New Automotive Welding Technique Improves Structural Integrity

For industry mileage leading Mazda with its acclaimed Skyactive efficiency program, to the new military grade all aluminum Ford F-150 pickups, and even the supercar carbon fiber laden McLaren 570S – weight reduction is a central to modern automotive design. From Porsche to Hyundai … every new car intro touts how many pounds the model has dropped since its previous edition.

To reduce the weight of mostly steel components, the automotive industry has been working on new alloys and materials designed with intricate microstructures.

This has presented the auto industry with a new set of construction issues because the electrical charge and heat of traditional welding techniques destroys the microstructures within these new materials, compromising the structural integrity of the vehicle.

Researchers at Ohio State University led by Professor Glenn Daehn reported at a recent Materials Science & Technology symposium on their new patented vaporized foil actuator welding process which targets the electrical charge and heat through a thin piece of foil, which fuses the parts without compromising the alloy structures.

In addition to producing a 50 percent stronger weld, this process reduces welding energy use by 80 percent.