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REVIEW

DOI: 10.1002/adem.201300043

Ultrasonic Welding of Aluminum Alloys to Fiber Reinforced Polymers**


By Guntram Wagner,* Frank Balle and Dietmar Eier
To realize multi-material structures, e.g., out of light metals and ber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites suitable joining methods are required. The ultrasonic metal welding technology was applied to produce high strength joints between different aluminum alloys and carbon ber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) in the framework of research unit 524 of the German Research Foundation. The bonding mechanisms were characterized by light optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The performed analysis have shown a bonding zone with an intensive contact between the metallic surface and the load bearing carbon bers of the CFRP as a result of the ultrasonic welding process. Using precipitation hardening aluminum alloy AA2024 tensile shear strengths of up to 58 MPa could be achieved. In comparison to established joining techniques ultrasonic metal welding can be an interesting alternative to realize dissimilar joints for the automotive or aircraft industry.

1. Introduction
A predominant aim of innovative products in the automotive and aircraft industry, but also in railway transportation and engineering in general, is weight reduction and to reduce energy consumption. To achieve this, a higher amount of light weight metals such as aluminum, titanium, or magnesium alloys or FRP composites in engineering structures is necessary. But to realize the necessary multi-material design also suitable joining methods are required. The Institute of Materials Science and Engineering of the University of Kaiserslautern (WKK) has a long-time experience on ultrasonic welding of dissimilar materials. High strength metal/glass- and metal/ceramic-joints were realized for the rst time at WKK about 20 years ago. In recent years also welds between dissimilar metals and the ultrasonic weldability of glass FRPs were investigated.[15] Based on successful welds and the gain in experience the ultrasonic metal welding technology was applied to create high strength joints between different aluminum alloys and carbon ber reinforced [*] Dr. G. Wagner, Dr. F. Balle, Prof. D. Eier Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Kaiserslautern, P.O. Box 3049, 67653 Kaiserslautern, Germany E-mail: gwagner@mv.uni-kl.de [**] The authors would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the nancial support in the framework of the research unit 524.

polymers (CFRP) in the Research Unit 524 of the German Research Foundation.

2. Development of Ultrasonic Welding Techniques


The possibility to weld metals by ultrasonic energy was randomly discovered in the middle of the 20th century in the USA. The original aim was to reduce the electrical contact resistance between metals during resistance welding by simultaneously acting transversal ultrasonic oscillations. Thereby it was found out that a joint can also be realized without the weld current only by ultrasonic oscillation.[6] In the industrial production the ultrasonic metal welding process was established in the 1950s.[79] At the same time also many application elds for ultrasonic plastic welding have been opened up, a welding variant which is characterized by an oscillation amplitude perpendicular to the welding zone.[10] Today both ultrasonic welding techniques have reached a high relevance in industrial production. The ultrasonic metal welding technique for example is used to realize joints at cable harnesses or batteries and for the production of airbag blasting caps.[11,12] The ultrasonic plastic welding method is, e.g., suitable to close up food packages and beverage packages but it is also established to realize high strength joints at plastic toys or for housings of electronic components.[10,13,14] Ultrasonic welding is also appropriate to join dissimilar material groups. In a few publications in the sixties it was referred that ultrasonic metal welding is also suitable to join

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G. Wagner et al./Ultrasonic Welding of Al/FRP-Joints aluminum foils with glass but this ndings were not further pursued for a long time.[15,16] But in the eighties institutes started with systematical investigations to realize ultrasonic welded joints between dissimilar materials.[1721]

REVIEW

3. Operation Modes of Ultrasonic Welding Systems


In comparison to other joining techniques such as brazing or soldering ultrasonic welding is characterized by very short welding times and a low energy input in the welding zone.[22,23] As already briey described two base variants of ultrasonic welding machines exist, the ultrasonic plastic welding system and the ultrasonic metal welding system.[22] The signicant difference between both welding techniques is the direction of the ultrasonic oscillation, realized by a differing positioning of the welding tool called sonotrode. In the case of plastic welding the oscillation acts perpendicular to the welding area. For metal welding an ultrasonic oscillation parallel to the welding zone is used. To realize different weld geometries as variants of ultrasonic metal welding spot-, torsion-, and roll seam-welding were developed.[24,25] The

