.14*0.0225

Power density = 70,771 W/mm2 !!

Optical fibre, of
But what determines the spot size?
some diameter df
Focussing
Collimator lens

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Important Parameters Important Parameters

For example, focal length of focusing lens, mm: Defocus position, mm.
As focal length of focussing lens/mirror decreases.

Moving away from focus increases spot size on
Focused spot size decreases.
surface and lowers power density.
Depth of focus decreases.

Positive defocus Negative


defocus

Fluctuations move towards Energy focused inside


lower power density keyhole keyhole more energy
stable, less under fill and absorbed used for deep
As beam quality improves, for given focussing length spatter penetration welding
depth of focus increases and spot size decreases.

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Important Parameters Important Parameters

Power and welding speed relate to the heat Angle :


input available: As angle off vertical increases, absorption decreases.
Maximum heat input available = Power/speed.
For example, a 5000W being used at 10mm/s.
Max. heat input = 5000W/10mm/s.
Max. heat input = 5000J/s/10mm/s.
Max. heat input = 500J/mm = 0.5kJ/mm.
Actual heat input will be less, due to losses from
reflection and absorption etc.
Laser commonly aimed at 90 to target surface, if
possible, eg for simple butt joints.
Any angle giving required depth of fusion acceptable,
eg 15-45 for T-butt joints.

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4-7
Consumables Consumables

Consumables considered are:


Shielding gases.
Often, but not always, inert gases: Ar, He etc

Filler wires.
Normally on reels, ie same as MIG/MAG

Electricity.
Cooling water.
Spares (eg focussing optics, fibre optic cables,
mirrors, lasing gases if used etc).

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Consumables Consumables

Shielding gases: Shielding gases:


Often delivered through a nozzle coaxial to laser beam. Lasers can weld in air (lower quality welds in steels).
Flow rate ~20-30l/min (ie similar to MIG/MAG). Often inert (especially when welding stainless steels,
Can also be delivered as side jets. Ti, Ni and Al alloys).
Ar

He

Gas in Ar-He mixtures

ie, similar to MIG/TIG shielding gases

Gas mixtures are used, but more commonly when


hybrid laser-arc welding
~10mm
~10mm

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Consumables Consumables
Shielding gases:
Gas needs choosing carefully, as it CAN interact with the Filler wires:
laser beam itself, to form a plasma. Similar as reeled wires used in MIG/MAG and TIG.
Plasma absorbs beam and energy is lost. Improve weld bead profile.
In particular, avoid Ar and CO2 shielding with CO2 lasers. Improve tolerance to fit up.
Both form plasma, and penetration lost Change fusion zone metallurgy.
Increase strength, ductility, reduce cracking...

Replace elements loss by evaporation, eg Mg.


Bare wires (but Cu coated OK).
Not normally MCW or FCW.

Ar shielding He shielding

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4-8
Consumables Joint Types

Electricity and water.


Lasers can be as inefficient as 3% or as efficient as
40%.
Rest of energy is converted in to heat.
High electricity consumption.
Water cooling often required.
Lower power, more modern lasers can be air-cooled.
Optics often also require cooling.

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Tolerances to Fit-Up and Positioning Examples of Joint Types

Often, no need for edge preparation.

BUT, fit up must be good or laser will pass


straight through!
Machined or laser cut edges.

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Typical Tolerances to Fit-Up and Typical Tolerances to Fit-Up and


Positioning Positioning
Factors Joint Configuration Hi/lo mismatch.
Lap Butt Hem Edge Multilayer T-butt
Eg in butt welds, can be up to 50% ST in thin sheet.
Tolerance to gap <10% <10% <10% <10% <10% ST <10%
between sheets ST ST ST ST for each ST
layer
Tolerance to beam >1mm <0.3- >1mm <0.3- >1mm <0.3- These limits dont guarantee weld root profile will be
joint misalignment 0.5mm 0.5mm 0.5mm
acceptable.
Tolerance to beam 1mm 1mm 1mm 1mm 1mm 1mm
focus position
Seam tracking No Yes No Yes No Yes
requirement
Tolerance to edge Avoid <5% Avoid <5% Avoid <5%
preparation burrs ST burrs ST burrs ST
ST = Sheet thickness
* = Can be equal to spot diameter in thicker sheet (t > ~3-6mm)
** = Assuming a 5-10mm flange width

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4-9
Weld Imperfections Weld Imperfections

Laser welding is a fusion welding technique.


Laser welds can have fusion welding
imperfections, including:
Hot cracking.
Porosity.
Changes in properties in the joint zone.
Hardness

Strength

Toughness

Ductility

Corrosion resistance

Distortion tends to be low, due to low heat input.

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Weld Imperfections Weld Imperfections

Certain features of laser welding and laser welds can Fast welding speeds and low heat
increase or decrease the chances of these imperfections inputs.
happening. Fast solidification rates and
narrow welds
Laser welds are deep and narrow:
Shortens time for porosity to
Can increases chance of hot cracking, as shrinkage
escape and limits escape
stresses act normal to last part of weld to solidify. routes.
Fine scale gas porosity can
become trapped in weld.
TO AVOID.
stringent material cleanliness
increased time for solidification
larger/longer weld pool
Arc weld Laser weld Non-optimised laser weld in Ti alloy
avoid volatile elements
TO AVOID: Increase heat input, spot size, add fillers, Porosity is circled
good fit-up

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Weld Imperfections Weld Imperfections

Porosity can also occur if the laser welding keyhole is Keyhole made more stable
unstable. by:
If condition not properly optimised, uncontrolled collapses Increasing power density.
of keyhole can trap in porosity
Increase power.
Reduce spot size.

Maintaining a constant
power at the workpiece.
avoiding the build-up
of, or dispersing, any
plume or plasma from
above the top of the
After Pastor et al., Welding International, 2001, 15 (4), pp.
keyhole.
275-281

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4-10
Weld Imperfections Weld Imperfections
Both types of porosity becomes particularly trapped in
blind (partially penetrating) welds. Fast welding speeds and low heat inputs:
Fast cooling rates.
Direction of process head
Increases chances of forming brittle microstructures.

TO AVOID.
Increase heat input

Reduce welding speed


12.7 Al gas-porosity
Pre-heat
keyhole-porosity
Post-weld heat treatment

Use leaner/lower hardenability steels

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Examples of Laser Welding Applications


Applications
Fine scale welding:
Conduction limited
welding by diode laser.

Welding of two 80m thick Ti


foils.

55W at 1 m/min

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Applications Applications

Everything INCLUDING the Tailored blank welding of car body panels:


kitchen sink
Millions now welded in steel.
Some on the luxury market in aluminium.

Weld before polishing


D
d1
d2
r

Cross-section
Welding head d1 = d2 =1 mm

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4-11
Applications Applications

Laser welding of body in white: Remote welding (of body in white).


Steel, galvanised steel. Using long focal length high beam quality
lasers.
High strength steels being developed.
Manipulated using scanners
or robots.

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Applications Applications

Laser welding of stiffeners to Airbus fuselage Example of double sided laser welding
panels. for fuselage stiffened panels.

K-H. Rendigs, Airbus

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Applications Applications

Welding of aluminium sections in lightweight Thick section welding.


ships. Keyhole welding by CO2,Yb fibre or Yb:YAG disk laser.

19kW CO2 7kW Yb fibre

20mm thick 12mm thick


steel, single steel, single
pass, 2m/min pass, 0.33m/min

R Vloemans/M vd Winden, Corus

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4-12
Applications Improving Tolerance to Fit-Up

Laser welding of Hybrid laser-arc welding can be used.


stiffened steel panels. Combination of arc and laser.
Can give:
Better fit up tolerances.
Improved penetration.
Better weld profiles.
Improved fatigue properties.
MAG Complicated process to optimise!
Laser
Arc Laser Hybrid

Tolerance to fit-up can


be an issue in butt + =
joints.

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Hybrid Girth Welding of Steel Pipe Hybrid Welding of Aluminium

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Microelectronics Microelectronics

Hermetic sealing of electronics. Laser soldering of circuits.

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4-13
Microelectronics Plastics

Use of diffractive optics to split beam and Welding of plastics.


carry out multiple spot welds simultaneously.
Laser CO2

Lap joint in 0.1mm


thick PE sheets
0.1m/min

Energy distribution in beam

Application to spot welds in a circuit

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Plastics Plastics
Welding by selective absorption of beam in one of Welding by selective absorbtion of beam by a dye at
the two materials in the joint. the joint interface = ClearweldTM.

Lap joint in 4mm thick


PP sheets
1.6m/min

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Plastics Plastics

Example of Clearweld: Make up box. Example of Clearweld: Headlight cluster.

Gentex Corporation

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4-14
Welding of Fabrics Welding of Fabrics

Clearweld in shirts, fleeces, labels on beds.

Welding of
waterproof fabric
(replacing non leak
tight stitching)

Bead width ~ 4mm

~ 150W laser at 2.5 m/min

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Other (Non-Welding) Applications Brazing

Laser cutting.
Brazing of roof joints, car boots ...
Surface hardening.
Deposition of surface
layers (eg abrasion
resistance, corrosion
resistance etc).
Roof Joint for laser
Deposition in 3D (eg brazing
Side wall
repair, prototyping). frame

Laser soldering.
Laser drilling.
Laser brazing of visible
joints (see next slide).
45 Degree joints

Photos 2004 TWI - EuroCarBody 2003 conference - Automotive Circle International and BMW, EALA
2004 conference and EuroCarBody 2003 conference - Automotive Circle International

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Summary Summary

Laser energy can be focussed to power


densities high enough to melt and vaporise
metal.
Thin sheet welding:
Low heat input, low distortion, high speed.
Thick sheet:
Deep penetration, single pass.
Many different types of laser possible.
Factors influencing choice of laser include:
Power and power density required.
Complexity of application.
Cost - mass production, high value or subcon to job
shop.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

4-15
Summary

Essential to fully understand the process:


Lots of variables can affect weld quality.

Joint types:
Generally dont require edge preparation, eg bevel.

BUT good fit up absolutely essential.


Thank you for your attention and enjoy (?)
Consumables (shielding gases and wires):
Often, but not always, similar to MIG/MAG and TIG.
the rest of the course
Fusion welding imperfections to watch out for:
Porosity (non-ferrous), high hardness (steels), hot

cracking (most material types).


Applications:
Automotive industry, aerospace, shipbuilding,

plastics ...

