Dissimilar Metal Welding in the Electronics Industry
As we have discussed previously dissimilar metal welding arises where metals which naturally resist each other are successfully welded together. SPI’s range of fiber lasers are ideal for welding of metals, including dissimilar ones, which is particularly important within the electronics industry.
Electronics – a truly vast global industry
The electronics industry is a vast industry, encompassing many other sectors within it. Batteries in the battery industry, electric cars in the automotive industry (often called “e-mobility”) and electronic medical devices from the medical sector all fall under the large umbrella that is electronics.
The industry is generally divided up into three sections; consumer electronics, general electronics and electric utilities. The consumer electronics sector is by far the largest, and enjoys around 2% to 4% growth year on year.
Taking into account the potential millions of variations of electronic products that are used around the world, it’s hardly surprising that there are thousands of different components involved in the industry, including several types of metal. With this in mind, dissimilar metal welding is a crucial process used to drive production efficiently, and keep the electronics sector running smoothly.
The electronics industry
There continues to be rapid growth within the industry, and its profits continue to go from strength to strength. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the bounce back since the economic crash in 2007 has been key, seeing manufacturing increase and consumer spending rise.
Secondly, there are up and coming markets around the world, such as in places like India, which is currently seeing a 4.25% growth, higher than other industries around the world. Finally, there have been a wave of new products and items created over the last few years which has rapidly driven the use of electronics.
It’s said that the average household owns 24 electronic items at least, and this number is hardly surprising. When you think of smartphones, TVs, microwaves, gaming devices, and lights, plus all the other electronics in a house, it’s not hard to quickly reach this number.
And this use will only continue. The Internet of Things is quickly becoming a phenomenon that is here to stay; that is devices which are permanently connected to the internet such as fridges. The invention of electric vehicles which are in the price range of the average consumer is another major turning point. And there will always be a never-ending stream of smartphones, tablets and laptops hitting the market for consumers to buy.
What metals are used in this industry?
Clearly, as can be seen, there is no shortage of products within the electronics sector. With this comes a huge range of materials, particularly metals, to aid this production. Metals play such a huge part in this industry given their electrical conductivity, among other properties.
However, each metal has different benefits, and a combination are used in order to achieve the most efficient, cost-effective and highest quality product. These are just some of the metals used in this industry:
- Aluminium and
The use of laser welding
As can be seen, there are many dissimilar metals involved within the electronics sector. There are various combinations and applications that this has. For example:
- Stainless steel and copper are often welded together because steel has a high level of strength and copper has a high level of electrical conductivity
- Aluminium and copper are also a popular combination, and are especially used for the batteries in electric cars. Aluminium primarily due to its light weight and copper due to its high levels of electrical conductivity
- Batteries themselves are one of the centerpieces of this industry, and so have a heavy usage for dissimilar metal welding. The two combinations listed above help to create batteries, as does the combination of aluminium and manganese
- Other uses that it finds in this industry are for manufacturing fine wires, fuel cells and even electronic medical devices. As the electronics industry continues to grow, it’s likely that we’ll see an even greater need for dissimilar metal welding over the years to come.
Find out more
The ability to join together different metals has become a vital process that is crucial to so many industrial applications around the world. Without it, it’s safe to say we wouldn’t have many of the electronic products that we use every single day.
To find out more about the dissimilar metal welding process and how it can be used for your industry, or to discuss about one of our Continuous Wave (CW) or Pulsed Fiber Lasers, please find a list of all of our available contact details here.
Image credits: Karol Dach
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