Precision Cutting Applications for e-mobility
E-mobility is a major trend in automotive and many other industries. Lasers are already very actively involved in vehicle and parts production and this trend will continue with the switch from Internal combustion engine (ICE) models to electric vehicles and hybrids. One of numerous laser applications used by manufacturers is laser cutting, we discuss here some of the precision cutting applications for e-mobility.
Why choose lasers for precision cutting?
The laser cutting process works by targeting a focused and precise laser beam at the area of the material which needs to be cut. The laser beam can be programmed to cut with absolute precision delivering an ultra-accurate and smooth finish. The laser initially targets an area at the edge of the material and the beam then follows the programmatic instructions to create a perfect cut.
As opposed to traditional cutting it would be more accurate to call this laser melting (which achieves a cut). The laser melts the material not required away (at its edges) forming a precision cut.
A range of materials can be cut including copper, aluminium, various steels, graphic composites and numerous types of plastics, which are all commonly used in e-mobility. Laser cutting is just as ideal for fragile materials such as silicon as it is for hard metals and gemstones.
Battery foil cutting
Coated foils are used in the creation of batteries, which have many applications, which we use day to day (e.g. mobile phones and laptops) as well in e-mobility. The foils are usually made of a highly conductive material such as copper or aluminium (or maybe even gold in mission-critical applications). Batteries are a major component of electric vehicles and HEV/PHEV hybrids and therefore the demand for battery foil cutting is likely to surge in the years to come.
Battery foils are also coated with a carbon-based material and with lithium-based oxides present on the cathodes. This makes the foils much more challenging to cut, which is why fiber lasers are ideal for this application. Read more about battery foil cutting, by reading our detailed guide.
Cutting stator plates in electric motors
The stator is an integral part of an electric motor, it is the part, which remains stationary. The stator is a steel frame and encloses a hollow cylindrical core. Using fiber lasers the stator plates can be cut to high levels of precision to the exact specification needed all through a non-contact process, which is error-free and highly repeatable, which makes it ideal for manufacturing processes. Read more about laser cutting of stator plates in our detailed guide, which discusses the importance of this application in e-mobility.
Electric motor components production
As we wrote in our previous application insight – laser cutting in the automotive industry, there are numerous existing laser cut motor components in existing ICE vehicle models. This will continue to be the case with electric motors and parts will need to be precision cut to the required shapes for the electric motor. These include airbags, automotive carriage components and hydroformed parts. These parts will continue to be laser cut in electric models too.
The overall number of electric vehicle components is likely to reduce though as they require far fewer parts. Tesla has reported that “Our drivetrain has about 17 moving parts compared with about 200 in a conventional internal combustion drivetrain”. Source: Marketwatch.
Cutting – it’s just one of our fiber laser applications
The good news is that fiber laser cutting is just one of the applications that buyers can choose to use when they buy a fiber laser from SPI Lasers. Other ways in which our fiber lasers can be used include additive manufacturing (also called 3D printing), ablation, cleaning, drilling, engraving, marking and welding. All of these laser applications have their role to play in the delivery of e-mobility products.
A video demonstrating thick metal cutting with a fiber laser, this is popular in e-mobility applications
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Related articles from SPI Lasers
Here are some related articles from SPI Lasers on e-mobility and cutting related topics:
- How fiber lasers support the breakthrough of e-mobility
- Precision cutting of stator plates for e-mobility applications
- Remote cutting of coated battery foils
- Lithium-ion battery foil cutting with fiber lasers
SPI Lasers – delivering “cutting-edge” solutions for e-mobility
Please excuse the pun, but we do believe our laser cutting solutions are “cutting-edge” and are particularly ideal with e-mobility applications in mind. Whether you buy one of our Pulsed or Continuous Wave fiber laser models you will have access to quality laser cutting with market-leading levels of adaptability and performance. Why not contact SPI Lasers to discuss, which model would be best for your machines, organisation or customers? Click here to subscribe to future updates.
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