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

4-16
Contents

Introduction to
polymers.
Thermal properties.
Processing.
Applications.
Polymers Welding Theory of welding.
Welding processes.
Conclusions.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Definition Of Polymers and Plastics

A polymer is a large molecule built up by


repetition of small chemical units or
monomers.
The term polymer is derived from the Greek:
Poly meaning many.
Introduction To Polymers Meros meaning parts.
A plastic is a commercial material made from
a synthetic polymer:
Normally containing additives to improve processing
and/or performance.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Chemical Structures Of Simple


Polymer Structure
Polymers

Abbreviation
Polyvinylchloride PVC
C
H | C | H
3


Polycarbonate PC

O

O
C
O




- NH - (CH )5 CO
C

2 n

3

Polyethylene PET
Terephthalate
O|

O|


|C

|C

O
C
H

C
H

O
2

Source - http://www.pslc.ws/mactest

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-1
General Classification Of Polymers Classification Of Synthetic Polymers

Thermoplastics Thermosets
Polymers Are polymerised in a Can be polymerised in-situ.
reactor.
Often have short chains that are
Have long chains. cross-linked on curing.

Natural Can be re-melted and Once heated and formed cannot


Synthetic re-used. be reprocessed.
(wool, wood, etc)
Melt and flow on Do not flow on heating
heating NOT WELDABLE.
WELDABLE.

Thermoplastic Thermoset

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Examples Of Thermoplastics and


Thermoplastics
Thermosets
Amorphous:
Thermoplastics Thermosets Random structure.
Polyethylene. Epoxy. Softening range, Tg.
Polypropylene. Phenolic. PVC, PC, ABS.
Nylons. Cyanoacrylates
Polycarbonates. (Superglue).
Polyvinylchloride. Varnish. Semi-crystalline:
Crystalline and amorphous
ABS. Paints. regions.
Acetal. Bakelite. Distinct melting point, Tm.
PE, PP, PA.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Glass Transition Temperature, Tg

Below Tg, polymer is frozen with little


molecular movement.
Tg represents a transition where movement
within segments of the polymer chain
backbone becomes possible.
Thermal Properties Above Tg segments of polymer chains can
move more freely.
When complete chains start to move past each
other the polymer starts to melt.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-2
Typical Tg And Tm Of Polymers Coefficient Of Thermal Expansion

Linear coefficient of Material Linear CTE x 10-5/C

Polymer Tg (C) Tm (C) thermal expansion: ABS 9.0

PC 140 - Nylon 6 8.3


Fractional change in
PMMA 108 - the length of a PC 6.8

PS 101 - material per C of PS 6.7


PVC 80 - temperature change. PMMA 6.3
PEEK 145 343 Aluminium 2.3
PET 65 270 Copper 1.7

1 L

L T

Nylon 6,6 60 262 Stainless steel 1.6

p
Nylon 6 50 220 Titanium 1.4
PVDF -30 170 Gold 0.9
PP 5 162
HDPE -125 130

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Extrusion

Resin fed from hopper into


heated chamber (barrel).

Rotating screw moves


material down the
barrel, melting it as it
goes.
Processing Molten plastic passes
through a die, which
creates its shape.
Plastic then cools and
solidifies, retaining its shape:
Film and sheet.
Pipe.
Profiles.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Injection Moulding Melt Viscosity


Resin fed through hopper
into the barrel. For extrusion:
The molten plastic must be sufficiently viscous when
it come out of the die to allow it to hold its shape
Rotating screw moves
before it cools and solidifies.
material down the barrel,
melting it as it goes. For injection moulding:
Screw is forced back as The molten plastic must have low viscosity when it
molten plastic collects at come out of the die to allow it to completely fill the
the front of the barrel. mould before it solidifies.
Once enough plastic has collected, a
hydraulic ram pushes the screw
Melt viscosity is related to the molecular
forward, pushing a shot of molten weight (Mw) of the polymer:
plastic into a mould under pressure. Higher Mw higher melt viscosity.
Mould cools, solidifying the plastic,
which retains the shape of the mould.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-3
Molecular Weight (Mw)

Mw is the mass of a molecule.


For polymers, all molecular chains do not have
the same length, therefore there is a
distribution of molecular weights.

Weight Applications
fraction

Molecular
weight

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Polyvinylchloride (PVC)

Advantages: Advantages:
Good stiffness and Compatible with many
hardness. different additive.
Easily processed. Highly versatile.
Good gloss finish. Good electrical
Applications: insulation.
Cases for: Weatherproof.
Televisions. Applications:
Domestic appliances. Building products.
Telephone handsets. Water pipes.
Window frames. Medical.
Cable insulation. Blood bags.
Baths and shower trays.
Bottles. Surgical gloves.
Lawnmower covers.
Packaging.
Chemical pipes and Footwear.
Blister packs.
fittings.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Nylon/Polyamide Polypropylene (PP)

Advantages: Advantages:
High toughness. Good chemical.
Good temperature Resistance.
resistance.
Good fatigue resistance.
Good electrical insulation.
Low cost.
Abrasion/wear resistant.
Applications: Applications:
Textiles. Automotive.
Food packaging. Bumpers.
Automotive. Interior and exterior
Intake manifolds. trim.
Packaging:
Power tool housings.
Electrical: Film.
Insulators. Bottles and pots.
Cable ties.
Industrial pipes and
fittings.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-4
Polycarbonate (PC)

Advantages:
Excellent toughness.
Good dimensional
stability.
Transparent.
Low creep.
Applications:
Theory of Polymers Welding
CDs.
Safety helmets.
Headlamp lenses.
Bottles.
Traffic lights.
Glazing.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Molecular Diffusion Weld Strength

Welding involves the diffusion of molecules The strength of a polymer weld depends on:
across the joint interface. Temperature.
Pressure.
Weld time.
Molecular weight.

Time = 0 Time > 0 Full weld

Optimum weld when at least half of chain length


has diffused across the interface.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Effect Of Temperature Effect Of Pressure

Molecules cannot move unless the On a microscopic level the surface of a


temperature is: polymer is rough.
Above Tg, for amorphous polymers.
Above Tm, for semi-crystalline polymers. When two molten
surfaces are brought
Speed of diffusion increases with increasing together only some
temperature. areas will be in Pressure
If temperature is too high thermal contact.
degradation. Welding cannot start
until surfaces are in
contact.
Therefore, a pressure
is required to
increase the contact
area.
Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-5
Effect Of Weld Time Effect Of Molecular Weight

Weld time is the time at which the two parts Diffusion theory:
to be welded are in intimate contact and Depth of penetration of molecules from one side of
above Tg or Tm. the weld interface into the other is proportional to
(Mw)-.
Diffusion theory:
Depth of penetration of molecules from one side of
Higher Mw molecules diffuse more slowly
the weld interface into the other is proportional to require longer times to achieve full weld
(weld time). strength.
If the weld time is too short, full diffusion will Low Mw molecules diffuse more quickly
not be complete, resulting in a weak weld. rapid weld times:
If the weld time is too long oxidative But weak welds.
degradation.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Welding Of Dissimilar Polymers Effect Of Tg/Tm

Most polymers can only be welded to Molecules cannot move unless the
themselves. temperature is:
The ability of dissimilar polymers to weld Above Tg, for amorphous polymers.
together depends on their compatibility in Above Tm, for semi-crystalline polymers.
terms of: Therefore, for dissimilar polymers to be
Tg or Tm. weldable, the weld temperature must be
Melt viscosity. above the Tg/Tm of both materials.
Wetting.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Effect Of Melt Viscosity Effect Of Wetting


Consider a drop of liquid on a solid surface
For dissimilar polymers to be weldable, they If the molecules of the liquid have a stronger attraction to the
must have similar melt viscosities at the molecules of the solid than to each other:
welding temperature: adhesive forces > cohesive forces.
< 90o
good surface wetting.
Otherwise one material will flow when applying the


good compatibility.
weld pressure, but the other will not.

If the molecules of the liquid have a stronger


Melt viscosity decreases with increasing attraction to each other than to the molecules
temperature: of the solid:
Therefore, the two polymers to be welded must have cohesive forces > adhesive forces. > 90o
a similar Tg or Tm. poor surface wetting.
poor compatibility.
For dissimilar polymers to be weldable, they must have similar
wetting capability:
Otherwise there will be little diffusion of molecules across the weld
interface poor/no weld.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-6
Dissimilar Polymers That Can Be
Welding Fundamentals
Welded
ABS/PMMA. Welding polymers requires:
ABS/PC. Heat.
Pressure.
ABS/PS.

Time.
PMMA/PC.
PMMA/PS.
Also important:
Surface preparation.
Cooling.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Plastics Welding

16 different welding techniques for


thermoplastics :
Techniques where heat is generated by
mechanical movement.
Techniques employing an external heat
source.
Welding Processes
Techniques which directly employ
electromagnetism.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Mechanical Movement Techniques Vibration Welding


Linear reciprocating motion.
Vibration.
Frequency: 100-300Hz.
Spin.
Amplitude: 1-4mm.
Orbital.
Weld times: 3-15s.
Ultrasonic.
Friction stir.

Requires at least one axis of


motion between parts.
Low sensitivity to warped
mouldings.
Equipment costs: >50k.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-7
Spin Welding Orbital Welding

Rotational motion Motion at the interface is orbital


Amplitude: 0.5-1.5mm
Requires circular joint line

Speed: 500-10,000rpm.
Weld times 2-5s. Weld times: 3-15s.
Applicable to most
More suited for thin wall parts.
thermoplastics.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Applications of Vibration Welding Ultrasonic Welding

Vertical motion.
20-40kHz frequency.
30-125m amplitude.
Typical weld times 0.3-2s.
Material dependent.
Joint/part design critical.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Applications of Ultrasonic Welding Friction Stir Welding


Invented in 1991 at TWI for welding
sheet metals.
Uses either rotating tool.
Or vibrating blade (Viblade
welding).
Both techniques have been
demonstrated on thermoplastics.
But still at development stage.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-8
External Heat Processes Hot Plate Welding

Hot plate. Also called heated tool


Hot gas. or butt fusion welding.
Extrusion. Hot plate temperature
range 200-260C.
Resistive implant.
Typical pressure:
Heat sealing. 0.1-0.3MPa.
Flash free. Typical weld times:
60-500s.
Pipe welding up to
2000mm.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Applications of Hot Plate Welding Hot Gas Welding


Manual welding
technique:
Weld quality dependent
upon operator skill.
Uses consumable filler
rod.

