(19)
(11)EP 1 090 706 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
12.04.2006 Bulletin 2006/15

(21)Application number: 00121803.1

(22)Date of filing:  06.10.2000
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B23K 1/002  (2006.01)
H01R 43/02  (2006.01)
B23K 3/047  (2006.01)

(54)

Apparatus and method for bonding conductors

Vorrichtung und Verfahren zum Verbinden von elektrischen Leitern

Appareil et procédé de liaison de conducteurs électriques


(84)Designated Contracting States:
DE FR GB IT

(30)Priority: 08.10.1999 US 415367

(43)Date of publication of application:
11.04.2001 Bulletin 2001/15

(73)Proprietor: MOLEX INCORPORATED
Lisle Illinois 60532 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Godwin, Michael S.
    Oxford, Michigan 48371 (US)

(74)Representative: Blumbach - Zinngrebe 
Patentanwälte Alexandrastrasse 5
65187 Wiesbaden
65187 Wiesbaden (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 0 294 966
US-A- 4 359 620
US-A- 4 983 804
US-A- 3 467 806
US-A- 4 795 870
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the Invention



    [0001] This invention generally relates to the art of electrical conductors and, particularly, to an apparatus and method for conductively bonding at least two conductors by induction heating according to the preamble of claim 1 resp. claim 20. Such a method and apparatus are known from US-A-4359620.

    Background of the Invention



    [0002] In the art of electrical transmission, conductors are repeatedly coupled so that electrical current flows from one conductor to another through some type of electrical interface. An electrical wire, for instance, often is connected to another electrical wire, to a conductor on a flat circuit such as a flat flexible circuit, to a circuit trace on a printed circuit board or in all kinds of combinations of such conductors. Often, two respective conductors are interconnected or electrically coupled by a soldering material. The solder is heated to its melting point and, when solidified, the solder mechanically and electrically or conductively joins the two conductors.

    [0003] For example, a flat flexible circuit typically includes a plurality of flexible conductors which often are generally parallel to each other similar to the electrical wires of a hard-wired electrical cable. The flexible conductors are in a plane and are adhered to a flexible insulating substrate, such as an elongated substrate. Most often, the conductors are sandwiched between a pair of flexible insulating layers or films. The films and conductors are held in their flat configuration by an appropriate adhesive. When it is required to connect the conductors of a flat flexible circuit to the conductors of another circuit or other conducting member, the insulating substrate (i.e., the insulating layer) on one side of the flat circuit is removed to expose the embedded conductors. In some instances, one of the insulating layers on one side of the circuit is left shorter than the insulating layer on the opposite side of the circuit to expose distal ends of the conductors for connection to whatever connecting device(s) the circuit is to be electrically coupled.

    [0004] Problems have been encountered in coupling such conductors as the flexible conductors of a flat circuit, particularly when the conductors are soldered and which requires the application of heat. In essence, the solder must be melted without melting the thin insulating films. Additionally, the parallel flexible conductors often are of varying widths in the same flat circuit and the resulting varying densities cause heat distribution problems. For instance, the heat required for soldering may be so intense in one area as to melt the insulating substrate or film and yet be insufficient in another area that a conductor or conductors are not adequately electrically coupled.

    [0005] Various prior art methods have been used to electrically bond the conductors of flat circuits by soldering techniques. Such methods have included diode laser soldering and pulsed hot bar soldering. Laser soldering requires that several spot solder joints be made and scanned across the joint and this is a relatively time consuming process. Laser soldering requires expensive automation to focus the energy. Laser soldering also requires that the insulating substrate or film of the flat circuit to be transparent, and this is a problem with flame retardant material films that have opaque fillers as well as with opaque adhesives used in fabricating flat flexible circuits. Finally, laser soldering may require expensive stencils for soldering flat circuits.

    [0006] Pulsed hot bar soldering processes also have had limited success in bonding the conductors of flat circuits. This process is not capable of heating relatively large conductors without melting the insulating substrates or films. Like laser soldering, the hot bar makes it difficult to focus energy to selective areas. The hot bar method relies on conduction and convection rather than a more desirable induction technique. Finally, heating heads for hot bar soldering apparatus are quite expensive.

