Research Papers

Joint Formation in Multilayered Ultrasonic Welding of Ni-Coated Cu and the Effect of Preheating

[+] Author and Article Information
Ying Luo

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

Haseung Chung

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Michigan State University,
East Lansing, MI 48824–1226
e-mail: chunghas@msu.edu

Wayne Cai

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

Teresa Rinker

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

S. Jack Hu

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

Elijah Kannatey-Asibu

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

Jeffrey Abell

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

Manuscript received June 7, 2018; final manuscript received July 8, 2018; published online July 31, 2018. Editor: Y. Lawrence Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 140(11), 111003-10 (Jul 31, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: MANU-18-1419; doi: 10.1115/1.4040878 History: Received June 07, 2018; Revised July 08, 2018

Multilayered ultrasonic welding (USW) is widely used in joining of electrodes or tabs in lithium-ion batteries. To achieve quality joints and enhance the welding process robustness, an improved understanding of the joint formation is highly desirable. In this paper, USW of four-layered Ni-coated Cu is studied to investigate the joint formation at a single interface and joint propagation from interface to interface under both ambient and preheated conditions. The results indicate that joint formation involves three major mechanisms: Ni–Ni bonding with minimal mechanical interlocking, Ni–Ni bonding with moderate mechanical interlocking, and a combination of Ni–Ni bonding, Cu–Cu bonding, and severe mechanical interlocking. Results also show that joints propagate from the interface close to the sonotrode side to that close to the anvil side. It is further observed that the joint formation can be accelerated and the joint strength can be improved with process preheating, especially at the interface closest to the anvil. The effect of preheating is most significant during the early stage of the process, and diminishes as process progresses. The favorable effects of preheating improve the robustness of multilayered USW.

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup showing (a) metal USW machine, and (b) side and top views of the multilayered USW configuration

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Fig. 2

USW tools: (a) The small and large sonotrode tips with their corresponding anvils, (b) sides A and B dimensions of the large anvil, (c) dimensions of the small sonotrode tip, and (d) dimensions of the large sonotrode tip

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Fig. 3

USW system setup for preheating showing (a) top view and (b) side view

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Fig. 4

Optical microscopic images of samples welded using a small tip at cross section A-A at (a) 1200 J, (b) 1400 J, (c) 1600 J, (d) 1800 J, (e) 2000 J, and (f) 2400 J

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Fig. 5

The sample welded at 1600 J: (a) optical microscope image, (b) SEM image at region A, (c) EDX composition scan by SEM along the dashed line in (b), (d) SEM image at region B, (e) EDX composition mapping for Cu, and (f) EDX composition mapping for Ni

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Fig. 6

Detailed optical microscopic images of samples welded at (a) 1400 J: crest regions of samples welded at 1400 J, 1800 J, and 2400 J are shown in (b)–(d). Corresponding valley regions are shown in (e)–(g).

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Fig. 7

Detailed optical microscopic images in the crest region for welds made at (a) 600 J, (b) 1200 J, and (c) 1200 J with higher magnification

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Fig. 8

Material flow in the weld zone from samples produced at welding energy of (a) 1200 J, (b) 1400 J, and (c) 1600 J

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Fig. 9

Lap-shear results versus welding energy for the top and bottom interface (small sonotrode tip)

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Fig. 10

Lap-shear results for preheated and nonpreheated samples: (a) bottom interface welded with small tip, (b) bottom interface welded with large tip, (c) top interface welded with small tip, and (d) top interface welded with large tip

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Fig. 11

Microstructural analysis of samples under both ambient and preheated conditions with (a) 1200 J, (b) 1600 J, and (c) 2000 J

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Fig. 12

Conceptual relationship between weld energy and joint strength during joint development

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Fig. 13

Joint formation at top, middle, and bottom interfaces and optical micrograph of a sample produced at 600 J using the small tip



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