Hot gas temperature:


250-400 C.
Weld speed:
0.2-0.3m/min.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Applications of Hot Gas Welding Extrusion Welding

Manual welding
technique.
Weld quality dependant
upon operator skill.
Uses consumable filler.

Weld speed: 0.5-1m/min.


Joint usually filled in one pass.
Mainly used for PE and PP.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-9
Applications of Extrusion Welding Resistive Implant Welding

Electrically conducting
implant at the joint
line:
Carbon fibre prepregs.
Graphite fabric.
Stainless steel
foils/wires.
Copper/nickel
braids/mesh.
Heated by DC current:
Constant current.
Constant voltage.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Resistive Implant Welding Applications of Resistive Implant


Electrofusion Welding
Welding of pipes.
Diameters up to
710mm.
Fittings contain coil of
resistance wire.
40V and 80V systems
Typical weld times 20-
350s.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Heat Sealing Applications of Heat Sealing

Equipment costs low.


Plastic films to be welded Only applicable for
Force
welding films up to
0.5mm thick

Heated Bar

Machine Base

Hot bar welding


Impulse welding

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-10
Flash Free Welding Applications of Flash Free Welding

Also called BCF.


Clamps
Developed for welding
Heated collar
PVDF pipes.
Similar technology
available for welding
Bladder
flat sheet and solid
Pipe profile.
Butt joints with no
flash.
Inflation tube Long weld times.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Electromagnetic Methods Induction Welding


Work
Induction. coil

High frequency.
Laser.
Infrared.
Implant
Microwave.
Also called electromagnetic or EMA welding.
High frequency (2-10MHz) electromagnetic field from
induction (work) coil.
Requires electrically conducting implant (gasket) at the
joint line.
Eddy currents induced in implant.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Applications of Induction Welding High Frequency Welding

Also called dielectric


or RF welding.
High frequency
(27MHz) alternating
electric field applied
across material.
Use restricted to thin
sheet polar
thermoplastics (PVC
or PU).
Weld times 5-10s.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-11
Applications Of High Frequency Transmission Laser Welding
Welding
Uses NIR laser types:
Diode.
Nd:YAG.
Fibre
Relies on absorption
characteristics of the
materials:
One transmissive.
One absorptive.
Localised heating at
interface.
Non-contact process.
Weld speeds up to
20m/min.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Transmission Laser Welding


CO2 Laser Welding
Clearweld
Wavelength: 10.6m.
Produces invisible High absorption in
weld between two plastics.
clear materials.
Suitable for thin films
Can weld film, sheet, (up to 200m).
fabric and moulded
High speeds
plastics.
(100m/min).
Uses infrared
Suitable for cut/seal.
absorbing media.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Applications Of Laser Welding Infrared Welding

Also called non-contact hot


plate welding.
Can be used in through
transmission mode or by
direct heating of the
interfaces.
Shorter weld times than
hot plate welding.
Reduced contamination
Energy efficient.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-12
Applications Of Infrared Welding Microwave Welding
Uses electromagnetic
radiation at a frequency of
2.45GHz:
Most plastics do not
absorb at this frequency.
Requires a microwave
absorbing implant:
Electrically conducting
polymer.
Two modes of application:
Multi-mode.
Single-mode.
Low power consumption.
Not a commercial process.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Applications Of Microwave Welding

Thank you for your attention


Any Questions?

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

5-13
Fully Mechanised Processes and Robotics

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Introduction What is Mechanisation/Automation?

What is mechanisation, automation and robotics?


Mechanisation. Machine welding
Robots
Basics.

Safety.
Mechanised Automatic Robotic
Seam tracking and adaptive welding.

Simulation and Offline programming.


Joint tracking
Applications.
Joint recognition
Recent and Future Developments. Weld recognition
TOPTIG.

Bead width control.


Adaptive control
NOMAD plus video.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Robot Welder 1956 Why Mechanise?

Reduce cost?
Improve productivity?
Better use of skills?
Lack of skills.
Improve quality?
Health and Safety?

Be clear of the reason!

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-1
Welding Tractor Mechanised Welding

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Orbital TIG Welding Narrow Gap TIG

Arc machines M227:


Lean duplex tubes.
Nuclear repair.

Swagelok M150:
A-TIG flux extends range of
application.
High quality for
food/pharmaceutical/
semiconductor industry.

Dimetrics Goldtrack:
Wire feed and head
oscillation.
Fully programmable.
For multipass TIG welding.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Tube-to-Tubesheet Welding Head Mechanised Orbital MAG Welding

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-2
Hot Wire TIG valve cladding Adaptive Automation

Fully automated.
Use of laser vision
systems.
Seam tracking.
Adaptive control of
welding parameters.

Parmaprogetti ROBIT EX26

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Robotics

BASICS

Basics

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Basic Arc Welding System Welding Torch and Mount

System integration.
Language.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-3
Work Handling TCP- Bullseye

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Torch Cleaner Welding Cell

Safety HSG43

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Arc Welding Laboratory Robot Configurations

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-4
Robot Joints Robot Base Co-ordinate System

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Tool Centre Point and Calibration Work Volume

Envelope or space within which the robot can


manipulate the end of its wrist.
Determined by:
X Number of joints.
Type of joints.
Physical size of joints.
Y
Ranges of joints.
Outside robot base (usually).
Z

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Working Envelope Working Envelope - Plan

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-5
Working Envelope - Side Program Structures

Robots replay programs.

Programs consist of:


A series of points in space.
Commands governing the movement. between
points in space.
Commands controlling process attributes.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Programming Methods Robot Attributes

On-line programming: program framework


written and points taught using the robot .
Off-line programming: program written and Accuracy.
points entered without robot being taken out Repeatability.
of production.
Speed.
Payload.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Robot Costs W and C (3) No 2 2004 Fabrication Processes

Prices falling in real terms:


Cleaning. Bending.
100 in 1990. Cutting and profiling. Rolling.
57 in 2004. Hole forming. Machining.
(27 if additional benefits taken into account). Joining. Protection.
Therefore 1/4 cost for same performance. NDE. Handling.
Prices start at 20k plus. Coating and
painting.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-6
Robot Profile Cutting Shape Cutting - Nd:Yag Laser

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Shape Cutting - Plasma Shape Cutting - Water Jet

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Gantry Robot Welding System Gantry Robot Detail

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-7
Robot Grinding Sheet Metal Machining/FSW

Parallel Kinematic Robot

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Portable Robot

SEAM TRACKING

Seam Tracking

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Sensor Technology Arc Parameter Seam Tracking

Tactile probes.
Capacitance/inductance.
Parameter monitoring- through arc.
Vision based laser scanner and camera.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-8
Through-the-Arc Seam Tracking Laser Seam trackers

Servo Robot Meta Vision Systems Oxford sensors

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Laser Seam Tracker

Simulation and OLP

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Simulation and Off-Line Programming Virtual Cell

Simulation:
Generation of kinematic data.
Checking for accuracy and orientation.
Collision checking.
Co-ordination of multiple axis (6 upwards).

OLP:
Uses the simulation data to create a robot program.
Robot language dictated by Post Processor.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-9
Simulation Benefits OLP

Increase operating time.


Prove and optimise programs.
Share product data (CAD/CAM).
Improve safety.
Test what ifs.
Reduce installation time.
Minimise damage.
Improve planning process.
Complex programming.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Background

Why do we need a control system?


Compensate for manufacturing
tolerances.
Accommodate for fit-up and
misalignment.
Correct for thermal distortion whilst
welding.
Bead Width Control
Accommodate variations in jigging and
heat sink.
Compensate for heat to heat material
variations.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Feedback Process Control Vision Sensor

Target Pool Topface.


Width Error Process Welding CCD Camera.
Welding Torch
+_ Control
Algorithm Hardware Camera Standard optics.
Near Infrared filter.
Measured Wire Rear viewing.
Weld
Pool Width Feed Steep angle.
Workpiece Arc on.
Weld Image Vision based sensor
Molten weld pool.

Simplified process control schematic

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-10
Edge Feature Correlation Image Edge Features

Real-time capture and


200
200
160
processing. 160

Pixel Intensity
Pixel Intensity
120 120

80 80

Extraction of edge features 40 40

from a reference image. 0


0 10 20 30 40 50 60
0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Feature extraction
Pixel Number Pixel Number

AC TIG on Aluminium Left Edge AC TIG on Aluminium Right Edge


Efficient correlation algorithm 280 280

to detect weld pool edges. 240 240


200

Pixel Intensity
200

Pixel Intensity
160 160

Configurable software. 120 120

80 80

40 40
0
0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Pixel Number
Pixel Number
Feature correlation DC TIG on Stainless Steel Left Edge DC TIG on Stainless Steel Right Edge

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Inconel Edge Features Inconel 718 Imaging

250
250
200
200
Pixel Intensity

Pixel Intensity

150

100
150

100
Pulsed arc.
50
50
0
0
0 20 40 60
Pixel Number
80 100
0 20 40 60
Pixel Number
80 100 Large dynamic range.
Inconel 718 Left Edge
Inconel 718 Right Edge Low pulse image
Difficult images to process.

Pulse exclusion used.

Typical Inconel 718 High Pulse Image


High pulse image

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

CAN Node Operation Process Control System

DC Power Gap Measurement


Start/Stop Signal
Current
CAN
Demand
Data Link
Control Signal In Control Signal + Trim Out Node 1
CAN Node WFS
Jetline
Supervisory Welding
PC Demand Welding
System
Node 2 Torch
Camera
Optically Isolated
CAN Data Link
Weld Image Wire
Weld
Feed
Workpiece

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-11
CAN Node Hardware Supervisory PC Software

Simple connector
arrangement.
Electrically isolated signals.
Standard CAN interface.
Low cost.
Modular design.
Re-programmable.
Simple embedded
processor.
Modified for MMFSC due to
EMC issues.

VEE and image analysis software running concurrently

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Control System Hardware TOPTIG

Toptig.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Toptig Accessibility Improvement

Conventional TIG torch


TOPTIG claims:
D I X SA S 25 0 0 D I X SA S 25 0 0

RoboTIG
High quality/no spatter. torch
Good welding speed (MIG).
Reasonable Investment Costs.

