Laser transmission welding (LTW) is a relatively new technology for joining plastic parts. This paper presents a three-dimensional (3D) transient thermal model of LTW solved with the finite element method. A lap-joint geometry was modeled for unreinforced polyamide (PA) 6 specimens. This thermal model addressed the heating and cooling stages in a laser welding process with a stationary laser beam. This paper compares the temperature distribution of a lap-joint geometry exposed to a stationary diode laser beam, obtained from 3D thermal modeling with thermal imaging observations. It is shown that the thermal model is capable of accurately predicting the temperature distribution when laser beam scattering during transmission through the polymer is included in the model. The weld dimensions obtained from the model have been compared with the experimental data and are in good agreement.

1.
Russek
,
U.-A.
,
Poggel
,
M.
,
Otto
,
G.
, and
Koeppe
,
A.
2003, “
Advances in Laser Beam Welding of Polymers and Automotive Prospects
,”
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference: TPOs in Automotive
, pp.
51
60
.
2.
Cherdron
,
M.
2004, “
Industrial Applications for Laser Welding of Plastics
,” SPE, ANTEC, pp.
1261
1264
.
3.
Grewell
,
D.
, and
Benatar
,
A.
2003, “
Experiments in Micro-Welding of Polycarbonate With Laser Diodes
,” SPE, ANTEC, pp.
1039
1044
.
4.
Chen
,
J. W.
, and
Zybko
,
J.
2005, “
Diode Laser Bonding of Planar Microfluidic Devices, Moems, Biomems, Diagnostic Chips and Microarrays
,”
Proc. SPIE
0277-786X,
5718
, pp.
92
98
.
5.
Rosenthal
,
D.
1941, “
Mathematical Theory of Heat Distribution During Welding and Cutting
,”
Weld. J. (Miami, FL, U.S.)
0043-2296,
20
(
5
), pp.
220
234
.
6.
Potente
,
H.
,
Korte
,
J.
, and
Becker
,
F.
1999, “
Laser Transmission Welding of Thermoplastics: Analysis of the Heating Phase
,”
J. Reinf. Plast. Compos.
0731-6844,
18
(
10
), pp.
914
920
.
7.
Grewell
,
D.
, and
Benatar
,
A.
2003, “
Modeling Heat Flow for a Moving Heat Source to Describe Scan Micro-laser Welding
,” SPE, ANTEC, pp.
1045
1050
.
8.
Sato
,
K.
,
Kurosaki
,
Y.
,
Satio
,
T.
, and
Satoh
,
I.
2002, “
Laser Welding of Plastics Transparent to Near-Infrared Radiation
,”
Proc. SPIE
0277-786X,
4637
, pp.
528
536
.
9.
Prabhakaran
,
R.
,
Kontopoulou
,
M.
,
Zak
,
G.
,
Bates
,
P. J.
, and
Baylis
,
B.
, 2004, “
Laser Transmission Welding of Unreinforced Nylon 6
,” SPE, ANTEC, pp.
1205
1209
.
10.
Prabhakaran
,
R.
,
Kontopoulou
,
M.
,
Zak
,
G.
,
Bates
,
P. J.
, and
Sidiropoulos
,
V.
2005, “
Simulation of Heat Transfer in Laser Transmission Welding
,”
Int. Polym. Process.
0930-777X,
20
(
4
), pp.
410
417
.
11.
Mayboudi
,
L. S.
,
Birk
,
A. M.
,
Zak
,
G.
, and
Bates
,
P. J.
2005, “
A 2-D Model for Laser Transmission Welding of Thermoplastics
,”
Proceedings 25th International Congress on Applications on Lasers and Electro-Optics
, ICALEO, Laser Material Processing Conference, pp.
402
409
.
12.
Mayboudi
,
L. S.
,
Birk
,
A. M.
,
Zak
,
G.
, and
Bates
,
P. J.
2006, “
A Three-Dimensional Finite Element Model for Laser Transmission Welding of Thermoplastics
,”
Proceedings 15th IASTED International Conference on Applied Simulation and Modelling
.
13.
Haferkamp
,
H.
,
Von Busse
,
A.
,
Hustedt
,
M.
,
Bunte
,
J.
,
Haberstroh
,
E.
, and
Lutzeler
,
R.
2004, “
Utilization of a Thermographic Process in Order to Determine the Laser Weldability of Plastics at Different Wavelengths
,”
Welding and Cutting
,
3
(
1
), pp.
43
49
.
14.
Incropera
,
F. P.
, and
DeWitt
,
D. P.
1996,
Introduction to Heat Transfer
,
3rd ed.
,
Wiley
, New York.
15.
Siegel
,
R.
, and
Howell
,
J. R.
1992,
Thermal Radiation Heat Transfer
,
3rd ed.
,
Taylor and Francis
, London, UK.
17.
Prabhakaran
,
R.
2003, Laser Transmission Welding of Nylon 6, M.Sc. thesis, Queen’s University, Canada.
18.
Mayboudi
,
L. S.
,
Chen
,
M.
,
Zak
,
G.
,
Birk
,
A. M.
, and
Bates
,
P. J.
2006, “
Characterization of Beam Profile for High-Power Diode Lasers with Application to Laser Welding of Polymers
,” SPE, ANTEC, pp.
2274
2278
.
19.
ANSYS® 10 Manual
.
You do not currently have access to this content.