Finite Element Modelling of Laser Stitch Welding Joints for Structural Dynamic Predictions
Laser stitch welding is a joining technique that has been increasingly popular in automotive industries, such as in the manufacturing and assembling of the car’s body-in-white (BiW) due to its advantages over the resistance spot weld, such as low heat application and high strength weld. The dynamic behaviour of a laser stitch welded structure is relatively difficult to predict accurately due to local parameters being induced during the laser welding process, such as heat affected zone (HAZ) and residual stress in the welded structure. This paper presents the idea of modelling the laser stitch weld by investigating different types of element connectors that can be used to represent laser stitch weld, such as rigid body element (RBE2), shell element (CQUAD4), bar element (CBAR) and area contact model (ACM2) format of element connectors. The accuracy of finite element models of laser stitch welded joints is compared in terms of natural frequencies and mode shapes with the experiment counterparts. The dynamic behaviour of the measured structure is obtained by using an impact hammer with free-free boundary conditions. It is found that the accuracy of the finite element models of the laser stitch welded structure highly depends on the involvement of residual stress and the heat affected zones that are generated from the welding process.
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