The joint project LaSAAS at the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) has developed a laser-based joining process that is particularly well suited to welding especially thick-walled lightweight engineering components made of steel and aluminum. It is primarily intended for the shipbuilding industry: Its specific combination of raw materials makes it possible to reduce component weight while optimizing the ships’ center of gravity. An adapter between the two materials provides an unusually high load carrying capacity for the components. A weld-in depth regulator ensures that the quality of the welded seam remains high even when sheets of varying thicknesses are used, and prevents brittleness or cracking. The developers have pledged to create totally new designs for the joint elements using the process.
According to the study “ Lightweight engineering as a driver of innovation ”, innovative developments in the field primarily arise because of two things: firstly, customer requirements and also through government funding. The German federal government alone is currently providing support to more than 1,000 lightweight engineering projects.