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
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


White, D. R., 2003, “Ultrasonic Consolidation of Aluminium Tooling,” Adv. Mater. Processes, 161(1), pp. 64–65.
Kong, C. Y., and Soar, R. C., 2005, “Fabrication of Metal-Matrix Composites and Adaptive Composites Using Ultrasonic Consolidation Process,” Mater. Sci. Eng., A, 412(1), pp. 12–18. [CrossRef]
O'Brien, R. L., 1991, Welding Handbook, Vol. 2—Welding Processes, 8th ed., American Welding Society, Miami, FL, pp. 783–812.
Langenecker, B., 1966, “Effects of Ultrasound on Deformation Characteristics of Metals,” IEEE Trans. Sonics Ultrason., 13(1), pp. 1–8. [CrossRef]
Yang, Y., Ram, G. D. J., and Stucker, B. E., 2009, “Bond Formation and Fiber Embedment During Ultrasonic Consolidation,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 209(10), pp. 4915–4924. [CrossRef]
Johnson, K., Edmonds, H. C., Higginson, R. L., and Harris, R. A., 2011, “New Discoveries in Ultrasonic Consolidation Nano-Structures Using Emerging Analysis Techniques,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part J, 225(4), pp. 277–287. [CrossRef]
Friel, R. J., and Harris, R. A., 2010, “A Nanometre-Scale Fibre-to-Matrix Interface Characterization of an Ultrasonically Consolidated Metal Matrix Composite,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part L, 224(1), pp. 31–40. [CrossRef]
Li, D., and Soar, R. C., 2009, “Influence of Sonotrode Texture on the Performance of an Ultrasonic Consolidation Machine and the Interfacial Bond Strength,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 209(4), pp. 1627–1634. [CrossRef]
Friel, R. J., Johnson, K. E., Dickens, P. M., and Harris, R. A., 2010, “The Effect of Interface Topography for Ultrasonic Consolidation of Aluminium,” Mater. Sci. Eng., A, 527(16), pp. 4474–4483. [CrossRef]
Edmonds, H. C., and Harris, R. A., 2011, “The Effect of Electro-Discharge Machined Sonotrode Topology on Interlaminar Bonding in Ultrasonic Consolidation,” Proc. SPIE, 7978, p. 797814. [CrossRef]
Allameh, S. M., Mercer, C., Popoola, D., and Soboyejo, W. O., 2005, “Microstructural Characterization of Ultrasonically Welded Aluminium,” ASME J. Eng. Mater. Technol., 127(1), pp. 65–74. [CrossRef]
Sánchez-Amaya, J. M., Delgado, T., González-Rovira, L., and Botana, F. J., 2009, “Laser Welding of Aluminium Alloys 5083 and 6082 Under Conduction Regime,” Appl. Surf. Sci., 255(23), pp. 9512–9521. [CrossRef]
Weckman, D. C., Kerr, H. W., and Liu, J. T., 1997, “The Effects of Process Variables on Pulsed Nd: YAG Laser Spot Welds: Part II. AA 1100 Aluminum and Comparison to AISI 409 Stainless Steel,” Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 28(4), pp. 687–700. [CrossRef]
Riveiro, A., Quintero, F., Lusquiños, F., Comesaña, R., and Pou, J., 2010, “Parametric Investigation of CO2 Laser Cutting of 2024-T3 Alloy,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 210(9), pp. 1138–1152. [CrossRef]
Savage, W. F., Nippes, E. F., and Erickson, J. S., 1976, “Solidification Mechanisms in Fusion Welds,” Weld. J. Res. Suppl., 76(8), pp. 213-s–221-s.
Mohanty, P., and Mazumder, J., 1998, “Solidification Behavior and Microstructural Evolution During Laser Beam-Material Interaction,” J. Metall. Mater. Trans. B, 29(6), pp. 1269–1279. [CrossRef]
David, S. A., Babu, S. S., and Vitek, J. M., 2003, “Welding: Solidification and Microstructure,” J. Met., 55(6), pp. 14–20. [CrossRef]
Bertelli, F., Meza, E. S., Goulart, P. R., Cheung, N., Riva, R., and Garcia, A., 2011, “Laser Remelting of Al–1.5 wt.% Fe Alloy Surfaces: Numerical and Experimental Analyses,” Opt. Lasers Eng., 49(4), pp. 490–497. [CrossRef]
Venkat, S., Albright, C. E., Ramasamy, S., and Hurley, J. P., 1997, “CO2 Laser Beam Welding of Aluminum 5754-O and 6111-T4 Alloys,” Weld. J. Res. Suppl., 76(7), pp. 275–282.
Pinto, M. A., Cheung, N., Ierardi, M. C. F., and Garcia, A., 2003, “Microstructural and Hardness Investigation of an Aluminum-Copper Alloy Processed by Laser Surface Melting,” Mater. Charact., 50(2–3), pp. 249–253. [CrossRef]
Wong, T. T., and Liang, G. Y., 1997, “Effect of Laser Melting Treatment on the Structure and Corrosion Behaviour of Aluminium and Al–Si Alloys,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 63(1), pp. 930–934. [CrossRef]
Pakdil, M., Cam, G., Kocak, M., and Erim, S., 2011, “Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization of Laser Beam Welded AA6056 Al-Alloy,” Metall. Mater. Trans. A, 528(24), pp. 7350–7356. [CrossRef]
Pfeiler, W., 2007, Alloy Physics: A Comprehensive Reference, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany.
