In the manufacturing process of batteries used in electric vehicles, copper materials are welded at high speeds without splatter, posing unique challenges. Traditional welding with infrared lasers near the 1000 nm wavelength faces issues like low energy absorption rates and process instability. To address these, the innovative Blue-Infrared Composite Laser Welding technique has been developed, offering a more stable and efficient alternative. This blog post delves into the advantages of this approach and how it revolutionizes copper welding for electric vehicle batteries.
Challenges of Infrared Laser Welding
High-speed welding of copper in electric vehicle batteries typically employs infrared (IR) lasers, which present two significant obstacles: low energy absorption and process instability. As copper heats up, its absorption rate for IR lasers increases, leading to instabilities like pore formation and splatter. Furthermore, high-power IR lasers can damage the laser welder due to reflected energy from the copper surface.
The Blue Laser Advantage
Copper absorbs blue laser light at a rate of approximately 60%, significantly higher than IR light. Reports have shown the feasibility of using blue diode laser welders for processing copper, achieving high-efficiency, high-quality welding of copper foils and sheets. However, blue lasers come at a higher cost than near-infrared lasers and are limited to a maximum output of 2000 W.
Innovative Blue-Infrared Composite Welding Process
Combining the strengths and overcoming the limitations of both blue and infrared lasers, LASERCHINA engineers have proposed a Blue-Infrared Composite Welding process. This approach begins with blue laser light to melt the copper surface effectively, followed by an infrared laser to deepen the melt pool. This technique has been studied by LASERCHINA engineers through experiments and numerical simulations, yielding promising results.
Enhanced Welding Efficiency with Composite Lasers
LASERCHINA’s development of a composite laser system using a blue semiconductor laser for preheating and a single-mode fiber laser for welding has shown that preheating with blue light increases the absorption rate of the copper for the fiber laser light, resulting in a larger melt volume and improved welding efficiency. This system has proven to be more effective than using a single-mode fiber laser alone.
Stabilizing Energy Absorption and Efficiency
By employing a coaxial composite blue-infrared laser welding machine, LASERCHINA engineers have managed to stabilize the melt pool and thermal convection within it, which not only affects the welding process’s stability but also prolongs the equipment’s lifespan. The energy absorption of the laser significantly impacts these factors, and the blue light has been shown to enhance and stabilize the energy efficiency of the infrared laser.
The Blue-Infrared Composite Laser Welding process represents a significant advancement in the field of laser welding technology, particularly for high-reflective metals like copper used in electric vehicle batteries. It addresses the key challenges posed by traditional IR laser welding by harnessing the high absorption rate of blue light. This innovative approach, researched and tested by the engineers at LASERCHINA, not only improves welding efficiency but also enhances process stability, potentially leading to a new standard in the manufacturing of electric vehicle components. As laser welding machine prices become more competitive, the adoption of such advanced techniques could see a significant rise, benefiting industries seeking efficient and reliable welding solutions.
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