Researchers at the Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Siberian Branch (ITPM) reportedly have developed a process to laser weld metals considered "unweldable," with application in aerospace and shipbuilding.
Source material is unavailable, but local media quotes ITPM Deputy Director Anatoly Orishich describing the method thusly: "A miniscule empty cave is formed with walls of melted metal. Any compound can be 'cooked' inside this little 'pan,'" such as ceramic nanoparticles mixed with molten metal. The process eliminates formation of long dendrite crystals which would weaken the seam manifold, they add.
The group says they have tested the new method on homogenous materials and have performed welds on titanium, steel, and copper, and are working to get the process certified. Initial targeted application in aircraft, replacing riveted connections with welds to reduce weight without sacrificing strength. Other companies also are showing interest in the laser welding method for shipbuilding, according to local media reports.
Further study of the composite seam properties will be done cooperatively among the ITPM, Tomsk Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science, and the Institute of Metal Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Urals department in Yekaterinburg.