Laser-based joining of thermoplastics to metals: influence of varied ambient conditions on joint performance and microstructure
Laser-based joining of thermoplastics to metals shows a great potential for functional design especially in terms of lightweight constructions. In the joining process, the joining speed and the energy per unit length, respectively, show an influence on time-temperature profiles measured in the joining zone. The time-temperature profile affects the joining zone and consequently the joint behavior in mechanical testing. In the current investigation, the joining zone was characterized by the melting layer. Moreover, the mechanical properties of the joint by tensile shear testing and the fracture mode were investigated. Based on the results obtained, three sets of joining speeds/energies per unit length with different mechanical behaviors were selected for further investigations under varied ambient conditions. Thereby, the influence of outdoor weathering as well as aging above the glass transition temperature of the plastic part on the joint’s performance was compared with the nonaged joints.