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Laser Welding Process

Organization:EPFL (Swiss federal institute of Technology - Lausanne), EPFL (Swiss federal institute of Technology - Lausanne), CH
I.P. Brief:Successfully tested welding process for crack sensitive alloys
Summary of I.P.:The physical metallurgy laboratory of EPFL has developed a welding process for crack sensitive alloys without material input. The combination of two laser beams allows welding with accurately controlled cooling cycle which avoids the formation of hot cracks in the welding zone. Due to less residual stresses and favorable equiaxed microstructure, improved joint quality is obtained. The process has been successfully tested in the laboratory on aluminum sheets of aerospace quality.
Patent:EP patent application Nr 01810986.8,PCT publication Nr WO 03/0311108
Keywords: Welding, aluminium alloys, superalloys,non-ferrous alloys, aerospace technology, transportation
Primary Industry:Automotive
Specific Market:aeronautics, automotive
Market Size:About 1/2 of the market of Aluminum sheets could be concerned with this new technology, that also could open new markets for Aluminum.
State of the Art:Rivetting, laser welding with material added
Figures of Merit:• No cracks in the welding zone • Less residual stresses • Favourable equiaxed microstructure • Improved joint quality and reliability • No need for additional material to reduce hot cracking.
Tech.  Obstacles:successfully tested in the laboratory on aluminium sheets of aerospace quality; industrialization needed
Market Obstacles:Development of a welding apparatus.
Patent Landscape:About 20 patents on laser welding of aluminum (comprising Nissan, Toyota)
Publications:C. Bezençon, A. Schnell, W. Kurz, Epitaxial deposition of McrAlY coatings on a Ni-base superalloy by laser cladding, Scripta Materiala 49 (2003), 705-709 C. Bezençon, M. Höbel, J.-D. Wagnière, W. Kurz, Single-Crystal laser cladding of Superalloys : influence of preheating on the microstructure, Surface Engineering : In Materials Science II, TMS, 2003, 133-140
Research Team:The research team of Pr. Kurz worked on the subject of solidification of metal for many years.


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