    [0007] US 4,359,620 discloses an induction heating apparatus for heating an electrically conductive workpiece, comprising a C-shaped core made of a material having a high magnetic permeability and having two closely opposed tapered ends, an exciting coil surrounding the core, and a circuit for supplying a periodic voltage to the coil as to cause a varying magnetic field to be produced in the core and to efficiently focus a field of high flux density between its two ends. Since the efficient focusing of the field to achieve high flux density is induced by the shape of the two opposed ends of the core, this system cannot easily be adapted to the size or width of the conductors to be connected, which is e.g. essential for soldering a multiplicity of conductors of two flat foil circuits to each other in terms of avoiding a damaging of the flexible foils insulating the conductors.

    [0008] The invention is directed to solving the above myriad of problems in an induction soldering process which uses unique magnetic concentrators. As is known, inductive coils create magnetic lines which pass through metal and cause eddy currents which, in turn, create friction and heat. The invention utilizes very simple and inexpensive magnetic concentrator blocks to selectively concentrate this heat wherever desired to melt the solder very quickly and evenly and bond the conductors without melting or damaging the insulating substrates or films.

    Summary of the Invention



    [0009] An object, therefore, of the invention is to provide a new and improved apparatus and method for conductively bonding at least two conductors together. This object is solved by an apparatus according to claim 1 and a method according to claim 20. Although the invention is disclosed herein for soldering the conductors of flat circuits together, the invention should not be limited to such applications.

    [0010] In the exemplary embodiment of the invention, the apparatus includes an inductive coil for generating a magnetic field when electrical current is run therethrough. A magnetic concentrator is disposed on or near the inductive coil and adjacent which a pair of conductors can be positioned for concentrating the magnetic field on the conductors. The magnetic concentrator is independent of the conductors. An applicator applies pressure to the two conductors.
    Therefore, the concentrator concentrates the magnetic field generated by the inductive coil on the conductors and thereby heats the conductors under pressure to electrically bond the conductors together.

    [0011] As disclosed herein, the pressure applicator includes a movable ram having the inductive coil thereon. The ram moves toward and away from an anvil which includes the magnetic concentrator, preferably in the form of a ferrite block.

    [0012] The invention is exemplified by using a plurality of the magnetic concentrators arranged in a row and adjacent which a planar array of conductors can be positioned, such as the conductors of a flat circuit. The concentrators are of varying masses or sizes for accommodating various sizes of conductors.

    [0013] The method of conductively bonding the conductor includes the steps of juxtaposing the conductors near the inductive coil and generating a magnetic field about the conductors in response to current run through the coil. A magnetic concentrator is located adjacent the conductors to concentrate the magnetic field on the conductors to heat the conductors. Pressure is applied to the conductors to facilitate electrically bonding the conductors together. Solder is applied to at least one of the conductors which, when heated, liquifies to facilitate the electrical bond between the conductors.

    [0014] Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0015] The features of this invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with its objects and the advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals identify like elements in the figures and in which:

    FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one type of apparatus for carrying out the invention;

    FIGURE 2 shows a pair of opposing inductive coils with a magnetic concentrator and a pair of flat circuits disposed between the coils;

    FIGURE 3 shows a plan view of a pair of flat circuits adjacent a plurality of different sized magnetic concentrators;

    FIGURE 4 is a fragmented perspective view showing the two flat circuits, with portions of the insulating films removed and in alignment with the magnetic concentrators; and

    FIGURE 5 is a fragmented perspective view of the flat circuits bonded together.


    Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment



    [0016] Referring to the drawings in greater detail, and first to Figure 1, an apparatus, generally designated 10, is illustrated for carrying out the invention. Although the apparatus in Figure 1 for carrying out the invention appears to be fairly large, it is contemplated that the apparatus can be sized down to comprise a hand tool or a portable apparatus. The apparatus includes a base 12 mounting an upright support 14. An electrical control box 16 is located behind the upright support. A platen 18 is mounted by appropriate fasteners 20 on top of base 18 and defines a work station, generally designated 22. A console 24 projects forwardly of base 12 in front of work station 22 and includes various controls 26 for an operator.

    [0017] Still referring to Figure 1, a ram 28 is mounted for vertical reciprocating movement in the direction of double-headed arrow "A" on a vertical shaft 30. The ram may be movable hydraulically, pneumatically or mechanically such as with a spring. Moreover, the shaft 30 may comprise an externally threaded screw shaft for vertically moving ram 28 in response to rotation of the shaft. A ram arm 32 projects outwardly from upright support 14 and has a distal end 32a generally above work station 22.

