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Research Papers

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
e-mail: umliyang@umich.edu

Jorge Arinez

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab,
General Motors R&D Center,
Warren, MI 48090
e-mail: Jorge.arinez@gm.com

Zhiwei Liu

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

Tae Hwa Lee

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

Hua-Tzu Fan

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

Guoxian Xiao

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

Mihaela Banu

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

S. Jack Hu

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

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received March 21, 2018; final manuscript received May 21, 2018; published online June 28, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Zhijian J. Pei.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 140(9), 091011 (Jun 28, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: MANU-18-1173; doi: 10.1115/1.4040427 History: Received March 21, 2018; Revised May 21, 2018

Energy directors (EDs) have been widely used in ultrasonic welding (UW) 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 UW 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 UW. 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 ED to concentrate the welding energy, and therefore, promotes the formation of a localized weld.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Fracture surfaces of joints produced using different methods obtained within lap shear tests: (a) with ED, (b) without using ED, and (c) flash in joint produced without using ED

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the experimental setup (unit: mm, not to scale)

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Fig. 3

Procedure of ultrasonic welding with blank holding force (step 1: An initial BHF is applied on the workpieces before welding. Step 2: The initial BHF is kept till an initial melting area formed. Step 3: The BHF is released to allow the vibration of workpieces. Step 4: The welding process continues to the end).

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Fig. 4

Time sequence of ultrasonic welding with blank holding force

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Fig. 5

Effect of constant BHF on the maximum lap-shear load (the error bars represent mean±stdev)

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Fig. 6

Fracture surfaces of welds performed under constant BHF of (a) 0 N (no blankholder), (b) 1480 N, (c) 2250 N, (d) 3015 N, and (e) 3780 N

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Fig. 7

Weld fractures and signal curves under different releasing times: (a) traditional welding; (b) releasing time of 0.37 s; (c) releasing time of 0.82 s; (d) releasing time of 1.7 s, and (e) no releasing (all samples were welded at welding energy of 800 J and an initial BHF of 2250 N)

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Fig. 8

Measurement of weld area: (a) original weld fracture, (b) binary weld fracture at the center region, and (c) binary weld fracture at the edge region

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Fig. 9

Effect of releasing time on the weld area and maximum lap-shear load under different welding energies: (a) 400 J, (b) 600 J, (c) 800 J, (d) 1000 J, and (e) 1200 J

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Fig. 11

Typical weld fractures and signal curves of welded joints with low lap-shear load (<3000 N): (a) releasing time of 1.32 s; (b) releasing time of 1.48 s; and (c) releasing time of 1.58 s (the three samples were welded at welding energies of 800, 1000, and 1200 J, respectively, and the initial BHF of 2250 N)

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Fig. 10

Effect of energy factor on the weld area and maximum lap-shear load under different welding energies: (a) 400 J, (b) 600 J, (c) 800 J, (d) 1000 J, and (e) 1200 J

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Fig. 16

Simplified model of ultrasonic welding (unit: mm, not to scale)

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Fig. 15

Results of contact imprint tests under different situations: (a) clamping without blankholder, (b) welding without blankholder, (c) clamping with blankholder, (d) welding with blankholder and the BHF was released at early stage, (e) welding with blankholder and the blankholder was released at the critical time, and (f) welding with constant blankholder force

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Fig. 14

Schematic of contact imprint test (not to scale)

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Fig. 13

Typical fractures of welds made with suitable energy factor at welding energy of (a) 400 J, (b) 600 J, (c) 800 J, (d) 1000 J, and (e) 1200 J

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Fig. 12

Effect of welding energy on the (a) maximum lap-shear load and (b) weld area of welded joints made by different methods

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Fig. 18

The amplitude of strain in the x-direction with different E2

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Fig. 19

Action mechanism of the variable BHF

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Fig. 17

Distribution of Young's modulus along x-direction

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