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A Control Method for the Ultrasonic Spot Welding of Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Laminates through the Weld-Power Time Derivative

1
BMW Group, 80788 Munich, Germany
2
Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK), Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2019, 3(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmmp3010001
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract

It was found that the ultrasonic spot welding may serve as an efficient method to join relative large thin-walled parts made of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics. In this study, a new control method for the ultrasonic spot-welding process was investigated. It was found that, when welding fiber-reinforced thermoplastic laminates without energy directors, overheating and decomposition of the polymer at the weld spot occurred. The occurrence of the overheating took place at unpredictable times during welding. It was observed that the time trace of the consumed power curve by the welder follows a similar pattern as the time trace of the temperature in the weld spot center. Based on this observation, a control system was developed. The time derivative of the welder power was monitored in real time and, as soon as it exceeded a critical value, the ultrasonic vibration amplitude was actively adjusted through a microcontroller. The controlling of the ultrasonic welding process forced the temperature in the weld spot to remain in an adequate range throughout the welding duration for the polymer diffusion to occur. The results of the controlled welding process were evaluated by means of weld temperature measurements, computed tomography scans, and microscopic analysis of the weld spot fracture surfaces. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic welding; differential ultrasonic spot welding; ultrasonic weld control system; fiber-reinforced thermoplastic laminates; joining of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites ultrasonic welding; differential ultrasonic spot welding; ultrasonic weld control system; fiber-reinforced thermoplastic laminates; joining of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites
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Tutunjian, S.; Dannemann, M.; Fischer, F.; Eroğlu, O.; Modler, N. A Control Method for the Ultrasonic Spot Welding of Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Laminates through the Weld-Power Time Derivative. J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2019, 3, 1.

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