MIG welding Toptig

Air liquide

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-12
Easy Electrode Module Setting and
Changing

Automatic device
connection and
disconnection the
New developments - Autonomous
electrode module Manufacture of Large Steel
Fabrications

NOMAD

Presetted electrode module Torch body Gas wire nozzle

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Fabrication Industry Mass-Customisation

Demand for cost effective customised


structures. Bridges
High manipulation costs.
Lack of skilled workers welders.
Health and safety.
Earth moving equipment
Aircraft

Automotive

Volume

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

NOMAD Project Espoo, Finland

Goteborg, Sweden
European Commission Framework 5
Cambridge,
Sustainable Growth Programme. England
Duration: 42 Months.
Partners: 8.
Magdeburg, Germany
Budget: 4.8 Million:
50% Partner Contribution.
50% European Commission Contribution.
Lympne, England
Obernburg, Germany
(Programme
Managers)

Gosselies, Belgium European


Biarritz, Commission

France
Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Brussels,
Copyright Belgium
TWI Ltd 2015
EC Contract G1RD - CT - 2000 - 00461

6-13
NOMAD - Aim Caterpillar - Excavator

To produce a fabrication cell in which,


customised structures can be welded as
quickly and efficiently as a large volume
production cell of today.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Traditionally Manipulated Nusteel Structures - Bridge

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

NOMAD Concept NOMAD Components

1 Product design 2 Process design 3 Production

Cad Simulation Shop floor

Weld
database

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-14
NOMAD - Main Components Simulation System

Simulation system. IGRIP software customised by Delfoi, Finland.


Vision system. System monitoring and control.
RTV route planning.
Mobile robot.
Automated weld process planning.
Special consumable. Automated robot arm programming.
Adaptive control.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Robot Transport Vehicle (RTV) Vision System

Carries all components necessary for welding.


Navigation by vision system and odometry.

Four camera system.


Detects part location and orientation by contrast.
Monitors position of RTV.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Vision System Component Recognition and Location

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-15
Welding Technology Robotic Welding Joint Mock Ups

All-positional welding.
5-35mm thick material.
Specially developed metal-cored wire consumable.
Laser vision camera for seam tracking and adaptive process
control.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

RTV Target Position Navigation to Target Position

Automated function to find target position for


robot:
Inverse kinematics.
Reach analysis.
Collision detection.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Adaptive Process Control NOMAD

Local variations in
gap and fit-up.
Wire feed speed, Concept
travel speed and (2002)
weave parameters
adjusted.
Seam tracking and
multi-pass weld
sequence.
Reality
Finding stop-starts. (2004)

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-16
Robotics, Off-line Programming and
Status
Adaptive Control
Public demonstration at Caterpillar Belgium: Laser sensor
Bridge Section. Autonomous navigation of RTV to
target position, followed by execution of robot search
routine and welding.
Weld
Navigation around part and welding in second CAD

database Igrip
position. Shop floor
Removed and replaced part with Excavator Stick.
Recognition of part and orientation, RTV navigation
and weld.

Product design Process design Production

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

PLAY
ON THE MOVE
Play Movie

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

6-17
Overview of Presentation

Introduction to processes.
Rotary friction welding.
Hole filling processes.
Friction surfacing.
Linear friction welding.
Friction and Forge Welding - a Summary.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction and Forge Welding Processes Friction and Forge Welding Processes

Process variants in commercial use: Other less common process variants:

Rotary friction welding . Radial friction welding.


Linear friction welding. Friction plunge welding.
Hole filling processes. Third body friction welding.
Friction surfacing. Friction brazing.
Friction stir welding. Friction seam welding.
Friction stir spot welding. Orbital friction welding.

More details on www.twi.co.uk.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction Based Material Processing Friction and Forge Welding Processes

Materials processing variants: Materials:

Most engineering alloys can be friction welded.


Friction stir processing.
Friction transformation hardening. Alloys containing low melting point phases may be
an issue.
Friction hydro-pillar processing.
Friction extrusion and co-extrusion. Many dissimilar metal combinations.

Also possible are: thermoplastics, wood, metal


More details on www.twi.co.uk matrix composites and intermetallics, etc.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-1
Material friction
Weldability
Matrix I Material friction
Weldability
Matrix 2

Matrix courtesy of British


Standards International /
Matrix courtesy of MTI, USA Thompson Friction Welding

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Rotary Friction Welding

Continuous drive variant

Power is continuously
Rotary Friction Welding applied to maintain
rotation speed against
braking action of applied
force, before braking
and forging.
Widely used in Europe,
unusual in the US.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

CD Rotary Friction Welding Rotary Friction Welding (Steel Pipe)

Dissimilar material weld between steel and nickel alloy Diameter 420mm, wall thickness 15mm

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-2
Rotary Friction Welding; Titanium
CD Rotary Friction Welding
Pipe

Diameter 420mm, wall thickness 15mm Ti-6Al-4V

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Copper/Aluminium Rotary Friction


Rotary Friction Welding
Welds
Photographs:
Blacks Equipment.
Doncaster, UK.

Courtesy of TFW and MTI

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Dissimilar Rotary Friction Weld


Friction Stud Welding
Applications

Al to Cu - Electrical Connections.
Al to Ti alloys Projectiles.
Al to Steel - Smelting Anodes.
Al to Stainless Steel - Cryogenic Applications.
Tool Steel to Medium C Steel - Cutting Tools (Drills).
Stainless Steel to C-Mn Steel - Repair Operations.
Steel to Ni Alloys - Transition Joints.
Dissimilar Ti/Ni Alloys - Tailored Components.
Plus others.

At Harms & Wende, Hamburg


At TWI (Germany)

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-3
Rotary Friction Welding Inertia Friction Welding

Weld acts as a
brake to slow the
flywheel, whose
stored energy is
used to make the
weld.
Common in the
US, not widely
used in Europe.

Inertia welding variant

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Inertia Friction Welding

Airbag inflator -
3 welds made at
different rotation
speeds.

Hole Filling

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction Taper Plug Welding Friction Taper Stitch Welding

Friction taper
plug welding of
C-Mn steel plug
into C-Mn steel
plate.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-4
Friction Surfacing

Friction Surfacing

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Commercial Friction Surfacing


Friction Surfacing
Machine
Friction surfacing of
tool steel onto C-Mn
steel.
Bond quality is good,
except at edges which
may need machining.
No dilution of substrate
into coating.
Expensive and time-
consuming process.

Photograph: Blacks Equipment, Doncaster, UK

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Linear Friction Welding

Linear Friction Welding

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-5
Linear Friction Welding Linear Friction Welding

Not to scale upset


Applied force
burn-off time
burn-off Forge force
distance

Friction
dwell time force amplitude

time
amplitude
force
burn-off
time

displacement

decay time
oscillation

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Linear Friction Welding Linear Friction Welding

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Linear Friction Welding Linear Friction Welding of Ni Alloys

Stainless steel

Linear friction weld in a


Ni based super-alloy.
Sample width 25mm

Ti-6Al-4V Ti-6Al-4V

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-6
Linear Friction Welding of Blisks at
LFW of Single Crystal Ni Alloy
MTU Munich

Polycrystal Linear friction


welded aero
engine bladed
disks for
Eurofighter 2000

Single crystal

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Linear Friction Welded Blisk LinFric Prototype Machine

Compressor Blisk made from titanium alloy components

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Linear Friction Welding of Wood

Summary

From TWI Contact, No 32, 2005

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-7
Friction Processes Summary I Friction Processes Summary II

Rotary friction welding Solid phase, hot forged microstructure.


At least one round cross section part. Rapid single-shot processes.
Dissimilar material and alloy joining.
Linear friction welding Most metallic's and other materials.
Non-round cross section parts.

Repeatable - machine tool technology.
Standard - BS EN ISO 15620:2000.
Hole filling technologies Further information - www.twi.co.uk.
Filling and repair of holes.

Friction surfacing.
Hard facing and repair deposition.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction and Forge Welding

Mike Nunn
Collaborative Projects Manager
and Principal Project Leader

Friction and Forge Welding

TWI Ltd
Granta Park
Great Abington
Cambridge CB1 6AL
tel: 01223 899000
fax: 01223 894367
e-mail: mike.nunn@twi.co.uk

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7a-8
Overview of Friction Stir Welding

Process description.
Advantages and disadvantages.
Properties of aluminium welds.
Applications.
Friction and Forge Welding - b Welding titanium.
Spot welding.
Summary.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

TWI Technology - Friction Stir


FSW of 1.2mm Thick 6xxx - AlMgSi
Welding

FSW.
Novel non-fusion
welding process.
Invented in 1991 by
TWI.
Industrialised within 5
years.
Now licensed to 198
organisations world-
wide.

Welding Speed 6m/min

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSW Tool Action FSW 2D Welding

A rotating FSW tool is plunged between two clamped plates.


Friction between the tool and the plate material generates heat,
which causes a plasticised zone to form around the tool.
The rotating tool is then traversed, frictionally heating and
plasticising material as it moves, forming a solid-phase joint.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-1
Friction Stir Welding: Sectional
Through Thin and Thick (Al)
Appearance
Single pass FSW TM in 0.3mm Double pass weld in 150mm

TMAZ

HAZ
Parent

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSW Principles Friction Stir Welding Tool Materials

Basic process parameters: Essential properties of the tool:


Strength at service temperature.
Tool rotation speed (tool rubbing velocity).
Wear resistance.
Tool traverse rate (welding speed).
Tool shoulder heel plunge depth. Creep resistance.
Tool tilt angle. Ability to be processed to complex shapes.
Tool down force. Inert with workpiece material.
All of these parameters vary in relation to the
Thermally stable.
material to be welded, the weld depth required
and the FSW tool design used. Good friction couple.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction Stir Welding Tool Materials Conventional Pin Tool

Desirable properties of the tool: Reference: W M Thomas and M


F Gittos
Suitable thermal conductivity and diffusivity.
Development of FSW tools for
Fracture toughness at ambient and elevated the welding of thick (25mm)
temperatures. aluminium alloys.

Environmentally stable. TWI Core Research Programme


Report No 692/1999
Reasonable price.
Reasonable availability from multiple sources.
Established and well characterised material.
No safety issues.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-2
Advanced Probe and Shoulder
FSW of 25mm Thickness Aluminium
Features
Many different probe designs have been used.
MX Triflute Tools Whorl Tools

Screw Thread Three Flats MXTriflute

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction Stir Welding: Fundamentals

Calculation of linear heat input.


Heat input (HI) = power/travel speed.
power = torque x angular velocity.
P = 2prT/60 (J/sec).
HI = 2prTe/1000v (kJ/mm).
r = spindle rotation speed (rpm). Advantages
T = spindle torque (Nm).
e = efficiency factor.
v = travel speed (mm/min).