Guntram Wagner is senior scientist at the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Kaiserslautern. He has done his PhD to the topic of ultrasonic metal welding of metal/glass- and glass/glass-joints. Since 1997 he is working on the eld of joining and ultrasound techniques. Current research elds are pressure welding methods such as ultrasonic welding and friction stir welding as well as the very high cycle fatigue behavior of metal matrix composites using ultrasound testing facilities. Frank Balle is postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Kaiserslautern (Germany). His main research topics are focused on ultrasonic welding of dissimilar materials like metals to composites or metals to glasses. Furthermore he is working on the very high cycle fatigue behaviour of composites and light alloys. Balle holds a diploma in mechanical engineering and a post doctorate degree (Dr.Ing.) in materials science. Prof. Eier got his PhD from the University of Karlsruhe. From 1991 to 1994 he was Professor at the University of Essen. Since 1994 he is Professor at the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Kaiserslautern. Current research activities are focused on the characterization of the fatigue behaviour of metallic materials using mechanical, electrical, magnetic and thermal measuring techniques. Additionally innovative joining techniques like ultrasonic welding as well as friction stir welding are important topics.

main components of ultrasonic metal welding systems are exemplarily shown for spot welding in Figure 1. The ultrasonic generator (1) converts the 50 Hz main voltage into a high frequency alternating voltage of 20 kHz. In the converter (2) this oscillation is transformed into mechanical oscillations of the same frequency by a reversed piezoelectric effect. The oscillation amplitude in the welding zone is achieved by an appropriate design of the booster (3) and the sonotrode (4). The amplitude, which acts parallel to the welding area, typically ranges between 5 and 50 mm. During the ultrasonic welding process the joining parts (5) are pressed on an anvil (6) by pressure or electromechanically with a clamping force between 50 and 2500 N perpendicular to the welding zone. The length of the process can determined by welding time, a specied amount of energy or the time to reduce the high of the components. Moreover, beside the machine parameters oscillation amplitude, welding force and in the most cases the transferred welding energy, there are signicant material parameters, which inuence the quality of the welds (Figure 2). In addition to chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of the materials the geometry of the upper joining partner is an important factor due to the unavoidable energy absorption of the material. Welds can be realized for a thickness of up to 3 mm in maximum depending on the mechanical and physical properties of the upper joining partner. For thicker materials the energy absorption in the upper component is so high that nally the transversal oscillation in the welding zone is not sufcient to develop a weld. The surface roughness of the joining partners is also essential for the weldability. If the roughness is too low, the parts only slip on each other. For too high roughness the energy is transferred in few points in the welding zone. As a result of this localized hot spots can occur, accompanied by extreme temperature gradients, which causes especially for brittle materials thermo-shock provoked fractures during or immediately after nishing the welding process. For ultrasonic welds with glass or ceramics a surface roughness in the range of Ra 0.25 mm is well suited An equable temperature increase of the weld components can support the development of the welding area, but in the most cases it is not necessary for the realization of the joint. Test series with pre-heating of the metallic joining partner have been shown that temperatures up to 250 C inuences

Fig. 1. Principle of ultrasonic spot metal welding.

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Fig. 2. Important welding parameters of ultrasonic metal welding.[42]

the mechanical properties positive because the better deformability of the components enable a more distinctive contact between the welding partners. For higher pre-heating temperatures the energy assumption in the upper component is such intensive that a weld cannot be developed.[26]

may be the causal component for the joints. But the results were unexpected. The investigations have shown that up to 50% better results can be achieved for ultrasonic metal welding (Figure 3).[31,32] The reasons for this behavior can be found in cross-sections (Figure 4). For ultrasonic plastic welding only a bonding between the metal and the polymer matrix occurred. Moreover, the oscillation perpendicular to the surface caused damages at the glass bers (Figure 4a). Using the ultrasonic metal welding system the polymer matrix was plasticized and displaced out of the joining area and as a result of this a direct contact between the metal sheet and the glass bers was developed (Figure 4b). Consequently mechanical load on the joint can be directly transferred from the metal into the bers. In addition no damage of the glass bers could be determined.[31]

