Welder equipment manufacturer Amada Miyachi has developed a new TIG welding technology designed for safer and easier welding of battery cans and tab materials in a bench-top R&D environment. The system is suitable for R&D on battery pack concepts and assembly, as well as low to medium volume battery pack manufacturing and battery pack repair/rework applications.
Amada Miyachi says switching from nickel to copper tabs for battery connections can increase EV battery life by up to 20%, but welding copper can be difficult or expensive with traditional welding methods like resistance welding, laser welding, and TIG welding.
The company’s new touch retract TIG torch welder can weld copper more easily than traditional resistance welding techniques. In the new welder, an electronic solenoid pulls back the electrode, eliminating the high-voltage ignition and making it safer and easier to use. It does not require physical contact and does not require maintaining a given distance. Instead, the welder itself pulls back at the same distance every time. With the new technology, the company says anyone can create a repeatable weld.
The flexible nature of the retractable TIG torch allows battery makers to more quickly manufacture and test concepts. The technology offers a high repeatability rate, at one weld per second. It also has a narrow (7 mm) nozzle and protruding electrode for better weld location control.
Amada designed the welder for handheld use, but it can also be incorporated into an automated manufacturing line. The company tested its new welder extensively on typical battery tab materials (copper, nickel, and aluminum up to 0.5 mm thick) onto 18650 and 21700 battery can material. It can also be used to join other metals, including stainless steel and gold-plated stainless steel.
Source: Amada Miyachi