Joining of tubular carbon fiber-reinforced plastic/aluminum by magnetic pulse welding

Significance 

Among the available material joining technologies, welding technology has been practiced for decades. This can be attributed to its high efficiency especially in produced high quality weld joints. However, considering the current rapid technological changes and advancement, new materials have been developed for various applications. For instance, the use of light-weight materials based on composites and metal alloys have recently increased in numerous industrial applications. This has raised questions on the feasibility of the available conventional welding methods in meeting the current and future welding demands. Therefore, the development of efficient technologies for joining both similar and dissimilar light-weight materials without compromising on their properties have attracted significant attention of researchers.

In a recently published literature, magnetic pulse welding technology has been identified as a promising solution. Generally, it joins together metal workpieces due to the induced magnetic fields. On the other and, electromagnetic compression has also shown the ability to join metallic materials especially tubular workpieces. To validate the weld quality, the influence of the geometric parameters on the electromagnetic compression should be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, joining of metallic and non-metallic materials have not been fully explored. Therefore, extending the magnetic pulse welding technology to joining structural components comprising of both metallic and non-metallic materials is highly desirable.

To this note, Hunan University researchers: Dr. Junjia Cui, Ya Li, Quanxiaoxiao Liu and Professor Guangyao Li in collaboration with Dr. Xu Zhang from Changsha University of Science and Technology and Zhidan Xu from SAIC GM Wuling Automobile checked the feasibility of using magnetic pulse welding technology in joining metallic and non-metallic materials. In particular, they joined aluminum tubes to thin-walled carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Additionally, they evaluated the mechanical properties and the microstructure of the resultant weld joints. Their work is currently published in the journal, Journal of Materials Processing Technology.

In brief, the authors commenced their research work by a detailed cross-examination of the magnetic pulse welding technology and more so its application in joining metallic and non-metallic materials. Next, they developed a structure for joining the 5A02 aluminum tubes and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. Furthermore, they accessed the various mechanism and factors affecting weld quality and performance.

The authors observed relatively good weld qualities. For instance, the magnetic pulse welded joints recorded higher tensile and torsional strengths than aluminum tubes. Additionally, only two linear welding zones: welding and non-welding zones were observed. This was attributed to the varying deformation behavior of the outer tubes. However, the remaining welding zones exhibited relatively weaker welding processes. Furthermore, it was worth noting that the three holes on the carbon fiber reinforced plastic was responsible for the welding process between the outer and core tubes.

In summary, Junjia Cui and his colleagues successfully demonstrated the feasibility of magnetic pulse welding in joining aluminum tubes and carbon fiber reinforced plastics. To actualize their study, they performed numerical simulations to determine the joint mechanisms. Interestingly, no damage to the carbon fiber reinforced plastic tube was observed. Therefore, magnetic pulse welding technology proves a promising solution for joining metallic and non-metallic materials which will, in turn, advance their various applications.

Joining of tubular carbon fiber-reinforced plastic/aluminum by magnetic pulse welding - Advances in Engineering

About the author

Li Guangyao (1963- ) is a professor and doctoral supervisor in Hunan University. He was appointed as the director of State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body. In 1987, he got his PhD in Hohai University. After that, he started his career in Hunan University and further studied in Korea, Singapore and the United States. The major research interest of Prof. Li is on the design and manufacturing for lightweight vehicle body. Some innovative achievements were also made in the fields of high performance numerical method, automobile CAE technology, dissimilar material joining.

Prof. Li hosted several important research projects, including National Program on Key Basic Research Project of China (973 Program), The 9th Five Years and 10th Five Years Key Programs for Science and Technology Development of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars. Prof. Li produced over 140 research papers and more than 100 of them were indexed by SCI and EI.

Some significant awards were achieved through his great works, including China National Science and Technology Progress Award, the First class; China National Science and Technology Progress Award, the Second class; Science and Technology Progress Award of the State ministry of education of China, the First class; GM Foundation Science and Technology Achievement Award in China, the First class; Guanzhao Science and Technology Achievement Award in Hunan Province.

About the author

Cui Junjia (1983- ) is an associate professor and doctoral supervisor in Hunan University. He is a key member of State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body. In 2012, he got his PhD in Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). After that, he started his career in Hunan University. The major research interest of Prof. Cui is on the design and manufacturing for lightweight vehicle body. Some innovative achievements were also made in the fields of sheet metal forming and dissimilar materials joining.

So far, Prof. Cui has produced over 40 research papers which were indexed by SCI, and hosted several important research projects, including National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), National Key Research and Development Project, Hunan Provincial Key Research and Development Project and Hunan Provincial Outstanding Youth Science Foundation.

Reference

Cui, J., Li, Y., Liu, Q., Zhang, X., Xu, Z., & Li, G. (2019). Joining of tubular carbon fiber-reinforced plastic/aluminum by magnetic pulse welding. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 264, 273-282.

Go To Journal of Materials Processing Technology

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