4. Metal/Glass Fiber Reinforced (GFRP)-Joints

5. Aluminum/Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP)-Joints

5.1. AA5754/CF-PA66-Joints At the WKK systematic investigations about the ultrasonic weldability of metals with brittle materials like glass or ceramic 5.1.1. Specimen Geometry and Experimental Setup were carried out for the rst time. To develop a welding zone between the metal part and the glass an Al-interlayer is Due to the successful results for Al/GFRP-joints the necessary, because aluminum is the only material which weldability of Al/CFRP-joints were investigated. At rst the enables a weld with glass or ceramic in standard ambient conditions. It was possible to realize vacuum-tight welds which achieved tensile shear strengths of up to 50 MPa for metal/glass-joints[27] and up to 120 MPa for metal/ceramic-joints.[28,29] To understand the bonding mechanisms microstructural investigations were carried. In high-resolution transmission electron micrographs of the bonding zone it could be shown, that the thickness of the developed joining Fig. 3. Comparison of achievable strengths using ultrasonic metal welding and ultrasonic plastic welding.[31] zone lies in range from 2 nm up to 10 nm and the changes in the surface structure predominantly occurs in the metal component.[30] The main bonding mechanism probably based on intermolecular interactions because for a diffusion bonding the welding time is too short. Based on the knowledge of ultrasonic metal welding of metals to glasses and ceramics further investigations concerning the ultrasonic weldability of glass FRPs were carried out. In this case the ultrasonic metal welding system was compared with the plastic welding system, because it was Fig. 4. Bonding zone of an (a) ultrasonically metal welded and (b) ultrasonically plastic welded metal/GFRP assumed that the plastic matrix of the GFRP joint (SEM).[31]

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To investigate the weldability of Al/CFRPjoints systematically a statistical model named central composite design circumscribed (CCC) was used. In comparison to a stepwise variation of each welding parameter, this model for non-linear relationships allows to nd the optimal parameters with considerably less welds. An important advantage of the CCC-model is the description of the mutual dependence of the three central welding parameters oscillation amplitude, welding force and energy in relation to the Fig. 5. Optical micrographs of the base materials: (a) AA5754 H22, (b) CFRP (matrix: PA66).[36] achievable tensile shear strength of the joints (Figure 7).[35] The orthogonal structure of the statistical test plan guarantees the independence of the inuencing variables and permits a clear aluminum wrought alloy AA5754 were welded in workbenchmark of the different parameters. hardened, thermal-softened, and quarter-hard condition (H22) This design of experiments reduces the number of welding with a thickness of 1 mm. The rolling direction (RD) can be tests by approximately a factor of seven in comparison to a clearly indicated by elongated grains in the longitudinal conventional stepwise investigation of the inuence of the section of AA5754 (Figure 5a). The small intermetallic three welding parameters. At the same time the reproducibility precipitations are of type (Fe, Mn)Al6 (Fe, Mn)3SiAl12, Mg2Si, of the joint strength could be signicantly improved. Further and Al3Mg2.[33] details about the experimental procedure for ultrasonic Figure 5b shows a cross-section of the CFRP organic sheet welding are given in ref.[34] with a thickness of 2 mm. The ber reinforcement of CF-PA66 is a C-textile satin 5H-fabric with a weight per unit area of 285 g m2. The ber volume fraction of the organic sheet is 5.1.2. Monotonic Properties and Interfacial Area r Verbundwerkabout 48%. It was produced by the Institut fu The suitable combinations of the welding parameters were stoffe (IVW), Germany, in a lm-stacking process using six identied in monotonic tensile shear tests. For each parameter layers of CF-fabric and nally consolidated in an autoclave. combination 12 welds were performed. Figure 8 summarizes The specimen geometry is shown in Figure 6a. The welding the achievable tensile shear strengths for AA5754/CF-PA66area of the sonotrode is 10 10 mm2. Since it was not possible joints for varied welding forces FUS, which act perpendicular to to determine exactly the geometry of the joining area the tensile the welding zone, and oscillation amplitudes u parallel to the shear strength was calculated by the ratio of the tensile shear welding zone with a constant welding energy WUS of 2160 Ws. force related to the sonotrode welding area. To realize high reproducible joints, it was necessary to control precisely the It had to be noted that the welding time is a depending hidden parameter during the optimization. For example for a higher welding force during the joining process by an integrated force welding force and constant u and WUS the welding time is measuring device. Therefore a special clamping device was developed at WKK (Figure 6b).[34] reduced, because the power of the welding system increases as

Fig. 6. (a) Specimen geometry, (b) ultrasonic spot welding system for Al/FRP joints.[42]

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Fig. 7. CCC-model for statistical analysis of ultrasonic metal welded joints.

