Patent Number: 6,797,914

Title: Joining workpieces by laser welding with powder injection

Abstract: A laser is used to melt portions of first and adjacent workpieces to form a weld. As the laser melts the workpieces, a powdered metal is injected into the molten metal pool. The powdered metal improves the strength of the weld by providing additional weld volume to bridge any preexisting gaps between the workpieces. The molten metal is then cooled to form a weld between the workpieces. For welding galvanized steel or metals with coatings or alloy materials having a lower vaporizing temperature, a powdered metal is used that reacts with the lower temperature metal to form an alloy that avoids vaporization during welding, thereby reducing weld porosity and weld spatter.

Inventors: Speranza; Joseph James (Rochester Hills, MI), Wang; Pei-Chung (Troy, MI)

Assignee: General Motors Corporation

International Classification: A44B 18/00 (20060101); B64C 33/00 (20060101); B64C 33/02 (20060101); F16B 1/00 (20060101); F16B 5/07 (20060101); F16B 5/00 (20060101); B23K 026/24 ()

Expiration Date: 09/28/2012