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Carrs Welding Technologies together with Brunel University London have been awarded a grant from Innovate UK to carry out an R&D project on the potential for ultrasonic-assisted laser welding to significantly improve and facilitate the welding of electric vehicle battery packs. As proved in our initial project: UltraMAT, the application of ultrasound waves created a 42% reduction in weld aspect ratio, enabled the successful use of higher welding speeds, and significant grain refinement.
The pressure for electric vehicle batteries to have greater durability, sustainability and efficiency is at an all time high due to the looming 2030 ban on the sale of pure internal combustion cars. Therefore, our predictions for the Sonilaser project are of great interest to the industry and include a:
- 25% reduction in weld defects
- 30% mitigation of intermetallic compounds reducing brittleness
- at least 10% increase in mechanical strength increasing durability
- And at least a 50% increase in welding speed enabling a 10-15% improvement in total battery productivity.
Over the next 18 months we will be trialing various material combinations commonly found in the electric vehicle battery industry and researching the effect of the application of ultrasonic waves during the welding process. Meanwhile Brunel will be configuring a contactless delivery of these ultrasound waves to further make this new technology easy to use and apply. We are very excited for this project and are hopeful that the impact of our findings will greatly influence laser welding procedures in battery packs and beyond.