Fig. 8. Contour plot (WUS 2160 Ws) for AA5754/CF-PA66-joints.[42]

the peak value a damage of the textile and thus a decrease of the tensile shear strength occur. A variation of the welding energy and the welding force shows nearly the same tendencies (Figure 9b,c). These detailed investigations show that the optimum parameter triple is FUS 160 N, u 40.5 mm, and WUS 2160 Ws. For a further optimization of the joint strength the surface condition of the aluminum sheet was varied by mechanical and/or chemical pre-treatments. Figure 10a shows a load displacement curve for an AA5754(R rolled, initial condition)/CF-PA66-joint. The hybrid weld fails without any preliminary warning at a tensile shear load of FZ 3860 N. The change of the electrical resistance DR in the joint was also measured. The curve is characterized by a course of nearly zero followed by an intensive increase due to a sudden fracture of the welding area between aluminum and carbon ber composite.[43] By the application of a chemical surface pretreatment of the aluminum sheets using a pickling process in nitric acid (acid pickled AP) the tensile shear strength of the joints increases considerably.[39] Figure 10b illustrates a characteristic loaddisplacementcurve for AA5754(AP)/CFPA66-joints. After reaching the yield point of the entire hybrid joint at approximately FZ 4000 N, plastic deformation occurs characterized by a at discontinuous course. The shape of the loaddisplacementcurve in this range can be traced back to the PLC-effect in the AA5754 sheet, see detail in Figure 10b.[40,41] The change in the electrical resistance DR was also measured. During elastic deformation of the weld no change in DR could be observed. The rst change of DR corresponds to the yield point of the joint (rst dashed line in Figure 10b). After a slow linear increase of DR due to plastic deformation as a result of Al/C-ber debonding a pronounced increase of the electrical resistance was measured straight before nal

a result of the higher wear in the welding zone. In addition the number of oscillations with the amplitude u decrease because of the shorter welding time. Due to these effects statistical-based investigations are necessary to nd the best parameter combinations. The maximum tensile shear strength of about 31.5 MPa can be determined for FUS 160 N and an oscillation amplitude of u 40.5 mm. But in two-dimensional cuts of the diagram the mutual dependence of the process parameters can be discussed in detail (Figure 9).[34] In every diagram two process parameters are constant. In Figure 9a the oscillation amplitude u varies between 38 and 42 mm. Besides the cours of the average tensile shear strength the lower and upper condential interval for 95% is specied. With increasing oscillation amplitude up to 40.5 mm an intensive displacement of the matrix of the CFRP causes a better contact between the metal sheet and the bers. After

Fig. 9. Achievable tensile shear strength as function of (a) oscillation amplitude, (b) welding force, and (c) welding energy for AA5754/CF-PA66-joints.[34]

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Fig. 10. Loaddisplacement- (e _ 0,2 103 1/s) and loadresistance-curve for (a) AA5754(R)/CF-PA66- and (b) AA5754(AP)/CF-PA66-joint.[43]

failure of the hybrid weld occurs (second dashed line in Figure 10b). Figure 11 shows a characteristic welding area of an AA5754/ CF-PA66-joint. It can be seen that the polymer matrix is displaced out of the welding zone and the ductile aluminum ows around the carbon bers. Based on this cross-section it can be assumed that an intermolecular contact as well as a mechanical interlocking has been developed during the ultrasonic metal welding process between the metal and the bers. Furthermore, no damage of the bers was observed.[42,43] The assumption that a direct contact between metal surface and carbon bers is possible, were proven by additional welding experiments of Al sheets with a C-ber textile without polymer matrix. A cross-section of the interfacial area of an Al/C-ber textile-joint is shown in Figure 12. Focused ion beam (FIB) preparation was used to investigate the interface between carbon bers and Al bulk material in detail. It can be seen, that after the ultrasonic welding process the carbon bers are perfectly embedded by ductile aluminum due to the plastic deformation of the metal sheet.[23,37] Furthermore the microstructure of ultrasonically welded hybrid joints was studied by analyzing the polymer layer before and after the ultrasonic welding process. According to

