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ALUMINUM  Smart Developments

              Case Study    Evolving Joining Technologies for Aluminum

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                            LEXUS LS

                                   f Toyota’s LSW (laser                                                                         The aluminum alloy doors of the Lexus LS are a showcase for joining technologies.   Motonobu Hachino
                                   screw welding) offers                                                                         In addition to the hemming which is regularly used for the outer and inner panels,
                                   various advantages such   i Fine welding beads are                                            the appropriate technologies used for each job include LSW, SPR, FSW, FSSW,    Manager
                                   as increased productivity   produced by laser seam welding.                                   and laser welding. Tailored blanks are also used. The materials technology, forming   Development Department II,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Research & Development Division,
                                   and short pitch welding.  Laser welding suppresses                                                                                                                           UACJ Corporation
                                                       thermal distortion to a minimum.                                          technology and joining technology established through the manufacture of the
                                                                                                                                 aluminum alloy doors for the LS will be applied to future models. UACJ’s Motonobu
                                                                                                                                 Hachino says that he is eagerly looking forward to that.

                                                                                         fh This photograph shows how                                                      FSW/FSSW
             g SPR (self-piercing
             riveting) is frequently used                                                deeply the alloy was drawn to
                                                                                         produce this inner door panel.
             because aluminum has                                                        6000 series aluminum alloys are                                                   Friction stir welding (FSW) is a joining technology that involves the
             high thermal conductivity                                                                                                                                     use of a tool with a pointed revolving tip that is pressed against
             and it is slightly difficult to                                             used for both the inner and outer                                                 the metal, which is then softened by friction-generated heat.
                                                                                         door panels of the LS.
             spot weld.                                                                                                                                                    This plasticized material is used to join pieces of metal together.
                                                                                                                                                                           This method has many benefits, including low levels of distortion   Motor Fan illustrated
                                                                                                                                                                           and residual stress, and less significant reduction in strength
    Motor Fan illustrated
                                                                                                                                                                           when exposed to heat.

                INNER                                                                               OUTER
                  6000                                                                                6000                         Evolving aluminum joining technologies
                 series                                                                               series                                                                                                                              ALUMINUM  Smart Developments
                                                                                                                                 Various types of joining technologies for aluminum have been developed and put to practical use,
                                                                                                                                 ranging from MIG welding and YAG laser welding to mechanical joining and binding.
                                                                                                                                 The AUDI A8 adapts different types of joining tools and methods, such as flow drill screws, punch
                                                                                                                                 rivets, mechanical clinching, MIG welding, and binding according to the points of application.
    ALUMINUM  Smart Developments
    06                                                                                                                                                        Resistance spot welding  Laser beam welding   Adhesion                      07
                                                                                                                                           Resistance spot welding   (aluminum/aluminum)  (aluminum/aluminum)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   MIG welding
                                                                                                                                      Flow drill screws

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Semi-hollow punch rivets

                                                                                       fh The part resembling a strip is        Friction Element Welding
                    h With the LS, the frame is formed as a                            where FSW (friction stir welding) for
                    single unit. The outer door panels are                             tailored blanks has been conducted.
                    reinforced by welding sheets of a different
                    thickness using TB (tailored blanking).                                                                                                                                                       YAG laser welding

                                                                                                                                            MAG welding
                                                                                                                                              (steel/steel)        Roller hemming      Clinching        Punch rivets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         PHOTO: AUDI/MFi
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