Research Papers

Laser-Machined Microchannel Effect on Microstructure and Oxide Formation of an Ultrasonically Processed Aluminum Alloy

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Masurtschak, R. J. Friel, R. A. Harris

Wolfson School of Mechanical
and Manufacturing Engineering,
Loughborough University,
Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK

A. Gillner, J. Ryll

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology,
Steinbachstrasse 15,
Aachen 52074, Germany

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Materials Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 20, 2013; final manuscript received October 22, 2014; published online November 10, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Marwan K. Khraisheh.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 137(1), 011006 (Jan 01, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: MATS-13-1149; doi: 10.1115/1.4028926 History: Received August 20, 2013; Revised October 22, 2014; Online November 10, 2014

Ultrasonic consolidation (UC) has been proven to be a suitable method for fiber embedment into metal matrices. To aid successful embedment of high fiber volumes and to ensure their accurate positioning, research on producing microchannels in combination with adjacent shoulders formed by distribution of the melt onto unique UC sample surfaces with a fiber laser was carried out. This paper investigated the effect of the laser on the microstructure surrounding the channel within an Al 3003-H18 sample. The heat input and the extent of the heat-affected zone (HAZ) from one and multiple passes was examined. The paper explored the influence of air, as an assist gas, on the shoulders and possible oxide formation with regards to future bonding requirements during UC. The authors found that one laser pass resulted in a keyhole-shaped channel filled with a mixture of aluminum and oxides and a symmetrical HAZ surrounding the channel. Multiple passes resulted in the desired channel shape and a wide HAZ which appeared to be an eutectic microstructure. The distribution of molten material showed oxide formation all along the channel outline and especially within the shoulder.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Lasers , Aluminum , Heat , Fibers
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Fig. 4

Desired channel geometry produced on a UC sample by scanning the channel 5× with a Trumpf TruFiber 300 W laser (traverse speed = 100 mm/s; laser power = 280 W; gas pressure = 0.8 MPa)

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Fig. 3

Al 3003-H18 surface after UC and prior to laser channel processing with an arithmetic mean deviation value of Sa = 4.97 μm [10]

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Fig. 2

Channel manufacturing via a laser to enhance and facilitate future fiber integration during UC

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Fig. 1

UC process and bond formation (a) front view of UC process, (b) mating of surfaces, (c) break-up of asperities, and (d) bonding of foils

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Fig. 5

Specific points for weight percentage analysis of main alloying elements to gain possible implications for future fiber embedment during UC

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Fig. 13

HAZ revealing different microstructural characteristics for darker and lighter regions

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Fig. 11

Microstructure of the HAZ showing dispersoid free zone and HAZ

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Fig. 12

HAZ displaying the five single laser pass lines and resulting modified areas

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Fig. 6

(a) 3D image by digital microscope of channel geometry and (b) cross section through a channel (single scan)

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Fig. 7

EDS for identification of different elements at the channel area for a single laser pass: (a) aluminum, (b) manganese, and (c) oxygen

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Fig. 8

Point analysis for a sample produced with power = 200 W, gas pressure = 0.2 MPa, and traverse speed of 100 mm/s; (a) original image, (b) spectrum for scan 1, and (c) spectrum for scan 2

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Fig. 9

(a) 3D image by digital microscope of channel geometry and (b) cross section through a channel (power = 280 W, traverse speed = 100 mm/s and gas pressure 0.8 MPa)

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Fig. 10

Identification of different areas: (a) attached layer, (b) area with changed microstructure, (c) base metal, and (d) interface area between changed microstructure and base metal

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Fig. 14

Analysis of spectrum 1 (point) and weight percentage distribution of main elements at spectrum 1

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Fig. 15

Analysis of spectrum 3 (point) and weight percentage distribution of main elements at spectrum 3

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Fig. 16

Analysis of spectrum 7 (point) and weight percentage distribution of main elements at spectrum 7

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Fig. 17

EDX map of oxide formation within shoulder and manganese concentration in HAZ area

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Fig. 18

Analysis of shoulder material and weight percentage of aluminum and oxygen




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