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Plastic to metal joining process
Today, in more and more industrial applications, lasers are seen as an alternative solution for the direct welding of plastics/composites to metals, this non-contact processing method offers the highest process flexibility sex.
One of the drivers for the automotive industry today is how to make lighter weight cars without increasing costs or compromising or compromising performance, quality and safety. For seat construction, for example, this mainly involves the use of thinner, higher-strength steel, and hybrid material construction has also been extensively studied in recent years. This also applies to metal-only hybrid structures and to component structures made of metal/plastic composites.
The use of these hybrid material structures presents many different challenges, most notably how to weld together constituent materials with different chemical, mechanical and thermal properties. The most traditional techniques for welding plastic and metal materials today are adhesive bonding, mechanical welding, overmolding, or a combination of these processes, all of which involve extensive assembly operations and design constraints.
In an increasing number of industrial applications, lasers have been seen as an alternative solution for directly welding plastics/composites to metals. The method does not require additional liquid/solid adhesives or assembly components, and the laser offers high process flexibility compared to mechanical joints and complex and expensive molds.
Laser direct connection of metal to plastic first requires metal surface treatment, where a grooved microstructure is formed on the metal surface by scanning the laser over the area and locally ablating the material. The grooves can be as small as a few microns wide, and the depth can be varied by scanning the laser multiple times over the same area. After processing deep grooves on the metal surface with a high-frequency pulsed laser, a jig is used to press the metal and plastic, and continuous laser heating is used to melt the plastic at the joint to form an effective connection.
Plastic and metal connection effect
Through the test, all kinds of thermoplastics can be connected with stainless steel, aluminum alloy, copper alloy, etc. After welding, the tensile test weld does not fall off, and the welding strength can be higher than that of the plastic base material.
Plastic to Metal Joining Applications
In Faurecia's auto parts, the side beam members on both sides of the seat back are made of PA+GF30 composite materials, and other steel components remain unchanged. The welding between the upper and lower beam components and the composite side beam components is realized by laser.
In many industrial applications, there is a very strong demand for small and lightweight components. In order to meet the demand, the connection of dissimilar materials has become the focus of attention. In the process of product design, the metal material itself has many excellent properties, such as: high plasticity, high thermal conductivity, ease of processing, etc., so it is indispensable in the connection of dissimilar materials. At the same time, plastic has the advantages of anti-corrosion candle, light weight and heat insulation. However, due to the different properties of the two materials, it is difficult to achieve a good connection between metal and plastic in the process of producing parts. The connection of dissimilar materials is usually glued and mechanically connected. Using a laser to join small and complex shaped products is an effective solution to plastic and metal materials.