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Advantages I Advantages II
Solid phase process:
- No melting - Low distortion - No porosity
Single pass process (<1mm to >100mm in Al
- No fume - No spatter - Low shrinkage alloys).
No special pre-weld edge profiling or cleaning.
Materials:
- Al alloys - Cu alloys - Mg alloys No shielding gas or filler wire required for
- Steels - Ti alloys - Ni alloys most materials.
Excellent mechanical properties.
Can operate in all positions:
- Non-linear - Non-planar - 3D Very low energy consumption.
Clean and relatively quiet.
Simple machine tools:
- Automation - On-line monitoring - Robots

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-3
Materials Weldable by FSW Weldability of Aluminium Alloys

Aluminium
Wrought aluminium alloys (virtually all grades/tempers).
Aluminium extrusions (6xxx, 7xxx, all tempers).
Aluminium castings (Al-Si and Al-Mg based). Cu Mn Si Mg Zn other

Magnesium alloys (Pressure die castings and wrought).


Copper alloys (electrical grades, pure copper, brasses etc).
1xxx 2xxx 3xxx 4xxx 5xxx 6xxx 7xxx 8xxx

C-Mn and Alloy steels. Fusion welding

Stainless steels.
Titanium alloys. Plus a range of dissimilar
Friction welding

Nickel alloys. material combinations.


Zinc alloys. heat-treatable non-heat-treatable

Lead alloys.
mostly weldable mostly non-weldable

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Joint Designs for Friction Stir Welding

Butt welds, 1D, 2D or 3D.


Lap welds.
T-joints.
Circumferential butts and laps.
Fillet joints. Weld Properties In Aluminium Alloys

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Tensile Properties Tensile Properties

Aluminium alloy 5083-H111 Aluminium alloy 7075-T7

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-4
Fatigue Results for FSW Butt Joints Mechanical Properties of FSW

1000 R-curves for 2014A-T6 plate and weldment

50

45
Stress range, MPa

7075 welded
40
7075 plate
35
2014 welded
30
100 2014 plate

J, kJ/m 2
25
2219 welded PM
20
2219 plate N
15
HAZ, AS
5083 welded
ECCS Class B3 10 HAZ, RS
5083 plate 5

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
a, m m

10
104 105 106 107 108
Endurance, cycles M G Dawes et al: ISFSW-2, Gothenburg 2000

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction Stir Weld Macrostructures FSW of Thick Section AA6082-T6

9mm
2219-
T6
Single pass
demonstration
weld in 50mm
AA6082-T6
6mm material
5083-O

Macro sections of friction stir welds in aluminum alloys

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Friction Stir Welding 1.2mm 2024-T4 Microstructure of 7075-T7351

Microstructure of parent material/HAZ

Neg. No. AH1922.jpg

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-5
Microstructure of 7075-T7351 weld Microstructure of 7075-T7351 Weld

Neg. No. AH1921.jpg Microstructure of nugget Neg. No. AH1919.jpg


Microstructure of TMAZ/nugget boundary

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Hardness of Weld in 6mm 7075-T7351 Hardness of Weld in 6mm 5083 Alloy

100
180
170 95
160 90
Hardness, HV2.5

150
Hardness, HV2.5

85
140
130 80

120 75
110
70
100
65 5083-O
90 5083-H321
80 60
-40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40
Distance from weld centreline, mm Distance from weld centreline, mm

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

AA2195-T8 Tensile Property Data Comparison of FSW Processing Times

Production rate comparison for AA2195-T87.


Comparison of VPPA and FSW Tensile Strengths (AA2195-T8) based on joining 5 x 23.75ft panels to form barrel.

200 in: 10% increase in average UTS over VPPA.


320-.385 in.: 22% increase in average UTS over VPPA.
Significant decrease in variability.

Data supplied by
Lockheed Martin Data supplied by Lockheed Martin

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-6
Advantages of Friction Stir Welding Present Limitations of FSW

Comparison of weld energy when butt welding


6mm aluminium alloy 6082 plate Welding speeds are slower than those of some
fusion welding processes (eg lasers) for thin
section material, but the gap is small and
Power at Gross Power Heat Input closing.
Welding Speed
Process Work Required
(mm/min)
kW (kW) kJ/mm Workpieces must be rigidly clamped.
FSW 500 2 2.5* 0.24
MIG (Mech) 300 7.5 8.6 1.5
5000 10 112 0.12 Backing bar required.
CO2 Laser
1600 5 55 0.18
* - using a geared drive would increase value
Keyhole at the end of each weld.

Cannot make fillet welds, or any geometry


which requires a filler.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

First on the Market

1991 Invention.
1996 1st commercial applications.
SAPA - 1st to sell : Fish block freezer panels.

Applications

Photographs: SAPA Technology, Sweden

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSW to Add Value to Extrusions Friction Stir Welding for Fast Ferries

Marine
Aluminium,
Norway

40m Flying cat from Kvaerner Fjellstrand AS, Norway, which


has FSW panels for decks, sides, bulkheads and floors.

Photographs: Marine Aluminium, Norway

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-7
USS Freedom LCS1 - Littoral Combat
Automotive wheels
Ship
Volvo XC 90 wheel.
Produced by Fundo Wheels.
FSW seam on wrought rim prior to spin-forming.
Two circumferential FSW, wrought rim to cast hub.
20 miles of
FSW in Al
structure

Marinette Marine shipyard - September 2006


Photograph courtesy of Lockheed Martin: http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=39398
Wheel courtesy of Fundo wheels
Friction stir welds
Photographs: Fundo Wheels

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

British Rail Class 395 Javelin


Hitachis FSW Programme
(Hitachis FSW Train)
London St. Pancras to Kent in <40 minutes (June 09).
Claimed advantages of FSW (1)
Fastest UK domestic service 140mph.
...hardly any distortion or contraction
...hardly any discoloration
welding rods and shielding gas are not required
no spatter, no fumes, no UV rays
There are no flaws (blowholes, cracks)
distortion is only one twelfth of the distortion by MIG
welds

Javelin shuttle to Stratford to be main stay of the 2012 London


Olympics transport infrastructure.
http://www.hitachi.co.jp/divisions/design/solution/prod/2005_iF_A-Train.html From advert in Winter 2001 issue of Railway
http://www.hitachi-rail.com/products/rv/a_train/images/a-train.pdf
Strategies

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Bombardier: London Underground


Hitachis FSW Programme
Trains
Claimed advantages of FSW (2)
FSW welds equal or better than MIG welds on tensile strength
Charpy tests 1.7x parent metal and 2.4x MIG welds

A-train is already a proven and fully operational new rolling


stock concept. Because of the modularity and the innovative
FSW technology, A-train will be a solution for tomorrows
reliable rail network.

From advert in Winter 2001 issue of Railway


Strategies

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-8
Double Skinned Extrusions at SAPA B747- 400F Nose Barrier Beam
Protects aircraft nose from internal
damage:
Small T-section extrusions welded to
plate.
Forms a large I-beam section in a difficult
to extrude 7xxx series aluminium alloy.

FSW Savings per set of 5 beams:


Parts: 10, fasteners: 250.
Weight: 14.4lbs.
Photographs: The Boeing Company, US

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Lockheed Martin Discovery Shuttle


Eclipse 500 VLJ Business Jet
Fuel Tank
Delta rocket used FSW from 1999.
The 128th shuttle tank uses FSW.

154 feet tall x 28 feet diameter.


Capacity of >500,000 gallons (>1.6 million
pounds):
Liquid hydrogen.
Liquid oxygen.
28th August 2009 (ET-132) - Discovery
launched from Kennedy Space Centre
for the International Space Station.
Photographs: Eclipse Aviation, US Images of complete tank courtesy of Lockheed Martin & NASA

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Bang and Olufsen BeoLab2


Boeings Delta II and IV Programme
Loudspeaker
Claimed advantages of FSW:
2.5km of defect free welds.
71% reduction in weld cycle time.
81% reduction in labour.
Strength up 30% compared to VPPA.
2 scrapped VPPA tanks restored by FSW, one flown
successfully.
For circumferential joints, existing bolted joints
cost $24/foot, FSW costs $0.14/foot.

Welding by PDC-Tecknik

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-9
Encapsulation of Spent Nuclear Fuel
Knife Edge Modification
for SKB
14th Century tradition, elegance and utility

Stainless steel blade.


50mm
Friction stir processed edge
by TWI Yorkshire.

Knife by Stuart Mitchell,


Sheffield cutler.

21st Century engineering


C N Ribton and R E Andrews: 'Canister sealing for high level waste encapsulation'.
Int High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conf, Las Vegas, 29 April - 3 May 2001

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSW Status - Summary at 2003

FSW of Ti alloys proved to be possible, but was practically


very challenging:
Good quality welds could be produced in common Ti
alloys up to around 8mm thickness, but not reliably.
Weld property results were encouraging, and were
believed to be suitable for a number of applications.
Welding Titanium A very narrow process window made the application of
Ti FSW to real components very challenging.
The main problem was uneven heat distribution due to
poor thermal conductivity, leading to significant
temperature gradients.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Latest Work on FSW of Ti Alloys Latest Work on FSW of Ti Alloys

A new approach to the FSW of Ti Static Shoulder FSW. Static shoulder FSW system - actual:
alloys has been developed:
The FSW probe rotates
through a stationary
shoulder/slide component.
The non-rotating shoulder
component adds no heat to
the weld surface.
The resulting heat input
profile is basically linear.
This approach is of great
help in the welding of low
conductivity materials.
Inert gas is pumped into the system, both around and
Copyright 2006, TWI Ltd. Patent Pending behind the tool giving a very clean weld surface.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-10
Work on FSW of Ti Alloys SSFSW of Lap Weld in 8mm Ti-6Al-4V

Static shoulder FSW system - product:

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Equipment Example FSSW for Steel

KHI robotic system for steel TWI Laboratory FSL/ABB system

Friction Stir Spot Welding (FSSW)

Kawasaki ZX200S incorporating a strengthened C-frame end


affector for spot welding high strength steels.
Operates under a constant Z-axis load (time dependant) up to a
maximum load of 15kN.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Equipment Example FSSW for Al Mazda RX-8 Rear Doors and Bonnet

Kawasaki FSJ systems for aluminium alloys

Photographs: http://www.mazda.com/publicity/public/200302/0227e.html and


Le Journal de la Production, May 2003, No 48

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-11
Mazdas FSW Shock Cone Al Hood FSSW for Primary Al Manufacturing

FSW

FSW

FSW
Two spot welds join off-cut onto new billet prior to extrusion
Photos: Otto-Junker, UK & RNS Industrial Engineering Ltd, UK
http://www.mazda.com/publicity/public/200304/0402e.html http://www.otto-junker.co.uk/go/en/products-technologies/furnaces-plants-for-aluminium-and-aluminium-based-alloys/extrusion-
plant/

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSSW Process Fundamentals

Variant of FSW featuring no lateral movement.


