Cost-Effective Welding of Dissimilar Materials



The experienced team at Vulcan Industries Corporation offers custom solutions to improve product quality while streamlining manufacturing costs. The following case study demonstrates how we helped a leading lithium-ion battery manufacturer weld dissimilar materials and reduce cost.



Project Overview

• Industry: Power storage

• Processes: Stamping, annealing, and assembly

• Company Background: Lithium-ion battery manufacturer

• Challenge: Consider a variety of methods to join dissimilar materials

• Assessment: Welding the materials appears to be the best option, even though mechanical options were also considered.

The Vulcan Solution – Design-Build of a New Prototype Die and Tooling Process

A customer challenged the Vulcan team to join two dissimilar parts—one made from soft copper, and the other from nickel. Following our existing process, the soft copper was stamped, formed, and carefully packaged for a subsequent annealing operation. A variety of welding options were reviewed in order to join a hard nickel material to the annealed copper.

Vulcan’s engineers consulted with a local welding system integrator. A prototype die was built, and raw material purchased to produce nickel washers to develop the process. While we have advanced spot welding capabilities, specialty equipment was required to provide for a more precise control of the weld joint variables. The weld system integrator has a variety of equipment to develop the process but required tooling to locate the two loose parts in the proper orientation.

Vulcan designed and built the locating nest tooling as per our integrator’s requirements, and samples were produced. Welding these sample parts allowed us to define the process and evaluate future strength requirements for the product. In addition, samples of the welded product were provided to our customer for design validation, and the new process was approved.

We then purchased proper welding equipment from our weld system integrator. The PPAP samples were produced, submitted, and approved by our customer.

The Final Result – New Assembly Process Delivers Higher Strength and Cost-Efficiency

The new spot-welded assembly provided remarkable strength, and achieved our goal of creating a cost-effective sub-assembly.

At Vulcan Industries, we never walk away from a challenge. We are experts at manufacturing and deliver superior customer service. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your power storage solutions.