International Conference on Production Engineering and Management (PEM)
In order to achieve the best performance for a component, it is often necessary to combine different materials. In this way, it is possible to create different sections in a component where properties are adapted to the local requirements. For example, highly loaded areas made of steel can be combined with less loaded areas made of aluminum, which leads to enormous weight savings. Due to this high lightweight construction potential, these multimaterial components are particularly interesting for vehicle construction. However, thermal joining of dissimilar materials is very challenging because of their differing physical properties. In particular, the formation of hard and brittle intermetallic phases leads to cracks and an early failure of the joint. Therefore, it is the aim of many research projects to reduce the formation of intermetallic phases by limiting the mixing of the joining partners in the weld pool. For this purpose, especially laser-based manufacturing processes are suitable due to their characteristic high energy density. This actually allows the generation of usually unweldable dissimilar metal joints, which is verified by the represented research work, based on application examples in automotive, shipbuilding and solar industry. A next step is the combination of multi-material components and powderbased additive manufacturing methods to achieve additional geometrical scope for design. This would allow the production of absolutely novel components that were previously not producible. In this context, an outlook is given how those could be realized in the near future.