At present, the United States, Europe and other developed countries have issued national plans in the field of military manufacturing to promote the research and application of advanced laser pointer welding technology. European Airbus is the first aerospace manufacturing company to use laser welding structure instead of traditional riveting structure for the connection of aircraft aluminum alloy siding and stringers, and will also be used for welding of A350 aircraft siding in the future. Laser welded metal sandwich panels have begun to be widely used in the manufacture of missile cabins, large aircraft wall panels, and lightweight structural parts for light ships.
Compared with traditional solid core structural parts, the weight can be reduced by more than 50%, and the required space can be reduced by 2/3. The hybrid laminar flow control structure of the aircraft is also the target of the future application of laser welding technology. Germany is already conducting research in this area. The new aluminum-lithium alloy is a metal structural material that can compete with composite materials in the design of aircraft weight reduction structures. Many research institutions in the European Union have been carrying out basic research on laser welding technology for aluminum-lithium alloy siding, in the Turboprop90pax weight reduction project Carry out research on laser welding technology of 2198 aluminum-lithium alloy.
EU framework projects, such as ECO-01-060, ECO-01-065, ECO-01-069, etc., all involve research on blue laser pointer welding technology for aluminum-lithium alloys. Europe and the United States list aluminum-lithium alloy laser welding technology as a research plan for the next 20 years. In terms of engine structure, Pratt & Whitney has completed the automatic laser welding of components required for turbine blades. The American GE company has also successfully completed the laser welding of the engine guide vane assembly, effectively solving the problems of laser welding deformation and cracks of nickel-based alloy parts. Foreign countries have also done a lot of research work in laser welding of special materials such as intermetallic compounds and memory alloys.
The research on high-power laser welding technology was first aimed at tailored welding of automotive slabs, and it has spread to various fields. Harbin Institute of Technology has carried out a lot of research on titanium alloy and stainless steel lightweight components in spacecraft based on the combination of industry, university and research, and established a related laser welding platform.