Enhanced performance of EV batteries is a major factor in the steady increase in electric vehicle sales. And better performance stems, in part, from recent developments in laser welding of dissimilar metals which increases efficiency by increasing energy storage, reducing size, and preserving reliability. It’s a fact that welding a less resistive metal to the standard stainless-steel terminal of a lithium ion battery can reduce resistance and improve battery efficiency. Traditional resistance spot welding, however, can’t effectively join highly-conductive dissimilar metals like copper and aluminum because the resultant intermetallic mix is brittle. But lasers CAN do the job with surprising results!
In hermetic and seam sealing applications utilizing pulsed laser welding, it is critically important that weld spots are evenly spaced, overlapping to form a continuous welded seam. Traditional pulsed laser welding approaches attempt to do this by firing the laser at a constant repetition rate. While this can be made to work along straight lines or other paths that can be traversed at constant speed, the result is sub-optimal and the approach really falls short when welding along irregular contours. For example, it does not work well for hermetically sealed packages, such as implantable medical devices, aerospace sensors or electronics modules.
Are you looking to use lasers for micro welding? If so, you have four excellent options: pulsed neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) and three different fiber lasers: continuous wave (CW) fiber, quasi continuous wave (QCW) fiber, and nanosecond fiber. In today’s post, I am going to compare the pulsed Nd:YAG laser with the three fiber laser options, and give some general comments on why and when one might be chosen over the other. I’m going to follow that up with another post with more information on how to choose.
Microsecond fiber and pulsed Nd:YAG lasers have been used successfully for hypo tube and stent cutting for many years. The only downside is that cut parts often require a number of post processing operations, depending on material and part requirements. These additional manufacturing steps can add significant cost; they also add to the handling logistics burden for what, in many cases, are mechanically delicate parts, not to mention the added problem of having to deal with chemical-based processes and the disposal of hazardous waste.
"Ugh - my battery just died!" "Can I use your charger?" "Mind if I recharge my phone?" Batteries are everywhere, and we've become increasingly dependent on them in many aspects of our daily lives: portable electronic devices, cordless power tools, energy storage, and hybrid and EV cars. Thus, the demand to manufacture batteries that meet or exceed quality and production requirements for these products, is great.
Resistance spot welding, micro TIG welding, and laser welding processes all enable high quality volume production. The selection of one technology over another is usually made based on the application's specific requirements and the alignment of the technology to these needs.
The Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West exposition and conference is the place to be this week if you want to see the latest innovations in equipment and systems for medical device manufacturing. Despite all the doom and gloom you hear about the manufacturing sector, the medical device industry has been on fire for the last decade, and shows no signs of let up. Innovations in technology are on the rise as everyone is looking to do things smaller, faster, and more reliably. I like to stroll the aisles looking for what’s 'just out.' If you do too, drop by Miyachi Unitek’s booth - #3051.
Fiber lasers come in two flavors: single mode and multi mode. What are the differences and which should you choose for your fiber laser micro welding application?