TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 444/1992
By K R Ayres and S T Riches
Lightweight sandwich panels, which consist of two skins separated by a lightweight corrugated core, have potential for use as structural components due to their high stiffness, high strength, low weight, low cost and ready applicability. The possible application areas include:
- blast or fire-resistant panels and doors
- ship and offshore structures
- aerospace panel structures
- marine structures
- bridge and gantry structures
- auto, truck, bus and rolling stock panels and chassis
- storage silos and insulated tanks
High power laser welding of sandwich panels offers potential advantages over other methods of fabrication, such as TIG welding, resistance welding and diffusion and adhesive bonding, due to its ability to produce continuous, single-sided deep penetration welds (stake welds) at high welding speeds (>1m/min) with low distortion.
This report is concerned with an examination of the fabrication aspects of laser welding of sandwich panels to demonstrate the feasibility of the technique for producing panels with low distortion.