Lap welding configuration.

Friction stir spot welding of steels.


(a) Plunging (b) Stirring (c) Retracting

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSSW Macrostructure Steel FSSW Background

FSSW macrostructure from Dual Phase 800 Increasing use of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) in
(DP800). the automotive industry driven by:
- Increased occupant protection.
Bonding ligament length - Weight savings as sheet thickness can be reduced.
Family of high strength automotive steels include dual phase
(DP), complex phase (CP), TRIP steels, etc.
Conventionally joined via resistance spot welding (RSW).
FSSW potentially offers energy savings over RSW, as
demonstrated in aluminium sheet joining.

Parent HAZ Stirred zone

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-12
Background - AHSS FSSW Workpiece Materials

A wide range of materials have now been successfully joined


by FSSW.

At TWI:
1.0 2.0mm DP600
1.0 2.0mm DP800
1.0 2.0mm DP1000
2.0mm CP1000

Other organisations:
Advanced high strength steels (AHSS) classified by a M190 (martensitic grade UTS = 1300MPa).
combination tensile strength and elongation (formability). TRIP steels.
Hot stamped boron steels.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Static Strength Static Strength


Schematic of the evolution of lap shear strength in load Static strengths (lap shear and cross tension) of reported FSSW work
controlled (robotic) FSSWs are currently lower than the equivalent results from resistance spot
welds (RSW).
Optimisation of the design of FSSW tool potentially may increase
static strength.
Generally applied loads will increase the static strength of FSSWs
(greater forge force), however, for potential robotic implementation
Workpiece
adherence
applied loads will be limited by the downforce capability of the
Top sheet Good
lifting regime to tool robotic/pedestal system
1.0mm Thickness DP800 2.0mm Thickness DP800

FSSW * RSW (5t) FSSW * RSW (5t)


Lap shear
Full compression of the
Top sheet lifting strength
lap joint at longer
at short process (kN) Lap shear strength 9 14 16 35
process times, but
times as workpiece adherence to
insufficient time the tool results in lower
for shoulder to joint strength and also Cross tension 4 6 8 17
compress the lap damage the FSSW tool strength
joint
Spot weld process time (s) * Results described were achieved on FSSW robotic system

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSSW Microstructure Preliminary Fatigue Results

DP800 Microstructure Methodology.


Fatigue tested on 100kN resonance testing machine under
constant amplitude axial loading to a stress ratio of 0.1.
Applied load ranges were selected to give estimated fatigue
lives in the range 104-107 cycles.
Load range vs. endurance for both uncoated and galvanised
DP800 FSSWs.
Two thicknesses studied (1.25 and 2.0mm).

Results
Parent HAZ Stir zone
Encouraging data, with the fatigue resistance of both the 2mm
uncoated and galvanised FSSWs being broadly similar to 2mm
Ferrite matrix + Refined parent Fully martensitic HSLA RSW data (note: lower static strength compared to HSLA
martensite islands microstructure microstructure RSWs yet similar dynamic properties).
Little measurable difference between uncoated and galvanised
samples for each respective thickness.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-13
Future of Friction Stir Welding

Friction stir welding is primarily a technology


for aluminium alloys.
Improvements to the process are still
continuing, even for more established
materials.
Self reacting tools (bobbin tools).
Summary

Corner and fillet welding.


See www.twi.co.uk for more information.

Process and other improvements certain to


continue at a rapid pace for some time.

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

FSW Status Summary Friction Stir Welding

2457 patents and patent applications. Mike Nunn


Over 198 licensees worldwide.
26 Companies offering sub-contractor Collaborative Projects Manager
& Principal Project Leader
services.
7 Machine suppliers. Friction & Forge Welding
ISO 25239 Standard nearing issue (Al alloys)
TWI Ltd
(ISO Technical Committee IIW/SC III N). Granta Park
AWS D17.3/D17.3M:2010 Standard issued (Al Great Abington
Cambridge CB1 6AL
alloys - Aero).
WPS & component approvals by ABS, BV, DB, tel: 01223 899000
DNV, Germanischer Lloyd, FAA, Lloyds, RINA, fax: 01223 894367
e-mail: mike.nunn@twi.co.uk
TV. Data correct - May 2010

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

7b-14
Explosive Welding (Introduction)

What is explosive welding?


Explosive welding is defined as a solid-state
process that produces a weld by high-velocity
impact of the workpieces as the result of a
controlled explosive detonation. (AWS Welding
Handbook, Ninth Edition, Volume 3, Welding
Introduction to Explosive Welding
Processes, Part 2, Chapter 9).

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Explosive Welding (Introduction) Explosive Welding (Introduction)


Solid state (phase) welding processes:
What is explosive welding?
Schematic representation of the
An alternative description: interplay between time,
Explosive welding (or explosion bonding), simply is a temperature and deformation in
solid state welding process that uses controlled solid phase welding (after R
explosive detonations to force two or more metals Fenn).
together at high pressures. The resultant composite
system is joined with a high quality metallurgical
bond. (Pacific Aerospace and Electronics Inc.)
Processes characterised by the fact that all components remain in
the solid form and no melting occurs.
3000 years ago gold and silver were welded simply by the
application of deformation.
Solid phase welds are produced by the application of time,
temperature and deformation (deformation NOT pressure).
In explosive welding the deformation (mainly at the weld interface)
is extremely high, the temperature is low and the time very short.

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Explosive Welding (Introduction) Explosive Welding (Introduction)

The origin of explosive welding: Why use explosive welding?


During World War One, ordnance and explosive experts The main benefit of the explosive welding
noted bombshell fragments sticking to metallic objects
close to the origin of an explosion. process is the capability of joining
The potential and practicality of explosive welding was metallurgically incompatible material systems.
not recognised until 1962 (US Patent, Philipchuck and Conventional joining systems that use heat to
Bois). A method using explosive detonation to weld weld or bond incompatible materials, result in
metals together in spots along a linear path. the formation of brittle intermetallic
The process was further developed by the DuPont compounds.
Chemical Company who were granted a US patent for
explosive welding 1964. Very short weld cycle times and low welding
To date explosive welding practioners have temperature restricts the formation of
characterised and controlled many aspects of the intermetallic compounds.
process. Achieves high bond strength.

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8-1
Explosive Welding (Introduction) Explosive Welding (Introduction)

Why use explosive welding? Main uses of the explosive welding process:
Parent material properties are not degraded. The most significant use of explosive welding
Large area welds can be produced in one shot. is for the manufacture of clad plate or tubular
Low capital outlay. components.
Distortion does occur but is much reduced A wide range of dissimilar metal joints/clads
compared with joining processes that require are produced such as:
Stainless steels, nickel alloys, titanium alloys,
significant heat input.

aluminium alloy copper alloys to carbon and low


Remote welding in a hostile environment. alloy steels.
Refractory metals (W, Mo, Ta etc) are welded to
cheaper sub-strate.
Ultra high vacuum joints, corrosion resistance, low
expansion rate.

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Explosive Welding (Fundamentals) Explosive Welding (Fundamentals)


Jetting mechanism Jetting mechanism

Dynamic situation at the


Dynamic situation at the
collision front showing the
collision front showing the
jetting mechanism
jetting mechanism

The flyer and parent plate meet at a collision front. A jet of highly plasticised metal is formed in the collapsing space
The velocity of the collision front must be lower than the speed of preceding the collision point.
sound in the two plates, so that the shock wave precedes the weld The energy of the jet removes metal oxides from the contacting
being made. surfaces producing metallurgically clean surfaces.
If the shock was did not precede the weld it would prevent a weld A deformation weld is produced as the metallurgically clean
being produce. surfaces are rapidly brought together under an extremely high
force.
The interfacial pressure (peak pressure) at the collision front must Due to the speed of the explosion only a small temperature rise
exceed the yield strength of the plate materials, so that plastic occurs.
deformation will occur.

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Explosive Welding (Fundamentals) Explosive Welding (Fundamentals)

Process in
action
Detonation front
General arrangement of
Flyer plate
components for explosive
welding Parent plate
Stand off
Advancing bend distance
Three fundamental components of an explosive welding angle
system are:
Flyer plate Following detonation the explosion progresses at high velocity
Parent (base/backer) plate. across the flyer plate.
Explosive. The force of the explosion cause the metal flyer plate to
To produce a weld the flyer plate is accelerated across a conform to an advancing bend angle as it accelerates and
short distance (stand off) via the force of the explosion and collides with the parent plate.
collides progressively with the parent plate.

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8-2
Explosive Welding (Explosive
Explosive Welding (Explosive Detonation)
Detonation)
Weld quality is dependant on:
Selection of the Detonation Velocity of the
Action between
components during explosive and correct preparation of the
explosive welding explosive.
A uniform detonation front is essential and is
maintained via the following process variables:
Source DMC Clad Metal USA
Stand off distance.
Detonation must take place progressively across the flyer plate Explosive detonation velocity.
(cladding metal).
Speed of detonation front moving across the flyer plate
Explosive load (quantity and thickness of the explosive layer)
establishes the velocity at which the collision between flyer plate and energy of the explosive.
and base plate progresses over the weld are. This is known as the
detonation velocity.

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Explosive Welding (Explosive Explosive Welding (Characteristics of


Detonation) the Weld)
The explosive welding variables: Magnification approximately x
300-400
Ta
Welding variables are different for various
combinations, the heat treatment condition Interface (sine-curve
and thicknesses of metals. waveform

Velocity of the flyer plate when it impacts the Cu Typical wavy interface formed
between two explosively welded
base metal is called the collision velocity. components, tantalum to copper
Advancing bend angle or collision angle is a An explosive weld interface is almost always a sine-curve
result of flyer plate thickness, velocity of the waveform.
explosive, the force and stand off distance. The wave size is dependant on collision parameters and the
Important process variables are: metals properties.
Detonation velocity (2000-3000m/sec). Some metal combinations result in pockets (cavities) of re-
Collision angle. solidified melt at the front and back slope of the waves.
Collision velocity (200-500m/sec). This can be a problem where intermetallic compounds form,
such as welding titanium or zirconium alloys to steel.