    [0018] Referring to Figure 2 in conjunction with Figure 1, an inductive coil, generally designated 34, is mounted on the bottom of ram arm 32 beneath distal end 32a thereof. A second inductive coil, generally designated 36, may be mounted below platen 18 within base 12. Each coil includes an armature 38 having a narrow distal end 38a. Windings 40 of the inductive coils are wrapped around armatures 38 and have leads (not shown) leading to a source of electrical current. The windings of inductive coil 34 are opposite the windings of inductive coil 36 whereby the coils are disposed such that they are mirror images of each other. In other words, one inductive coil is a right-hand coil and the other inductive coil is a left-hand coil. As is known, when current is applied through windings 40, the coils induce magnetic lines of flux about armatures 38 and distal ends 38a thereof. The invention contemplates that only a single coil could be used to induce a magnetic field as well.

    [0019] Referring to Figures 3 and 4 in conjunction with Figures 1 and 2, at 36. In the preferred embodiment and referring to Figures 3 and 4, a plurality of magnetic concentrators 42a-42e are located in a row within a trough 44 in the top of platen 18 (Fig. 1) at work station 22. The magnetic concentrators may be separated by dielectric blocks (not shown). These concentrators can suitably be made of ferrites of magneto dielectric material. The concentrator can also be located directly on the coil itself.

    [0020] Referring to Figures 2-4, a pair of flat circuits, generally designated 46, are provided for conductively bonding by apparatus 10. The circuits may be flat flexible circuits, for instance. Each circuit includes a plurality of flexible conductors 48 which are parallel to each other and are embedded within or sandwiched between a pair of flat flexible substrates in the form of layers or films 50 and 52. The films may be of polyester material, for instance. Insulating film 50 is left shorter than insulating film 52, as at 54, to expose distal ends of conductors 48 for connection together, as described below. The exposed distal ends of the conductors may be covered or plated with a reflowable material 56 such as tin or solder as shown in Figure 2.

    [0021] The conductive bonding of conductors 48 of circuits 46 will now be described according to the method of the invention. Specifically, two of the flat circuits prepared as described above are juxtaposed relative to each other as seen in Figures 2 and 4 so that the exposed distal ends of the conductors, and including solder material 56, face each other. The juxtaposed conductors then are lowered onto platen 18 so that the exposed conductors and solder material 56 are directly above magnetic concentrators 42a-42e. The magnetic block concentrators are firmly mounted within trough 44 in platen 18 as seen in Figure 2 and, therefore, the concentrators act as an anvil. It is contemplated that concentrators 42a-42e may be embedded in a binder material or covered with a resilient material such as silicone, rubber or plastic to protect the concentrators from damage. Ram 28 (Fig. 1) and ram arm 32 are moved downwardly to move inductive coil 34 therewith in the direction of arrow "B" (Fig. 2). Distal end 38a of armature 38 of inductive coil 34 engages the top flat circuit 46 and applies pressure to the overlapped areas of the circuits which are sandwiched between distal end 38a of the armature and magnetic concentrators 42 which act as an anvil opposing the pressure. The distal end 38a of the lower armature 38 may also be elevated to a position sufficiently close to the underside of the concentrators 42, but is preferably stationed at a permanent position sufficiently close to the concentrators. Current then is run through windings 40 of inductive coils 34 and 36 to create eddy currents which pass through solder material 56. In essence, the eddy currents create friction and, thereby, heat sufficient to melt the solder or reflowable plating material. However, this heat must not be so intense as to melt insulating films 52 or 50 of flat circuits 46. By appropriately sizing magnetic concentrators 42a-42e. These magnetic blocks control the heat, allowing the solder to melt without melting the polyester films of the circuits. In essence, the ferrite blocks concentrate the magnetic lines of flux toward the solder-coated conductors. Moreover, heating is performed for a very short duration; e.g., 0.1 to 2 seconds to avoid overheating the film. The resulting bonded circuit interface is shown in Figure 5.