Ramasamy, S., and Albright, C. E., 2000, “CO2 and Nd:YAG Laser Beam Welding of 6111-T4 Aluminum Alloy for Automotive Applications,” J. Laser Appl., 12(3), pp. 101–115. [CrossRef]
McCafferty, E., Shafrin, E. G., and McKay, J. A., 1981, “Microstructural and Surface Modification of an Aluminum Alloy by Rapid Solidification With a Pulsed Laser,” Surf. Technol., 14(3), pp. 219–223. [CrossRef]
Juarez-Islas, J. A., Jones, H., and Kurz, W., 1988, “Effect of Solidification Front Velocity on the Characteristics of Aluminium-Rich Al-Mn Alloy Solutions Extended by Rapid Solidification,” Mater. Sci. Eng., 98(1), pp. 201–205. [CrossRef]
Hegge, H. J., and De Hosson, J. Th. M., 1991, “The Influence of Convection on the Homogeneity of Laser-Applied Coatings,” J. Mater. Sci., 26(3), pp. 711–714. [CrossRef]
Semak, V., and Matsunawa, A., 1997, “The Role of Recoil Pressure in Energy Balance During Laser Materials Processing,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 30(18), pp. 2541–2552. [CrossRef]
Low, D. K. Y., Li, L., and Corfe, A. G., 2000, “The Influence of Assist Gas on the Mechanism of Material Ejection and Removal During Laser Percussion Drilling,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part B, 214(7), pp. 521–527. [CrossRef]
Tunna, L., O'Neill, W., Khan, A., and Sutcliffe, C., 2005, “Analysis of Laser Micro Drilled Holes Through Aluminium for Micro-Manufacturing Applications,” Opt. Lasers Eng., 43(9), pp. 937–950. [CrossRef]
Baziz, L., Nouiri, A., and Yousef, Y., 2006, “Influence of a Nanosecond Pulsed Laser on Aluminium Alloys: Distribution of Oxygen,” Laser Phys., 16(12), pp. 1643–1646. [CrossRef]
Li, D., and Soar, R. C., 2008, “Plastic Flow and Work Hardening of Al Alloy Matrices During Ultrasonic Consolidation Fibre Embedding Process,” Mater. Sci. Eng., A, 498(1–2), pp. 421–429. [CrossRef]
Masurtschak, S., and Harris, R. A., 2011, “Enabling Techniques for Secure Fibre Positioning in Ultrasonic Consolidation for the Production of Smart Material Structures,” Proc. SPIE, 7981, p. 79816M. [CrossRef]
Han, L., and Liou, F. W., 2004, “Numerical Investigation of the Influence of Laser Beam Mode on Melt Pool,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 4747(19), pp. 4385–4402. [CrossRef]
Masurtschak, S., Friel, R. J., Gillner, A., Ryll, J., and Harris, R. A., 2013, “Fiber Laser Induced Surface Modification/Manipulation of an Ultrasonically Consolidated Metal Matrix,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 213(10), pp. 1792–1800. [CrossRef]
Riviero, A., Quintero, F., Lusquiños, F., Comesaña, R., del Val, J., and Pou, J., 2011, “The Role of the Assist Gas Nature in Laser Cutting of Aluminum Alloys,” Physics Procedia, 12(A), pp. 548–554. [CrossRef]
von Allmen, M., 1976, “Laser Drilling Velocity in Metals,” J. Appl. Phys., 47(12), pp. 5460–5463. [CrossRef]
Mills, K., 1985, Metals Handbook Vol. 9, Metallography and Microstructures, 9th ed., American Society for Metals, Metals Park, OH.
Meyer, B. C., Doyen, H., Emanowski, D., Tempus, G., Hirsch, T., and Mayr, P., 2000, “Dispersoid-Free Zones in the Heat-Affected Zone of Aluminum Alloy Welds,” Metall. Mater. Trans. A, 31(5), pp. 1453–1459. [CrossRef]
Watkins, K. G., Liu, Z., McMahon, M., Vilar, R., and Ferreira, M. G. S., 1998, “Influence of the Overlapped Area on the Corrosion Behaviour of Laser Treated Aluminium Alloys,” Mater. Sci. Eng., A, 252(2), pp. 292–300. [CrossRef]
Fink, W. L., 1949, Physical Metallurgy of Aluminium Alloys, American Society for Metals, Metals Park, OH.
St-Onge, I., Detalle, V., and Sabsabi, M., 2004, “Periodic Variations of Plasma Optical Emission During Repetitive Pulsed-Laser Irradiation of Aluminum in Ambient Air,” Appl. Phys. A, 79(4), pp. 1361–1364. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
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)

Grahic Jump Location
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]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

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

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
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)

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Microstructure of the HAZ showing dispersoid free zone and HAZ

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

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

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

HAZ revealing different microstructural characteristics for darker and lighter regions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Analysis of shoulder material and weight percentage of aluminum and oxygen



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In