Seam gap bridging of laser based processes for the welding of aluminium sheets for industrial applications

Bernard Johan Aalderink (Corresponding Author), B. Pathiraj, R.G.K.M. Aarts

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Laser welding has a large potential for the production of tailor welded blanks in the automotive industry, due to the low heat input and deep penetration. However, due to the small laser spot and melt pool, laser-based welding processes in general have a low tolerance for seam gaps. In this paper, five laser-based welding techniques are compared for their gap bridging capabilities: single-spot laser welding, twin-spot laser welding, single-spot laser welding with cold wire feeding, twin-spot laser welding with cold wire feeding and laser/GMA hybrid welding. Welding experiments were performed on 1.1- and 2.1-mm-thick AA5182 aluminium sheets. The resulting welds were evaluated using visual inspection, cross sectional analysis with optical microscopy, tensile tests and Erichsen Cupping tests. The results show that the use of a filler wire is indispensable to increase the gap tolerance. A proper alignment of this wire with the laser spot(s) is crucial. With the single spot laser welding with cold wire feeding, a gap up to 0.6 mm could be bridged as opposed to a maximum allowable gap width of 0.2 mm for single-spot laser welding without filler wire. For 2.1-mm-thick sheets, the laser/GMA hybrid welding process can bridge even gaps up to 1.0 mm. Most welds had a high tensile strength. However, during Erichsen Cupping tests, the deformation of the welds is significantly lower as compared to the base material
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of advanced manufacturing technology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • IR-90471
  • METIS-267189


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