Research Papers

Performance Prediction for Ultrasonically Welded Dissimilar Materials Joints

[+] Author and Article Information
Liang Xi

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
e-mail: xiliang@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

Wayne Cai

Manufacturing Systems Research Laboratory,
General Motors R&D Center,
Warren, MI 48098
e-mail: wayne.cai@gm.com

Jeffrey Abell

Manufacturing Systems Research Laboratory,
General Motors R&D Center,
Warren, MI 48098
e-mail: jeffrey.abell@gm.com

Manuscript received September 29, 2015; final manuscript received May 15, 2016; published online August 10, 2016. Editor: Y. Lawrence Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 139(1), 011008 (Aug 10, 2016) (13 pages) Paper No: MANU-15-1499; doi: 10.1115/1.4033692 History: Received September 29, 2015; Revised May 15, 2016

Ultrasonic metal welding has been used to join multiple layers of battery tabs with the bus bar in lithium-ion battery assembly operations. This paper describes joint performance models for ultrasonic metal welds of multiple layers of dissimilar battery tab materials, i.e., aluminum and copper. Finite element (FE) models are developed to predict the mechanical performance of the ultrasonically welded joints. The models predict peak shear load, energy absorption capability, and failure modes, which are necessary for modeling product performance and defining process requirements for the welds. The models can be adjusted to represent different quality of welds created in conditions of underweld (UW), normal-weld (NW), or overweld (OW) using physical attributes observed through microscopic analysis. The models are validated through lap shear tests, which demonstrate excellent agreement for the maximum force in the NW condition and good agreement for the UW and OW conditions. The models provide in-depth understanding of the relationship among welding process parameters, physical weld attributes, and the weld performance. The models also provide significant insight for further development of ultrasonic welding process for battery tabs and help optimize welding process for more than four-layered joints.

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Fig. 1

(a) Semispherical knurl pattern of the horn; (b) array of the knurls distributed in five columns and three rows; and (c) dimensions of the knurls

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Fig. 2

(a) Photo image and (b) schematic of the lap shear test

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Fig. 3

FE model for the lap shear test of a two-layered weld: (a) model mesh, (b) cross section view (A–A), and (c) top view of the bonding layer

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Fig. 4

FE model for the lap shear test on the first interface for a four-layered weld: (a) model mesh and (b) cross section view (B–B)

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Fig. 5

Illustrations for bonding conditions of lap shear test on: (a) interface of a two-layered weld, (b) first interface for four-layered welds, (c) second interface for four-layered welds, (d) third interface for four-layered welds; U1, U2, and U3 represent displacement. U1(t) represents forced displacement in x direction.

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Fig. 6

Force–displacement curves of lap shear tests for two-layered welds in NW condition comparing experimental results and simulation with and without machine stiffness

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Fig. 7

The flow curves of aluminum and copper

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Fig. 8

Ductile and shear damage evolution for Al sheets for a strain rate ε¯˙pl  = 0.001/s, value adopted from [27]; (a) the equivalent fracture strain versus stress triaxiality for the plane stress condition and (b) the equivalent fracture strain from shearing versus shear stress ratio

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Fig. 9

Images of cross sections of welded coupons showing horn knurl prints with hills and valleys (a) through a column and (b) through a row corresponding to the knurl pattern of the horn (c)

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Fig. 10

Characterization of a weld using optical micrographs for two-layered welds with (a) the effective area A, the effective length (L), and the BL, and (b) an inflection point on the surface where the slope of the hill changes (the dot on the hill slope)

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Fig. 11

Characterization of a weld using optical micrographs for four-layered welds defining the effective area A, the effective length (L), and the BL

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Fig. 12

Welding parameters of the two-layered welds with UW, NW, and OW: (a) BL and (b) ET

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Fig. 13

Effects of welding time on failure energy



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