Laser beam brazing of aluminum alloys in XHV-adequate atmosphere with surface deoxidation by ns-pulsed laser radiation
J. Laser Appl.
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
Laser beam brazing is an established manufacturing process due to its low heat input and esthetically appealing seams. However, brazing of materials with high oxygen affinity, such as aluminum alloys, requires the removal of surface oxides prior to the brazing process, commonly through the application of chemical fluxes that may be harmful to the environment and to health. The approach presented here dispenses with the use of fluxes and involves oxide layer removal by means of ns-pulsed laser radiation within an atmosphere that is adequate to an extreme high vacuum (XHV) in regard to the oxygen content. By doping the process gas with monosilane (SiH4), an oxygen content equivalent to an extreme high vacuum with an oxygen partial pressure below 10−20 mbar is realized. Hence, a subsequent reoxidation is actively prevented so that wetting of the base material by the filler material and consequent diffusion processes are enabled. The wetting angle between fille r material and material is used to evaluate the effectiveness of laser-based deoxidation under an XHV-adequate atmosphere.