Analyze the rapid prototyping technology in the automotive industry

The use of lasers through the interaction with matter, processing or molding according to certain requirements, collectively referred to as light manufacturing. In the past 20 years, light manufacturing technology has penetrated into high-tech fields and industries, and has begun to replace or transform some traditional processing industries. In the automotive industry in developed countries, 50%-70% of the parts are laser processed. Light manufacturing technology is playing an increasingly important role in improving the R&D and manufacturing level of the automotive industry.

First, the characteristics of light manufacturing technology

At present, the light source used in light manufacturing technology is mainly laser. The laser beam has the characteristics of high energy density, high palladium and high directivity, which makes the light manufacturing technology have many advantages that are not available in traditional manufacturing techniques. The tool used in this technology is “laser knife”, there is no tool wear during machining; no cutting force affects the workpiece during the machining process, so the workpiece has no cold working deformation; because the energy injection speed is high during machining, the heat impact on the workpiece is very small, so The workpiece has little thermal deformation and can be approached or reached a "cold" machining state, enabling high-precision manufacturing that cannot be performed by conventional techniques; the laser has good spatial control (direction change of the beam, rotation, scanning, etc.) and time control (opening) , off, pulse interval), especially suitable for automated processing, high production efficiency in large-scale manufacturing; laser processing object material, shape, size and processing environment have a large degree of freedom; low noise, no harmful radiation and Residue, the production process has little environmental pollution; it can save mold, shorten product development cycle, reduce development cost; less material waste, and low manufacturing cost in large-scale production.

Second, the category of light manufacturing technology in the automotive industry

The light manufacturing technology in the automotive industry can be divided into three categories: light "cold" processing, light "hot" processing, and light rapid prototyping.

1. Light "cold" processing technology

Light manufacturing techniques corresponding to conventional cold working processes include laser cutting, laser drilling, laser marking, and laser cutting.

The laser cutting speed is fast, the incision is smooth and flat, the parallelism of the trimming is good, no subsequent processing is purchased; the slit is narrow; the slit has no mechanical stress and no shear burr; the processing precision is high, the repeatability is good, and the surface of the workpiece is not damaged.

Laser drilling speed and high efficiency, suitable for a large number of high-density group hole processing; laser drilling can obtain a large depth-to-diameter ratio, can be processed on hard, brittle, soft and other materials, even in Small holes are machined on the inclined surface of the difficult-to-machine material; the laser drilling process is clean and free of pollution.

Laser marking is non-contact marking, fast, marking is not easy to wear, laser marking machine is easy to combine with the pipeline.

Laser cutting is a process similar to milling in machining. It uses a focused laser beam to cut the material layer by layer.

2. Light "hot" processing technology

Light manufacturing techniques corresponding to conventional thermal processing techniques include laser welding, laser surface strengthening, laser cladding, and alloying.

Laser welding is a process in which a high-intensity laser beam is used to locally heat the metal to be melted above the melting temperature to form a welded joint. It can weld special materials such as high melting point metals, non-metals, composite materials, etc. It can also realize the welding of dissimilar materials and the welding of special structures; the weld has the function of “self-cleaning”, the weld quality is high; the welding can be carried out accurately, generally not required Filling metal; the laser beam and the multiple devices form a flexible processing system through the light guiding system, the welding degree is high and the production efficiency is high; in the high energy beam welding, the biggest characteristic of the laser welding is that no vacuum chamber is needed, and no x-ray is generated. .

Laser surface enhancement is divided into laser phase transformation hardening and laser fusion hardening. Laser phase transformation hardening, also known as laser quenching, is to rapidly scan a workpiece with a high-energy laser beam, so that the surface temperature of the irradiated metal or alloy rises to a point above the phase point with a very rapid speed. When the laser beam leaves the irradiated part, Due to the heat conduction, the substrate in the cold state is rapidly cooled and self-cooled and quenched to obtain a fine hardened layer structure, and the hardness is generally higher than the conventional quenching hardness; the laser fusion hardening process is similar to the foregoing process, except that the laser makes The surface of the material is heated to a higher temperature, and a fine flame-hardened layer of fine structure is formed on the surface of the final part.

Laser cladding uses a high-energy laser beam to illuminate the deposited material to rapidly fuse it with a thin layer on the surface of the substrate to form an alloy coating with completely different compositions and properties metallurgically bonded to the substrate.

3. Light rapid prototyping technology

The principle of optical rapid prototyping technology is to control the model and data according to the cad of the part under the control of the computer. The laser beam is used to solidify the molding material layer by layer. The surface (layer) of the part is constructed by points and lines, and the surface is accurately stacked into three dimensions. The process of a solid model or part. The use of optical rapid prototyping technology can significantly shorten the product development cycle, greatly reduce development costs, and can quickly produce products that adapt to market changes, and maintain and enhance the competitiveness of products in the market. At the same time, the use of optical rapid prototyping technology is also an effective technical way to achieve parallel engineering and agile manufacturing.

In the new century, the automotive industry is entering a lean production stage that can perform flexible processing according to user requirements. The automotive industry has developed a flexible modular production method. The modern automobile industry is also developing in the direction of technological high-tech, and automotive technology is experiencing The transformation of traditional mechanical manufacturing technology into advanced manufacturing technology. Light manufacturing technology has injected vitality into the development and production of automobiles. It can be expected that the application of light manufacturing technology in the automotive industry will develop rapidly in this century and will become an important processing method for the automotive industry.

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