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research-article

Ultrasonic welding of carbon fiber reinforced composite with variable blank holding force

[+] Author and Article Information
Yang Li

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
umliyang@umich.edu

Jorge Arinez

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, General Motors R&D Center, Warren, MI 48090
jorge.arinez@gm.com

Zhiwei Liu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
zhiweili@umich.edu

Tae Hwa Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
taehwale@umich.edu

Hua-tzu Fan

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, General Motors R&D Center, Warren, MI 48090
charles.fan@gm.com

Guoxian Xiao

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, General Motors R&D Center, Warren, MI 48090
guoxian.xiao@gm.com

Mihaela Banu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
mbanu@umich.edu

S. Jack Hu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
jackhu@umich.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040427 History: Received March 21, 2018; Revised May 21, 2018

Abstract

Energy directors (EDs) have been widely used in ultrasonic welding of polymers and polymer-based composites. They help concentrate the welding energy and localize the weld at the location where the EDs are present. However, the utilization of EDs increases manufacturing cost and time, especially for complex parts and structures. This paper presents a method for ultrasonic welding of carbon fiber reinforced composite without using EDs. A reusable annular clamp (called a blankholder) is used as part of the weld tool to apply a variable force (called blank holding force) on the composite sheets during the ultrasonic welding. The effect of the blank holding force (BHF) on the weld formation is investigated. The results show that the duration of the BHF had significant impact on the weld formation. There is a critical duration with which a localized weld can form. Suitable durations of BHF at different levels of welding energy are determined by experiments. The main function of the BHF is to create an initial melting area by improving the contact condition. The initial melting area will act as an energy director to concentrate the welding energy, and therefore, promotes the formation of a localized weld.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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