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Research Papers

Weld Quality Prediction in Ultrasonic Welding of Carbon Fiber Composite Based on an Ultrasonic Wave Transmission Model

[+] Author and Article Information
Yang Li

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

Zhiwei Liu

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

Junqi Shen

School of Materials Science and Engineering,
Tianjin University,
Tianjin 300354, China
e-mail: shenjunqi@tju.edu.cn

Tae Hwa Lee

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

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 11, 2019; final manuscript received May 23, 2019; published online June 13, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Wayne Cai.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 141(8), 081010 (Jun 13, 2019) (15 pages) Paper No: MANU-19-1141; doi: 10.1115/1.4043900 History: Received March 11, 2019; Accepted May 23, 2019

Ultrasonic welding has been widely used in joining plastic parts since it is fast, economical, and suitable for automation. It also has great potential for joining thermoplastic composite structures in the aerospace and automotive industries. For a successful industrial application of ultrasonic composite welding, it is necessary to have effective weld quality prediction technology. This paper proposes a model for weld quality prediction by establishing a correlation between ultrasonic wave transmission and welding process signatures. The signatures, welding power, and force are directly related to the weld quality. This model is used to predict the weld quality with three contact conditions and validated by experiments. The results show that the quality model performs well when a centralized and consistent contact condition is achieved. The model provides a process physics-based solution for the online weld quality prediction in ultrasonic welding of carbon fiber composite.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of an ultrasonic welding process

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Fig. 2

Typical process signatures of an ultrasonic composite welding over four stages (welding energy: 1200 J, amplitude: ±35 µm, horn plunging speed: 0.1 mm/s)

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Fig. 3

Schematic of the four stages in an ultrasonic welding process (stage 1: the whole workpieces remain in the solid state, stage 2: the W/W interface begins to melt, stage 3: the H/W interface begins to melt, and stage 4: the molten material is squeezed out)

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Fig. 4

(a) Typical process signatures of an ultrasonic composite welding with three stages, (b) typical process signatures of an ultrasonic composite welding with two stages, and (c) general process signatures of an ultrasonic composite welding with two stages

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Fig. 5

Reflection and transmission of an acoustic wave at normal incidence to a plane interface between media 1 and 2

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Fig. 6

Ultrasonic wave transmission model [25]

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Fig. 7

Propagation and absorption of acoustics wave during the first stage in the ultrasonic welding process (in order to more clearly analyze the wave propagation process, the propagation path is drawn with oblique lines)

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Fig. 8

Energy losses during an ultrasonic welding process [27]

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Fig. 9

Effect of horn plugging speed on the power signals when the load is air (amplitude ± 35 µm)

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Fig. 10

Procedure to calculate the energy that enters into the welding zone (solid line: power signal when the load is workpiece, dotted line: power signal when the load is air, and dashed line: power signal of the net acoustic wave)

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Fig. 11

Weld appearance and fracture surface of (a)–(c) under welds, (b)–(d) normal welds, and (g)–(i) over welds (this figure is replotted based on Fig. 6 in Ref. [32], Fig. 6 in Ref. [33], and Fig. 6 in Ref. [20])

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Fig. 12

Storage modulus and loss modulus of the carbon fiber reinforced PA6 composite sheet

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Fig. 13

Specific heat of carbon fiber composite sheet

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Fig. 14

Schematics of three surface contact conditions

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Fig. 15

Process signatures of an ultrasonic composite welding with a gap of 0.2 mm (welding energy: 1200 J, trigger force: 300 N, horn plunging speed: 0.1 mm/s, amplitude: ±35 µm)

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Fig. 16

Weld fractures from (a)–(e): welding with as-received surfaces, (f)–(j) welding with polished surfaces, and (k)–(o) welding with a centralized contact

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Fig. 17

Quality prediction results for (a) welding with as-received surfaces, (b) welding with polished surfaces, and (c) welding with a gap (the quantitative values for plotting this figure are shown in Appendix B)

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Fig. 18

Weld fractures of the misdetected points 1 and 2 in Fig. 17(b)

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Fig. 19

Force signals of (a) misdetected point 3 and detected points with same welding parameters (welding energy: 600 J) and (b) misdetected point 4 and detected points with same welding parameters (welding energy: 800 J)

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Fig. 20

Power (a) and force (b) signals of misdetected points 5 and 6

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Fig. 21

Estimation of workpiece coefficient

Tables

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