Fig. 11. SEM micrograph of an AA5754/CF-PA66-joint (cross-section).[42]

the satin fabric structure (Atlas 1/4) the polyamide layer thickness near the surface depends on the position in the CFRP sheet. The transition zone of the crimped ber bundles is characterized by periodically repeating layer thicknesses of about 250 mm (Figure 13). During the ultrasonic welding process in the contact area of the sonotrode tip the ber reinforcement covering polymer layer is displaced by the ultrasonic transversal waves. Digital image analysis clearly show the reduction of the PA66-layer thickness within the range of the crimped carbon ber bundles by the ultrasonic welding process, but not a complete displacement in the entire welding area underneath the sonotrode tip. In Figure 14 cross-sections of corundum blasted (CB) joint are pictured. Especially at roughness peaks a direct contact between the carbon bers and the aluminum surface was generated (Figure 14a). However, in zones between warp and lling thread a polymer layer with a thickness of about 100 mm remains because of the high layer thickness of about 250 mm in the initial state before welding (Figure 14b). Instead of a direct contact between carbon bers and aluminum surface a pure adhesive bonding between the aluminum and polymer very similar to the conventional plastic welding technique occurs.[36] In Figure 15 the different surface conditions are pictured. A comparison of as rolled (R) surface (Figure 15a) with CB surface (Figure 15b) show an intensive increase of the macroscopic roughness for the CB surface. The surface roughness Ra increases from 0.3 to 3.0 mm (Table 1). By acid pickling (AP) (Figure 15c), the surface roughness is hardly affected and only selected peaks were removed. So the roughness prole Rt decreases from 1.7 to 1.2 mm. Continuative investigations have shown that an open and porous oxide structure of the Al sheet has been generated and leads to an improved interface strength of AA5754(AP)/CF-PA66-joints. Due to the positive effect of CB and AP pre-treatments both processes were combined. The developing surface, which have nearly the same Rt but as expected with a lower Ra is shown in Figure 15d. But the combination of both pre-treatments led only to a slight increase of tensile shear strength to 50 MPa in comparison to 46 MPa for CB and 49 MPa for AP could be observed (Figure 15e).

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Fig. 12. Metal/carbon ber textile-joint: (a) specimen, (b) back view of a prepared joint, (c) FIB cut through the welding zone, (d) detail of the welding zone.[37]

Regarding the long-term stability for the differing pretreatments considerable differences can be determined (Figure 16). The hybrid joints were additionally tested after aging of 1 and 4 weeks in an ambient temperature of T 40C and a humidity of 95%. For a mechanical and a combined pre-treatment of the aluminum sheets (CB and AP) nearly no decrease of the tensile shear strength was measured. But for the only acids pickled joints the tensile shear strength decreased 20%.[38] From a macroscopic point of view a main reason for the higher decrease of the tensile shear strength for these joints can be seen in the smoother surface of the acid pickled aluminum in comparison to

blasted Al sheets. So an easier and faster attack of the interface occurs. Possible microstructural reasons were investigated by fracture surface analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and are described in the following communications in this journal. 5.1.3. Cyclic Behavior Fatigue tests were performed at ambient temperature on a servo-hydraulic testing system with a frequency of 5 Hz. Forcecontrolled load-increase tests (LITs) and constant amplitude tests were realized at a load ratio of R  0. Figure 17 shows the experimental setup. The single overlap samples were clamped by hydraulic grips. In addition, an adjustable bending strut was used to minimize bending stresses. PTFE-disks applied between the samples and the struts reduce the friction in load direction. The cyclic deformation behavior was measured with two strain gauges positioned on the aluminum side and the CFRP side. To characterize the cyclic deformation behavior with the strain gauges, the total strain was determined. As described before, one distinctive feature of the Al/CFRP-joints is a direct contact between the aluminum sheets and the carbon bers, which allows the measurement of the change in electrical resistance DR during monotonic and cyclic loading. A DC-power supply enables reproducible long-term electrical resistance measurements. To estimate the endurance limit of the joints and to determine appropriate stress amplitudes for constant

Fig. 13. Polymer layer thickness of the CF-PA66 sheet before and after ultrasonic welding.[46]

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Fig. 14. Optical micrographs at different interface positions of AA5754 (CB)/CF-PA66-joints: (a) polymer poor area, (b) polymer rich area.[46]

Fig. 15. SEM micrographs of pre-treated AA5754 sheets: (a) initial state, as rolled (R); (b) CB; (c) acid pickled (AP); (d) combined pre-treatment, CB and AP, (e) increase of the tensile shear strength.[46]

Table 1. Comparison of roughness properties for as rolled and surface pre-treated AA5754 sheets (in mm).

