Improved coupling behavior, along with green light: New developments in the laser welding of copper contacts, power electronics, and control units in the field of electric mobility

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In order to meet increasing requirements regarding the quality and quantities of components within e-mobility power electronics adequately, manufacturers are looking for highly productive, viable processes which can be easily automated. This also concerns construction and connection technology. Common processes for copper connections are limited due to their long cycle times and/or insufficient welding quality. With welded connections in power electronics components, the following are particularly critical: spatter formation, the heat input, and possible mechanical stresses, as these disturbances could destroy nearby components. Fluctuating welding depths may also be problematic. Due to its flexibility and capacity for automation, laser technology is a good alternative to conventional welding; in terms of productivity and quality, it has, however, also reached its limits due to the difficult coupling behavior of the infrared laser systems available so far when it comes to highly reflective copper. Especially in the area of small components with a low welding depth (< 1 mm), NIR lasers are critical when it comes to the precision of welding depth and quality. 

However, new developments with the beam sources are changing the scene: Laser light that is coupled to a much better extent with a green wavelength is now available to the industry, with sufficient power, resulting in more productive and practically spatter-free processing. For applications in which the still limited power spectrum of green laser systems is not sufficient (for example for larger component dimensions and welding depths > 1 mm), with BrightLine Weld there is a form of technology for infrared laser light that improves the coupling behavior too, thereby increasing the productivity and quality considerably.