The disruptive changes brought by the new metal and glass welding process to the automobile manufacturing industry

by:Zeyi     2021-05-01
According to foreign media reports, researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, have developed an ultra-high-speed laser system that can weld glass and metal together. The automobile manufacturing industry may therefore usher in disruptive changes.     During the experiment, Professor Duncan P. Hand and his research team used 'ultrafast laser microwelding' (ultrafast laser microwelding) method to use very short infrared laser pulses to fuse two different materials together. Using the 'Heriot Watt' system, researchers have successfully welded quartz, borosilicate glass, sapphire and other materials to aluminum, titanium and stainless steel. Professor Hand said, 'The key lies in the short laser pulses. These pulses only last a few picoseconds (one trillionth of a second).'      places the welded parts in close contact, and the laser is focused through the optical material on the interface between the two materials. , Forming a very small and highly dense point, in a region only a few microns wide, to achieve megawatt-level peak power. As a result, a micro-plasma is generated, just like a tiny lightning ball appears inside the material, surrounded by a highly confined melt area. Finally, the weld is tested at a temperature of -50C to 90C. As a result, the weld is intact, showing that it is strong enough to cope with various extreme conditions.     At present, most automobile glass is fixed with adhesives, which not only increases the complexity of manufacturing, but also as the automobile ages, the adhesives may degrade and volatilize exhaust gas. Metal can be welded directly to glass. For example, welding glass and aluminum together may open up new horizons for automobile design and manufacturing. Of course, this also raises the question of replacement: if someone breaks a car window, can he go to the local store to change the glass? Does such a hybrid component have the problem of different thermal expansion rates? These all need to be resolved.
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