Laser Micro-welding of Aluminum and Copper with and without Tin Foil Alloy

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In this paper continuous laser welding of two dissimilar materials, aluminum and copper, was investigated. The aluminum and the copper utilized were Al3003-H14 and Cu110-H00, respectively. Two different sets of samples were laser welded; one in which a filler material, tin foil alloy (S-bond 220), was sandwiched between the aluminum and the copper and another set in which the aluminum and copper were directly welded without any filler. The foil alloy was utilized to enhance the compatibility of the two metals; aluminum and copper, reducing the brittleness of the intermetallic compound that may form and, subsequently, enhance the mechanical properties. The welding was carried out using an IPG 500 SM fiber laser. The length of the laser joint produced was 20 mm and the width was about 200 µm. The strength of the joint was evaluated by conducting the lap shear stress test. Samples in which filler foil was used exhibited a better performance in the lap shear stress test (an average of 780 N) than the samples without tin foil (an average of 650 N). The improvement in the lap shear test could be attributed to the positive effects of the filler on enhancing the compatibility of the intermetallic compound formed via diffusion. The fracture surface of both types of joints (with and without filler) was characterized using scanning electron microscope equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDAX). To understand the failure initiation and propagation of the samples under tension, a finite element (FE) model was developed for the samples created with no filler material. The failure mechanism predicted from the FE model matches reasonably well with the experimental observations from EDAX analysis.



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