Dimensioning of laser-welded powertrain components

Components for the drivetrain are increasingly joined using laser welding. Design modifications usually need to be introduced in order to provide for sufficient weldability and guaranty component quality. Moreover, load analyses provide valuable input data for component dimensioning. We map the important fabrication steps (press fitting, laser welding) in our finite element calculations, taking into account specific material properties in the weld zone.

Laser-hardened auto-body sections

Lightweight construction for auto-body components exposed to collision loads can be advantageously achieved using laser hardening (laser peening). In this process, the component part is produced from mild steel. In areas subject to high loads, a higher level of strength is obtained by localized laser treatment. These laser-hardened sections are designed to withstand loads through use of finite-element crash simulations to optimize the behavior of the component.

Tailored blanks of laser-joined hybrid steel-aluminum construction

Current targets for reducing weight in automobile construction increasingly require materials to be employed in light-weight designs that can withstand loading. This results in the necessity of producing durable metallic hybrid joints. We are developing a series of joining technologies, such as laser joining, magnetic pulse welding, friction stir welding and adhesive bonding, that are matched to process steps for guaranteeing adequate joining properties. Our finite-element calculations take into account the specific coefficients of the hybrid joints when dimensioning components.

Laser welded lightweight profiles of integral mixed design

Load-adjusted material use is increasingly gaining importance for complex sheet metal parts in car body applications. This trend includes the demand for the generation of high-load metallic mixed constructions for profile components. IWS scientists have been focusing their research on the development of particular construction concepts and their corresponding welding processes (e.g., multi material plug-slot joints). By means of structural mechanics FEM calculations, the joint design is adjusted and the component’s crash load is optimized, considering the material properties and the active joining mechanism.

Design of a crash component for rail car construction matched for loads and laser treatment

Rail car components as a group frequently require comparatively extensive welding. The characteristics of laser welding, such as high precision and energy density, can be used to particular advantage here. The key is component dimensioning that is suitable for loads and laser treatment. Component characteristics are optimized and weldability assured with the help of finite-element method calculations.