AA5754 Mean surface roughness Ra Arithmetical roughness profile Rt

R 0.3 1.7

CB 3.0 12.5

AP 0.3 1.2

CB & AP 2.5 12.7

amplitude tests, rst stepwise LITs were performed with a maximum number of cycles of 2 106. From a starting level of 250 N the cyclic force amplitudes Fa were increased stepwise after 104 cycles at 250 N up to the failure (Figure 18). In Figure 18a the total mean strain eAl,m,t of the Al sheet, the total mean strain eCFRP, m,t of the CFRP sheet as

Fig. 16. Aging behavior of surface-pretreated AA5754/CFRP-joints (T 40 C, humidity 95%).[36]

Fig. 17. Experimental setup for fatigue tests of single overlap Al/CFRP-joints.

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Fig. 18. (a) Displacement amplitude and change in electrical resistance in stepwise load-increase tests for AA5754(AP)/CF-PA66-joints, (b) LoadWoehler-Curve of ultrasonically welded AA5754(AP)/CF-PA66-joints.[43]

well as the change in electrical resistance DR for a chemical pre-treated AA5754/CF-PA66-joint are shown. The courses clarify that the total mean strains are not suitable as early indication of imminent fracture of the specimen. However, the electrical resistance is a stronger indicator for the developing fatigue damage in the joining zone. A rst slight increase of DR could be observed at about N 4 104 cycles, Figure 18a, point I. This rst pronounced change in DR correlates with the endurance limit of these joints, compare Woehler-Curve in Figure 18b.[43] After N 7 104 cycles the course shows a pronounced increase, Figure 18a, point II, until nal failure occurs at N 9.5 104 cycles. The load level of point II is equivalent to the yield point of the entire AA5754(AP)/CF-PA66-joint. Thus the electrical resistance is a well suited and high sensitive physical value to determine the actual fatigue state of Al/CFRP-joints. In the following a constant amplitude tests (CAT) at Fa 2250 N is shown (Figure 19). Again the total mean strain eAl,m,t and eCFRP,m,t of the aluminum sheet and the change of DR for the entire AA5754(AP)/CF-PA66-joints were measured During the rst cycle total mean strains eAl,m,t and eCFRP,m,t increases fast as a result of the load. Because of the less thickness of the aluminum sheet (1 mm) in comparison to the

CFRP (2 mm) eAl,m,t is more intensive. Afterwards both courses are nearly constant. But the electrical resistance measurement shows that the cyclic loading leads to slow damage accumulation in the welding zone. The changes in the range of 0.5 V are caused by microstructural changes and minor plastic deformations in the aluminum. After 4 104 cycles a progressive increase of DR can be observed as a result of the proceeding increasing damage of the welding zone followed by an abrupt nal increase at failure of the joint 5.2. Comparison with AA1050- and AA2024/CF-PA66Joints The previous results have shown that for a successful ultrasonic welding process of Al/CFRP-joints a sufcient plastic deformation capability of the metal sheet is necessary. Therefore the metal component was varied. Beside the commercially pure and ductile Al alloy AA1050 the precipitation hardening aluminum alloy AA2024 were chosen. For AA2024 a combined process of heat treatment and ultrasonic welding was studied. To guarantee a sufcient ductility of the AA2024 sheets a solution annealing at a temperature of 500 C for a period of 30 min of the Al sheet was realized before the welding process. After water quenching, the ductile AA2024 sheet was immediately ultrasonic spot welded to the CFRP within the next 15 min (Figure 20). This fast process is necessary because of the rapid hardening of AlCuMg alloys. Finally a post-weld heat treatment of the entire welded AA 2024/CF-PA66-joints was realized, which is characterized by two consecutive procedures: articial ageing for 20 h at the temperature of T 180 C and nally air-quenching or natural ageing for 1 week at ambient temperature. Due to no mechanical loading of the hybrid joint during aging at T 180 C no signicant thermal impact of PA66 was observed.[44] The results of the tensile shear tests for Al/CF-PA66-joints with three different Al are summarized in Figure 21. The welding parameters for all hybrid joints were optimized again by statistical test methods. For each Al/CFRPcombination the best suitable process parameters are listed in Figure 21.