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Explosive Welding (Characteristics of Explosive Welding (Facilities and


the Weld) Equipment Required)
Good welding practice will result in no Clad plate:
intermetallics or very small pockets.
Excessive collision energy (generated by
detonation velocity, collision velocity, and
collision angle) results in large pockets.
Large pockets result in reduced weld strength
and ductility. Source: DMC Clad Metal US

A flat weld interface indicates that the collision Indoor facilities are required for metal preparation such as:
is below a critical value for the material Flame cutting or sawing plates to size
combination in question ie low energy input. Mechanical descaling or abrasive grinding (wet grinding for
reactive materials).
The explosive welding parameter tolerance GTAW for joining plates.
envelope is relatively wide for the production Press or rollers for straightening plate after welding.
of good quality welds.
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8-3
Explosive Welding (Explosive
Facilities and Equipment Required)
Materials)
Firing Site: Basic requirements of an explosive welding
Firing site could be a remote open field, an system:
underground chamber, or vacuum chamber. The bulk explosive that provides the energy
Clads can weigh up to 50 tons and so cranes for welding.
and transportation are required for transfer The detonator that initiates the explosion.
from the preparation facilities to the firing site. The booster explosive that is ignited by the
A magazine for the safe handling of high detonator and in turn ignites the bulk
explosives and blasting agents. material.
A furnace for post weld stress relief. The detonations cord that links the detonator
to the booster.

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Explosive Welding (Explosive Explosive Welding (Metal


Materials) Combinations)
Energetic materials:
Primary ingredient granular Ammonium
Nitrate (AN).
The energy of AN can be increased by adding
fuel oil. This blend becomes ANFO.
The detonation velocity produced by ANFO is
2000-3000m/sec.

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Explosive Welding Explosive Welding


(How It Is Carried Out) (How It Is Carried Out)
Creating explosive bonded metals
Step 1: Metal preparation
Here, copper and nickel sheets are surface prepped:

Copper plate Nickel plate

Source: DMC Clad Metal US

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8-4
Explosive Welding Explosive Welding
(How it is carried out) (How It Is Carried Out)
Creating explosive bonded metals Creating explosively bonded metals
Step 2: Metal preparation Step 3: Transporting material to remote blast site
PA&E employees apply shot assembly to bond inconel to nickel Noise created by blasts require material to be transported to a remote area
for detonation

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Explosive Welding Explosive Welding


(How it Is Carried Out) (How it Is Carried Out)
Creating explosively bonded metals
Creating explosive bonded metals
Step 4: Preparing for detonation
Step 5: Detonation

Final shot readied for Hoppers for pouring


detonation explosives into charge gap

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Explosive Welding
Explosive Welding (Applications)
(How it Is Carried Out)
Creating explosively bonded metals Oil Refinery:
Step 6: Flattening

Ni/Inconel plates before


flattening Photograph courtesy Beaird Industries

A hydrotreater reactor column for an oil refinery


Plates after flattening fabricated from explosion clad plate.

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8-5
Explosive Welding (Applications) Explosive Welding (Applications)

Marine transition joints Aluminium


Marine transition joints alloy
superstructure

Superstructure to
aluminium alloy fusion
weld

Triclad
Source: Adapted from Merrem & la Porte EV, the
Netherlands
Aluminium alloy/aluminium Steel coaming
interface
Coaming to
Aluminium/steel interface
Explosive welded aluminium to steel clad metal transition joint deck weld

using arc welded fillet welds to join steel to aluminium for a


shipboard application.
To prevent crevice corrosion associated with bolted
components. Steel to coaming Steel deck
Source: Merrem Andr de la Porte
To allow welding of dissimilar structural metals. fusion welds

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Explosive Welding (Applications) Explosive Welding (Applications)


Bonded Metal Applications
Explosive bonded metals examples
Navel applications
Alum tube/steel billet Aluminium/stainless
SS rib

SS weld

Transition
bar

Al rib
Fabricated into
Transition
high-strength, ring
corrosion- Deployed on US Navy aircraft
resistant carriers
aircraft tie- SS pipe
downs
Al pipe

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Explosive Welding (Applications) Explosive Welding (Applications)

Explosive bonded metals examples Explosive bonded metals examples

Copper/stainless UHV conflat Custom 6 conflat flange


flange with
stainless/copper/stainless

Alum tube/steel
billet

Cu/stainless exit slit for UHV


Copper/stainless
beam line

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8-6
Explosive Welding (Applications) Explosive Welding (Applications)
Explosive bonded metal examples Bonded metal applications
SA 240 2507 SS/SA 516 Grd 70 steel to be machined into a tube sheet in a heater Current conducting arms made from copper/steel clad
exchanger

Current conducting arms (CCA)


for electric arc furnaces (EAF)
Electric Arc Furnace recycle
Copper/aluminium

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Explosive Welding (Applications) Explosive Welding (Applications)

Bonded metal applications


Bonded metal applications
Clad tubes
Copper/moly explosive powder compaction

Aluminium/steel
Copper/ 70/30 Cu-
stainless Ni/steel

Tantalum on I.D. of
steel pipe

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Explosive Welding Explosive Welding


(Quality and testing) (Quality and Testing)
Testing and bond Testing and bond
Quality assurance includes bend testing, chisel testing, shear lug testing, Quality assurance includes bend testing, chisel testing, shear lug testing, ram
ram tensile testing, die penetrate testing, ultrasonic testing, and mg. partial tensile testing, die penetrate testing, ultrasonic testing, and mg. partial testing.
testing.

Copper/aluminium bend
test
Shear lug testing
Aluminium/stainless steel Tensile test Ram tensile testing
hammer test

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8-7
Explosive Welding (Summary)

Explosive welding is a niche technology.


Explosive welding has the ability to weld
metallurgically incompatible metals.
Explosive welding is most economically used to
produce large clad plates.
Explosive welding provides good reproducibility.
Permits and licences are required for handling
and storage of explosives.
Explosive welding is used by small number of
industries worldwide with a small number of
explosive contractors (20).

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8-8
Electron Beam Welding

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EB Processes EBW Machine Layout

High
Electron Beam Voltage
Unit
Beam
generation
Welding Beam manipulation Metal/other processing Gun
pumps
Precision/rapid Texturing Melting
Beam
Thick section Surfi-sculpt Cutting manipulation
High vacuum Micro surfi-sculpt Drilling
Reduced pressure Macro surfi-sculpt Metal deposition Control
Non-vacuum SEM etc Curing console
Hardening Welding chamber Chamber
FE simulation pumps

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Why Use a Vacuum? Vacuum Pumps: 1st Stage

To prevent oxidation of cathode.

To act as high voltage insulation.

To assist passage of electrons.

To prevent metal oxidation.

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9-1
Vacuum Pumps: 2nd Stage Why Use High Voltage?

Generally:
Higher voltage => higher intensity

Heated Anode
cathode
Electrons

-60kV -50kV -40kV -30kV -20kV -10kV

Voltage field

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Controlling Beam Current Triode


EBW - Penetration Mechanism
Guns
- HV PSU +

+ BIAS PSU -

A grid or bias or
wehnelt electrode
shapes and controls
the field in front of
the cathode, An anode provides the electric
restricting the field shape, the electrons
electron flow shoot through a hole in the
middle

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EBW - Penetration Mechanism EBW - Welding Parameters

vapour pressure Accelerating voltage V (kV)


creates and stabilises
keyhole Beam current I (mA)
Welding speed s (mm/min)
Focus setting N (mA)
Deflection X,Y (mA, Hz)

Beam power (kW) = V x I / 1000

a) full penetration EB welding b) Partial penetration EB


welding

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9-2
Typical Welding Parameters EB Weldable Materials

Dependent on EB machine and type of EB gun


Any material which can be melted in a vacuum
Standard 60kV machine: but not:
60kV, 45mA, 500-1000mm/min, Surface focus, Volatile materials eg brass, cadmium.
circular deflection of 1.0mm diameter and 2kHz.
Would give 5-10mm penetration in steels. Gassy materials eg cast iron, cast Al, partially killed
steels.
Standard 150kV machine:
Dirty materials eg free cutting steel, steels
150kV, 15mA, 500-1000mm/min, Surface focus,
containing high S or P.
circular deflection of 1.0mm diameter and 2kHz.
Would give 10-15mm penetration in steels.

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Joint Design - Butt Typical Problems

Simplest square edged butt joint Cracking.


preparation for either tubes or plates.
Square edged butt joint with added Porosity.
backing bar. Flashovers.
Butt joint with a consumable joint
Distortion.
preparation.
Square edged butt joint with excess Undercutting.
material for post weld machining. Slope down defects.
Joint preparation for joining very thin
sections to thick sections. Magnetism.
In this section poor fit-up may give Missed joints.
problems with porosity and/or weld
bead concavity.

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Cracking in EB Welding Porosity

Requirements for HAZ or Fused Zone cracking: Disadvantage of single pass welding.
Gas related:
Stress from weld shrinkage and thermal Dissolved in material eg H2 in Al.
contraction (Small for EBW). in steel FeO + C = Fe + CO.
Free gas in existing porosity.
Weak Structure.

Contamination.
Liquid film with low melting point.
Surface oxide especially Mg + Al.
Low ductility solid phase.
Cavities eg N2.
Cracking most significant defect from service
performance viewpoint. Non gas related:
Weld pool instability cavities.
Blind welds spiking.

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9-3
Porosity Flash-Over Defect in Copper

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Distortion Factors Weld Shrinkage % of Weld Width

Accuracy of preparation and assembly:


Maraging steel 13%
Shrink fits.
Commercially pure Ti 6.5 %
Materials: Pure iron Fe 7.5 %
Coefficient of thermal expansion. Pure tantalum 6%
Thermal conductivity. Pure copper 2%
Pure molybdenum 2%
Solidification behaviour.
316 type stainless steel 12%


Extent and uniformity of yielding: 6082 Al alloy 4%
Weld shape. Al 17% Si 2%
Heat input. Inconel 718 7.5%
70/30 Cu Ni 11%
Heat sinking. Ti 6Al 4V 5-6.5%
Mechanical restraint. C, C-Mn Steel 4.5-8%
Tack welding.

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Other Defects EBW - Comparison With Laser

Undercutting: EBW Laser


Poor beam shape, bad fit up of parts. Max penetration (mm) 300 25
Slope down defects: Pen. at 10 kW (mm) 80 12
Porosity, cracking etc.

