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Laser welding of laser-structured copper connectors for battery applications and power electronics

: Helm, J.; Schulz, A.; Olowinsky, A.; Dohrn, A.; Poprawe, R.

Volltext ()

Welding in the world 64 (2020), S.611-622
ISSN: 0043-2288
ISSN: 1878-6669
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ILT ()

The electrification of the automobile industry leads to an increasing demand for high-performance energy storage systems. The more complex the battery pack, the more complex the electronic components will become. Very high currents have to be transported in a short time and very fast electrical switching processes have to be made possible. These requirements have an effect on the required quality of the electrical connection. Furthermore, a joining process is required that offers short cycle times and a high degree of automation. Laser micro welding with fibre lasers (1070 nm) meets the requirements placed on joining technology. Due to the high beam quality, very small spot diameters and thus very high intensities can be achieved. Copper materials of high purity are used to achieve the high conductivity of the electrical connection. This material, in turn, poses a great challenge to the welding process, since the reflectance for the beam sources mentioned is above 95%. This paper presents a way of significantly reducing the reflectance for copper connectors and thus making the joining process more efficient. For this purpose, the copper connectors are first pre-processed with an ultrashort pulse laser process, which significantly increases the surface area. In a second step, bead-on-plate welds are carried out on the structured surfaces and the absorption coefficient is determined during the welding process with the aid of a double integrating sphere assembly in comparison to a bare copper sample.