Fig. 19. Mean strain and change of electrical resistance during CAT of AA5754(AP)/ CF-PA66-joints, Fa 2250 N.

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Fig. 20. Precipitation hardening of hybrid Al/CFRP-joints after ultrasonic welding: (a) solution annealing, ultrasonic welding, and natural ageing, (b) solution annealing, ultrasonic welding and articial ageing.[47]

For AA1050/CF-PA66-joints the appropriate parameters result in tensile shear forces up to 2460 N corresponding to tensile shear strength of 25 MPa, but in this case the ultimate tensile strength of the aluminum sheet limits the achievable strength of the joints.[23] For the alloy AA5754(R) described above the tensile shear strength of 32 MPa can be achieved. A similar strength was obtained for AA2024/CF-PA66-joints without additional heat treatment direct after ultrasonic welding. In comparison to the AA1050/CF-PA66-joints the fracture predominantly occurs in the joining zone between aluminum and CFRP. The highest tensile shear strengths were realized for solution annealed, ultrasonically welded, and articial aged joints. It has to be mentioned that in contrast to natural ageing, articial ageing leads to a signicant increase of the monotonic strength of more than 40% and more than 65% compared with the AA2024 after annealing and before heat treatment. Because of the excellent results for AA2024/CF-PA66-joints the ultrasonic welding process were optimized in further investigations. The results are presented in the following communications in this journal.

6. Conclusions
In the presented investigation the ultrasonic metal welding technique was applied successfully to join sheet metals with CFRP. With statistical test planning and the chosen CCCModel it was possible to nd best suitable welding parameter sets with only 15% of the necessary experiments in comparison to a stepwise optimization. SEM micrographs of the bonding zone have shown that an intensive connection between the metallic material and the load bearing carbon bers of the CFRP develops during the ultrasonic welding process. The polymer matrix was displaced out of the welding zone and no damage of the carbon ber reinforcement was observed. By using pre-treatments it was possible to realize a considerable increase of the strength. Tensile shear strengths of up to 50 MPa were achieved for AA5754 (CB AP)/CF-PA66 joints. For joints with the precipitation hardening aluminum alloy AA2024 as metal component the tensile strength even increased up to 58 MPa. In a comparison with established

Fig. 21. Tensile shear strength of different hybrid Al/CFRP-joints.[47]

Fig. 22. Comparison of suitable methods to join metals with FRP.[45]

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Fig. 23. Ultrasonically welded AA5754/CF-PA66 hybrid demonstrator of the Research Unit 524 of the German Research Foundation.

joining techniques it could be proved that ultrasonic metal welding leads to the best results, see Figure 22.[45] Also LIT and CAT were carried out with high-resolution measuring techniques to describe the fatigue behavior of the joints. The investigations have shown that for a load amplitude of 1000 N run outs occur. Furthermore the measurement of the electrical resistance has been proved as a very suitable method to predict failure of the joints. The beginning of the damage of the joints could be identied by this physically-based measurement technique 1010 cycles before fracture occurs. The possibility to join different sheet metals to CFRP with high tensile shear strength extends the application of the ultrasonic metal welding technique (Figure 23). Regarding efciency, automation, ecological compatibility and mechanical as well as technological properties ultrasonic metal welding is an attractive alternative to existing polymer joining techniques. Application elds for ultrasonically welded hybrid joints can be seen in the automotive industry, e.g., to join different lightweight structures using ber reinforced materials or in aircraft industry for construction elements of the fuselage, aerofoil, or tail n. Received: February 13, 2013 Final Version: May 5, 2013 Published online: June 17, 2013 [1] C. Born, G. Wagner, D. Eier, Adv. Eng. Mater. 2006, 9, 816. [2] M. J. Greitmann, P. Wiesner, Der Praktiker 2002, 11, 388. [3] M. Gutensohn, G. Wagner, D. Eier, Schweissen Schneiden 2007, 59, 550. ger, G. Wagner, D. Eier, MP Materialpru fung 2004, [4] S. Kru 46, 96.

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