Laser welding of electric vehicle battery components

Laser welding of electric vehicle battery components

  • Time of issue:2020-11-07
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Laser welding of electric vehicle battery components

Laser welding of electric vehicle battery components

The following is a review of the latest product and process development related to laser welding of
electric vehicle battery components.

Various welding requirements
Discussing "electric vehicle battery welding" means considering multiple variants, which is a broad
topic. First of all, there are three main types of batteries: cylindrical, prismatic and bag-
shaped. Secondly, there are many materials. There are also several types of welds.

Different materials
The current-carrying components inside the lithium-ion battery are made of copper or aluminum
alloy, and the external bus bar also needs to be connected to the external terminals that connect a
series of batteries. Aluminum alloy (3000 series) and pure copper are the main materials and need
to be laser welded in a similar or dissimilar configuration to create electrical contact with the
positive and negative external terminals.

Overlapping, butting and fillet welding joints constitute various connections within the battery.
The final welding step in the battery assembly is the seam sealing of the aluminum can, which forms
a barrier to the internal electrolyte and welds the tab material to the negative and positive
terminals. It also creates electrical contacts for the battery pack.

In order to achieve a ten-year battery life, the welding process must meet the challenges
regardless of whether the joints contain the same or different metals. Laser welding factors that
must be considered in creating highly reliable welding of similar and dissimilar metal combinations

Physical material properties

Difference in laser beam absorption/reflectivity
Difference in thermal conductivity
Metallurgical material properties

Material/alloying element solubility
Difference in melting temperature
Thermal expansion
Formation of intermetallic phase
One of the advantages of modern fiber laser systems is the degree to which the laser parameters can
be controlled. The laser pulse parameters (pulse duration, peak power, and even shape (the function
of peak power change with time)) can be controlled pulse by pulse. Although a simpler system will
invoke a set of pre-set conditions, the possible "real-time" control is beyond this range, thus
providing more control over the process and the quality of metallurgical welding.

The newer fiber laser welding system can control the following parameters:

Laser parameters

Average power
Peak power
Laser output
Continuous wave (CW)
Modulation (sine wave, square wave)
Pulse (may have various shapes), including pulse duration and frequency from pulse to pulse
Processing parameters

Welding speed
Laser pulse overlap percentage
Focus position relative to welding point

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