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Influence of welding parameters on electromagnetic supported degassing of die-casted and wrought aluminum

Fritzsche, André; Hilgenberg, Kai; Rethmeier, Michael

FG Fügetechnik

Laser beam welding of aluminum die casting is challenging. A large quantity of gases (in particular, hydrogen) is absorbed by aluminum during the die-cast manufacturing process and is contained in the base material in solved or bound form. After remelting by the laser, the gases are released and are present in the melt as pores. Many of these metallurgic pores remain in the weld seam as a result of the high solidification velocities. The natural (Archimedean) buoyancy is not sufficient to remove the pores from the weld pool, leading to process instabilities and poor mechanical properties of the weld. Therefore, an electromagnetic (EM) system is used to apply an additional buoyancy component to the pores. The physical mechanism is based on the generation of Lorentz forces, whereby an electromagnetic pressure is introduced into the weld pool. The EM system exploits the difference in electrical conductivity between poorly conducting pores (inclusions) and the comparatively better conducting aluminum melt to increase the resulting buoyancy velocity of the pores. Within the present study, the electromagnetic supported degassing is investigated in dependence on the laser beam power, welding velocity, and electromagnetic flux density. By means of a design of experiments, a systematic variation of these parameters is carried out for partial penetration laser beam welding of 6 mm thick sheets of wrought aluminum alloy AlMg3 and die-cast aluminum alloy AlSi12(Fe), where the wrought alloy serves as a reference. The proportion of pores in the weld seams is determined using x-ray images, computed tomography images, and cross-sectional images. The results prove a significant reduction of the porosity up to 70% for both materials as a function of the magnetic flux density.
  • This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in A. Fritzsche et al., Journal of Laser Applications 32, 022031 (2020) and may be found at https://doi.org/10.2351/7.0000064.