Workpiece size Vacuum None
Magnetism: Limitation chamber
Demagnetise components, use beam screening
devices. Weld atmosphere Vacuum Helium
Missed joints: Working distance (mm) Variable Fixed
No excuse, poor set up, poor operator training. 50 - 2000
Water cooling Modest Considerable
Magnetism Affected Unaffected

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9-4
EBW - Comparison With Arc Welding When to use EB Welding

Thin material eg sensor packages.


Thick material eg up to 400mm.
Dissimilar materials eg saw blades.
Difficult to weld materials eg Cu, HSS.
Joints with difficult access.
Reactive materials eg Ti, Zr, Mg.
Low distortion joints eg gear cluster.
Low heat input joints eg electronic
packages.

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EBW - Applications EBW - Bimetallic Saw Blade

Electronics Encapsulation

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EBW - Gear Cluster EBW - Advantages

Large thickness range (0.1 - 300mm).


Single pass process.
Autogenous process (no filler wire).
Low heat input.
Low distortion.
High speed.
Good accessibility.
Non-contaminating atmosphere.

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9-5
EBW - Disadvantages X-Ray Generation

Vacuum process: When electrons lose


energy they radiate eg
Fit component to vacuum chamber. LEDs.
Multi load components. When electrons lose a lot
High capital cost equipment: of energy the light
Use jobbing shops. wavelength is shorter.
Electrons can be slowed
Components must be demagnetised.
down (lose energy) by
colliding with atoms.
The light emitted is called
X-rays.
Brehmsstrahlung =
braking radiation.

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X-ray Exposure Limits X-Ray Monitoring


X-rays have enough energy to break up molecules.
Called ionizing radiation.
Damage cells, DNA.

Natural background ~ 2mSv/year.


Chest X-ray = 0.02mSv, Body CT scan = 10mSv.

1m away from 60kV, 20mA beam on Tungsten target =


324mSv/hour (with no shielding!). Right monitor for the
UK law dictates effective dose of <20mSv for x-ray energy.
employees, <1mSv for everyone else and that exposure Battery charged.
is minimised.
Check for collimated
Legislation slightly different in different countries.
beams.

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Personal Dosimeters Relevant EBW Standards

Dose monitors. Different standards available in different


Immediate reading in countries:
micro-sieverts.
BS, AWS etc
Alarm.
Some of the most useful ones are:
BS EN ISO 13919 parts 1 and 2 (guidance on defect
sizes for steels and aluminium alloys for EB welding).
BS EN ISO 15609 part 3 (welding procedure
specification).
Thermo luminescent devices. BS EN ISO 15614 part 11 (WPS qualification by
Sent to a lab to get reading. welding test).
Usually obtain results once BS EN ISO 14744-1 (acceptance of EBW machines).
per month.
AWS C7.1:2004 Recommended practices for EBW.

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9-6
EWF/IIW Diploma
Advanced Welding Processes and Equipment Ultrasonic Welding of Metals
(Advanced Processes) and Wire Bonding
AWP1

Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 AWP May 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

Types of Welding Process


Agenda
Advantages of Solid Phase Welding
Why Ultrasonic welding? Fusion Welding - arc
Fundamentals of the process - laser
Examples of ultrasonic welding - EB
Introduction to wire bonding
Examples of wire bonding and videos
Summary and questions Solid Phase Welding - cold pressure
- friction
- ultrasonic
o LESS HEATING
o SMALLER WELD ZONE
o FEWER INTERMETALLICS
o NO FLUX

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Components of an
What does Ultrasound provide?
Ultrasonic Welding Machine
Cold pressure welding is possible , but Ultrasonic generator
deformation required is high
U/S transducer system
converter
Material Pb Sn Al Cu Ni Fe booster
sonotrode
Deformation 10 15 40 45 60 65
% of thickness
Pneumatic actuator
Anvil
Jigging/fixture
Ultrasonics gives improved bonding especially
with oxide forming materials
Addition of Ultrasonic vibration reduces
bonding time and deformation required to weld
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10-1
Converter - Booster - Sonotrode Process Parameters

Force
Sonotrode
2:1
Vibration
and Time

Working
Starting amplitude
amplitude A
Heat?
B

Force

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Weld Schedule Ultrasonic/Force Timing

Ultrasonic energy Time


Power (Ultrasonic vibration amplitude)

Release
Control mode, e.g. constant energy or time U/S pulse
Cycle time Power
duration
Welding force squeeze hold
Timing
Force

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Usual Process Development Required Theory of Ultrasonic Bonding


Atomically clean surfaces bond spontaneously

Weld schedule - Force, Amplitude, Time Under ambient conditions, most metals are
covered with oxide films and contaminants
Joint assessment (often peel strength) (dust, oil, etc)

Optimisation (minimise indent, stitch overlap)


Oxide dispersal and break-up is critical to
Consistency obtaining a good bond

Mechanical response of oxide and metal to


vibrational energy is significantly different,
allowing the oxide to separate and be expelled
from the joint even coherent oxides
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10-2
Theory of Ultrasonic Bonding (cont.) Sonotrode Requirements

Application of ultrasonic energy disrupts and Clamp and grip parts


disperses oxides, brings metallic surfaces into
contact by crushing and deforming high spots Transmit (modify) U/S energy

Set up frictional interactions


Extensive interfacial plastic deformation,
mechanical interlocking and electron sharing Rigid and Hard wearing
leads to bond formation. Anvil force and
resulting plastic deformation is necessary.
Designed to suit the application

Locally, temperatures rise to even half the


melting point for a brief period promotes
solid state inter-diffusion welding of materials

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Anvil Requirements Fixture Requirements

Position and support components

Grip parts Positive clamping force

Absorb pressure and ultrasonic oscillation Allow easy insertion and removal of

Rigid components

Hard wearing
Sonotrode must not contact jig or anvil
or resulting chatter will damage the equipment

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Factors Affecting Consistency Typical Causes of Poor Welds

Worn sonotrode/anvil
Sonotrode / anvil
wear, material pick-up
Poor clamping

Jigging Misalignment of components and sonotrode


consistency of clamping location and pressure

Poorly set sonotrode
Material
Staff failing to identify problems
contamination, hardness, plating?
Equipment
repeatable weld cycle

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10-3
Sources of Contamination Earthing Braid Pre-consolidation

Component processing
stamping lubricants
cleaning
plating baths
insulation stripping

Packaging/storage
sulphur from packing, rubber bands, cardboard
humidity

Human sources
shed clothing fibres or human debris
finger grease

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Leads and Terminals


Wiring Loom Connectors
(more reliable than crimping alone)

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Ultrasonic welding in
Lithium Ion Battery Connections
photovoltaic panels

Ultrasonic welding joins aluminium foil to metallized glass on


photovoltaic cells. Photo courtesy Sonobond Ultrasonics

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10-4
Joining Very Dis-Similar Materials
Ultrasonic Welding in Solar Collectors
eg Metal to Ceramic

Ultrasonic welded selective surface coated


copper plate in a solar collector courtesy Kingspan

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Microelectronics Packaging

Miniaturisation made possible through silicon


chips
Microelectronics packaging protects the chip
from damage
Wire-bonding Make connections from the chip to the outside
in Microelectronics world wire bonding

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Chip-on-Board (COB)

Chip on
Obscuring
board
encapsulant Fundamentals
of the Process

Courtesy of TPT

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10-5
Types of Wire bonding Technology Mechanism of Bond Formation

Thermocompression heat at high temperature Ultrasonic vibration


Sonotrode
Force
scrubs away oxides and
Ultrasonic Ultrasonic vibration only
contamination, allows
Thermosonic Heat + ultrasonic vibration intimate contact
Vibration/
Time Extensive interfacial
Ultrasonic types now dominate plastic deformation,
mechanical interlocking
and electron sharing
leads to bond formation
Heat *
Heat encourages bond
Force
formation for gold wire
Courtesy of KNS Solid state joint

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U/S & T/S Process Parameters Anatomy of U/S or T/S Wedge Bonder

Typical Parameter Settings


Welding force
Force Wire spool
Sonotrode Force 100 - 800mN Welding Wire counterweight
Power 5 - 250W force clamp
Vibration amplitude 0.2 - 5m
Vibration/
Time (Frequency 0.2 - 5MHz)
Transducer
Ultrasonic
Welding time 5 - 50ms
vibration
Temperature* 80 - 200C
* for T/S only
Bonding
Materials: tool
Generally Au and Al
Heat *
Wires 7 500 m Moveable (heated)
Now interest in Cu and Pd workstage
Force Ultrasonic generator
and pulse timer

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Two Common Variants of


Wire-Bonded Joints

Wedge-Wedge
Bonding
Ball bond Wedge bond

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10-6
Process Steps Process Steps

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Example Wedge-Wedge WB Heavy Wire (Wire Cut-off )

Guillotine

Twin
Grooved

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Ball-Wedge Bonder

Wire

Ball-Wedge Bonding Wire clamp Ultrasonic


transducer

Bonding
capillary

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10-7
Process Steps Process Steps

FAB

EFO

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Loop Formation Ribbon Bonding Tool

Tools are similar to other wedge bond tools but with a


rectangular wire feed slot

KH

RM

Basic motion Reverse motion


for short wire higher profile
loops less tendency to sag

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Ribbon Bonding

Examples

Courtesy of KNS

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10-8
Reverse Motion Looping Long Loops

Courtesy of KNS

25m gold wire ball-wedge bonds produced by a fully automatic production WB demonstrates capability in long looping suitable
machine at approx. 5 wires/second for stacked-die packaging

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IC Packages Hybrid Module


eg Robust Consumer Goods eg Aerospace Controls

25m Au ball-wedge bond for a ceramic package

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Heavy Al Wedge-Wedge WB Heavy Aluminium Ball-Wedge WB


eg High Power Motor Controller eg High Power Motor Controller

Courtesy of Zecal 200m Al ball-wedge bond for power automotive


applications

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10-9
Video: Wire Bonding
Video: Wedge Wire-Bonder
With Ball-Forming

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Video: Ribbon Bonding for eg wave Summary


Ultrasonic welding is a clean solid state process for
typically thin components, capable of welding
dissimilar materials, eg aluminium to copper, and
without flux or protective atmosphere

Wire bonding is a technology used to join fine wires


in the microelectronics industry, generally used for
gold and aluminium wires. More welds are
produced by this means than by any other method
by far

It is a fast growing application of welding due to


the growth of the new electrical industries
Copyright TWI Ltd 2015 Copyright TWI Ltd 2015

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