Production and Performance of High Speed GTA Welded Aluminum Tailored Blanks
Tailored blanks have been produced by a variety of welding processes. Currently, laser welding and mash seam welding are commonly used to produce steel blanks for automotive stampings. Because of the high electrical and thermal conductivity of aluminum, mash seam welding is generally not suitable for this application. Laser welding is currently in the developmental stage for welding aluminum. Reynolds Metals Company is investigating another existing welding technology -- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)--for welding of aluminum tailored blanks. Using the GTAW process, production weld speeds approximating those of laser systems can be obtained. Additionally, good control of weld geometry and quality can be easily attained. This study focuses on GTA welding process parameters for joining various alloys, tempers, and thickness of aluminum. Additionally, performance of welded joints in terms of strength, ductility, and formability are discussed.