Laser Lap Welding of Galvanized Steel with No Gap 1999-01-3145
Laser welding has long been evaluated as a joining technique for galvanized steels in a lap-joint configuration in the automotive industry. However, a problem associated with the low boiling point of zinc limits the application of the laser process in a lap-joint configuration. Zinc-coatings at the interface of the two coated sheets vaporize during welding and the volume of the zinc vapor expands rapidly. The venting of the zinc vapor from the weld pool causes expulsion of the molten metal during welding and a portion of zinc vapor remains in the weld as porosity after welding. To improve the weld quality of galvanized steel, many efforts have been attempted worldwide, but limited success has been reported. Edison Welding Institute (EWI) investigated the laser weldability of galvanized steel in a lap-joint configuration with no gap using a dual beam laser welding technique. Experimental results indicated that the weld quality of galvanized steel could be improved significantly using the dual beam laser welding technology. Further study is ongoing at EWI.