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Weld metal and glass with ultra-fast laser pulses


Understand, Heriot-Watt University (Heriot-Watt University) scientists claim a breakthrough method that can weld materials such as glass and metal together, thanks to ultrafast laser pulses. Traditionally, welding is limited to materials with similar characteristics, so even welding aluminum and steel together is difficult.

Weld metal and glass with ultra-fast laser pulses

Current technology cannot weld metal and glass well. They require different temperatures to melt, and they expand differently in response to heat. There are other manufacturing methods that can make them stick together, but the effect is not ideal.

"Being able to weld glass and metal together will be a major advancement in manufacturing and design flexibility," said Duncan Hand, director of the EPSRC Laser Production Process Innovation Manufacturing Center, which developed this new technology. "Currently, equipment and products involving glass and metal are usually glued together by adhesives. The application of adhesives is troublesome, and parts will gradually loosen or move. Outgassing is also a problem-organic chemicals in the adhesive gradually Release may result in shortened product life."

This new technology is suitable for optical materials such as quartz, borosilicate glass and sapphire, and can now be welded to metals such as aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. The key to this process is an infrared laser that can emit pulses in the range of a few picoseconds.

"The parts to be welded are in close contact, and the laser is focused through the optical material to provide a very small and high-intensity light spot at the interface between the two materials-we have achieved a megawatt peak power in an area of a few microns," Duncan Hand explained. "This creates a micro-plasma like a tiny lightning ball inside the material, surrounded by a highly confined melting zone. We operate at a temperature of -50°C to 90°C (-58°F to 194°F) The welds were tested. The welds remained intact, so we knew they were strong enough to handle extreme conditions."

The team is working with experts to develop a laser processing prototype system, so the method can be commercialized for manufacturing.

Link to this article: Weld metal and glass with ultra-fast laser pulses

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