Product Code: ICA12_1402
Zero-Gap Laser Welding of Zinc Coated Steels in a Lap Joint Configuration
Shanglu Yang, China Science Lab, General Motors Global R&D; Shanghai Peoples Republic of China
Jeff Wang, China Science Lab, General Motors Global R&D; Shanghai Peoples Republic of China
Blair Carlson, Manufacturing Systems Lab, General Motors Global R&D; -
Jing Zhang, China Science Lab, General Motors Global R&D; -
Presented at ICALEO 2012
Zinc coated steels, which provide excellent corrosion resistance, are increasingly used in the automotive industry. Due to the lower boiling point of zinc (906°C) than the melting point of steel (over 1500°C), a highly-pressurized zinc vapor is always produced during zero-gap lap joint laser welding process. In order to weld zinc coated steels in lap joint configuration, a gap with 0.1 mm-0.2mm thick is usually required, which provides a passage for a highly-pressurized zinc vapor to escape.
In this paper, an innovative laser welding technique has been developed to weld zinc coated steels in a zero-gap lap joint configuration. Completely defects-free welds are achieved. The key is to consistently produce a stable keyhole assisted by an external vacuum system. Through the stable keyhole, the highly-pressurized zinc vapor is vent out. Mechanical properties of the welds were evaluated by the tensile shear test and hardness measurement. Microstructure is analyzed by optical microscopy.
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