New welding process joins dissimilar materials

By Phys.org

Mar 05, 2019

Scientists from Heriot-Watt University have welded glass and metal together using an ultrafast laser system, in a breakthrough for the manufacturing industry.

Various optical materials such as quartz, borosilicate glass and even sapphire were all successfully welded to metals like aluminium, titanium and stainless steel using the Heriot-Watt laser system, which provides very short, picosecond pulses of infrared light in tracks along the materials to fuse them together.

The new process could transform the manufacturing sector and have direct applications in the aerospace, defence, optical technology and even healthcare fields.

Professor Duncan Hand, director of the five-university EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes based at Heriot-Watt, said: "Traditionally it has been very difficult to weld together dissimilar materials like glass and metal due to their different thermal properties—the high temperatures and highly different thermal expansions involved cause the glass to shatter.

To learn more, read "Welding breakthrough could transform manufacturing" from Phys.org.

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