Laser welding is a non-contact welding technology that offers precise energy control, making it suitable for welding precision microdevices and various metals, including difficult-to-weld and dissimilar metals. The fast speed and automation capabilities of laser welding have made it widely used in industries with a high degree of automation, such as automobile manufacturing and new energy battery production. As the new energy vehicle market continues to expand, the demand for laser welding machines has also risen. This article explores the significant application of laser welding in new energy vehicles, focusing on body welding, different thickness laser welded blanks, and welding of gears and transmission parts.
Laser welding has found extensive applications in the assembly and joining of body stamping parts in the automotive industry. It is widely utilized in roof cover welding, trunk lid welding, and welding of the frame. Moreover, laser welding plays a crucial role in welding the body structure, including the door, body side frame, and pillar.
Laser welding‘s advantage lies in its ability to improve the body’s strength and address challenges posed by conventional resistance spot welding. Laser self-fusion welding is also a critical technique used in automobile body manufacturing, involving the melting of two or more parts to form a seamless whole without the use of welding wire or auxiliary materials. This technique is mainly employed in body assembly welding and tailor welding. As product demand changes, laser welding is increasingly adopted in the automotive industry, with most manufacturers accepting assembly welding.
2.Different Thickness Laser Welded Blanks
The use of laser tailor-welded blanks with varying thicknesses in body manufacturing yields several advantages, including weight reduction, reduced parts count, improved safety and reliability, and reduced production costs. Tailor-welded blanks are made by laser welding steel materials with different strengths, thicknesses, and coatings. Laser welding’s fast speed, high precision, and small weld seam make it an ideal choice for this application.
Presently, the majority of automotive tailor-welded blanks are welded using lasers. Compared to traditional pure steel plate car bodies, tailor-welded blanks offer three significant benefits: reduced body weight achieved through thinner plate welding, overall increased strength, and improved market competitiveness due to reduced parts, molds, and welding fixture count.
Tailored Welded Blanks are mainly used in cover parts and certain structural parts of automobile bodies. The welds in tailor-welded blanks can be categorized as single linear welds, multiple linear welds, or non-linear welds. The single straight-line weld type is the most common, characterized by a relatively simple production process. The non-linear weld type is more complex and is designed based on the shape of the stamped part, enhancing product strength and stamping performance. Since tailor-welded blanks require subsequent stamping and forming, strict requirements are imposed on their forming quality and defect control, encompassing appearance, weld shape, and mechanical properties.
3.Welding of Gears and Transmission Parts
Laser welding is widely applied in welding various parts of gearboxes, particularly the differential case and drive shaft in car gearboxes. These parts are often joined and welded after individual production.
Advantages of Laser Welding in Auto Bodywork
- Non-contact processing: Laser welding’s primary advantage lies in its advanced non-contact processing method. Traditional methods such as screw fastening and adhesive connection fall short in meeting the precision and sturdiness requirements of modern automobile manufacturing, especially with the emergence of new materials. Laser welding achieves precision welding without physical contact, revolutionizing the firmness, seamlessness, precision, and cleanliness of connections.
- Weight reduction: Laser welding’s ability to replace castings with more stamping parts and scattered spot welds with continuous laser welds reduces the width of lap joints and some strengthening parts, leading to decreased body structure volume and reduced body weight, aligning with energy-saving and emission reduction requirements for automobiles.
- Improved assembly accuracy and rigidity: The precise connection of almost all metal materials of varying thicknesses, grades, types, and grades through laser welding significantly improves the assembly accuracy and rigidity of vehicle bodies, enhancing body strength by more than 30% and ensuring overall safety.
- Laser hybrid welding improves process stability: The use of laser hybrid welding technology enhances the connection ability of sheet metal gaps, enabling enterprises to fully utilize arc welding process stability during laser high-speed welding.
The application of laser welding in new energy vehicles’ body production has become a prevailing trend. Laser welding’s versatility offers reduced body weight, improved assembly accuracy, and enhanced body strength, providing users with heightened safety and driving comfort. The use of robotic automation in auto parts laser welding machines further enhances flexibility and operability, enabling flexible transmission and non-contact welding on precision parts that are challenging to access with conventional large molds. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, laser welding will undoubtedly play a crucial role in driving innovation and efficiency in vehicle manufacturing processes, cementing its position as an indispensable technology in the production of new energy vehicles.