    [0022] With the above understanding of the method of operation of the invention, reference is made to Figures 3 and 4 where it can be seen that the magnetic concentrators 42a-42e are of varying sizes, volumes or masses complementary to the varying sizes or widths of conductors 48 across the widths of flat circuits 46. For instance, as shown in Figure 3, the right-hand side of the flat circuits in Figures 3 and 4 show an array of relatively narrow conductors. The narrow conductors do not generate as much heat as the wider conductors such as conductors 48a, 48b, 48c and 48d. Hence, concentrator 42a is used to focus a greater portion of the magnetic field on these narrow conductors, so they will generate sufficient heat to reflow the solder or tin 56 an the conductors. However, with respect to relatively wide conductors 48a, 48b, 48c and 48d, the mass of the conductor metal material is sufficient to generate enough heat to reflow the solder or tin 56 on the conductors. The use of a concentrator at the joinder of the wider conductors 48a, 48b, 48c and 48d could actually generate enough heat to cause the insulating films of the circuits to melt. Of course, the size, configuration, spacing, number, etc. of magnetic concentrators 42a-42e will vary considerably depending upon the configuration of the conductors of flat circuits 46. The shape of the concentrators may also take a geometry other than that of the rectangular blocks illustrated to optimize the concentration of the magnetic field to the appropriate conductor. Other suitable geometries may include cylinders, cones, pyramids, etc.

    [0023] It will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the scope as defined by the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. An apparatus (10) for conductively bonding at least two conductors (48) together, comprising:

    an inductive coil (34, 36) for generating a magnetic field when electrical current is run therethrough;

    an applicator (28, 32) for applying pressure to the at least two conductors (48) characterised in that

    the apparatus comprises a plurality of magnetic concentrators of varying sizes, volumes or masses and a magnetic concentrator (42) complementary to the size of the conductors to be joined is disposed on or near the inductive coil (34, 36), adjacent which the conductors (48) are positioned so as to concentrate the magnetic field on the conductors (48), the concentrator (42) being independent of the conductors (48); and

    whereby the concentrator (42) concentrates the magnetic field generated by the inductive coil (34, 36) on the conductors (48) thereby heating the conductors (48) under pressure and electrically bonding the conductors (48) together.


     
    2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said applicator comprises a movable ram (28, 32).
     
    3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said ram (28, 32) includes the inductive coil (34).
     
    4. The apparatus of claim 2 or 3 further comprising an anvil (42) opposing said movable ram (28, 32).
     
    5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said inductive coil (34) is mounted on said movable ram (28, 32).
     
    6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said anvil opposing said movable ram (28, 32) and inductive coil (34).
     
    7. The apparatus of one of the claims 4 to 6 wherein said anvil includes the magnetic concentrator (42).
     
    8. The apparatus of one of the preceding claims wherein said magnetic concentrator (42) comprises a ferrite block (42).
     
    9. The apparatus of one of the claims 1 to 7 wherein said magnetic concentrator (42) comprises a magneto dielectric material.
     
    10. The apparatus of one of the claims 1 to 7 wherein said magnetic concentrator (42) is a magneto dielectric block.
     
    11. The apparatus of one of the preceding claims, including a plurality of said magnetic concentrators (42a - 42e) arranged in a row and adjacent which a planar array of conductors (48) can be positioned.
     
    12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said magnetic concentrators (42a - 42e) include concentrators (42a - 42e) of varying sizes for accommodating varying conductor sizes.
     
    13. The apparatus of claim 11 or 12 wherein said magnetic concentrators (42a - 42e) include at least some concentrators (42a - 42e) of varying masses for accommodating varying conductor sizes.
     
    14. The apparatus of one the claims 1 to 10, including a plurality of said magnetic concentrators (42) of varying sizes for accommodating varying conductor sizes.
     
    15. The apparatus of one the claims 1 to 10 or 14, including a plurality of said magnetic concentrators (42) of varying masses for accommodating varying conductor sizes.
     
    16. The apparatus of one of the preceding claims wherein said magnetic concentrators (42, 42a - 42e) include at least some concentrators (42, 42a - 42e) of different geometries.
     
    17. The apparatus of one of the claims 11 to 16 wherein said magnetic concentrators (42, 42a - 42e) are separated by dielectrics.
     
    18. The apparatus of one of the preceding claims wherein said conductors (48) having reflowable conductive material (56) thereon.
     
    19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein said reflowable conductive material (56) is heated under pressure between the movable ram (28, 32) and the anvil.
     
    20. A method of conductively bonding at least two conductors (48) together, comprising the steps of:

    juxtaposing said at least two conductors (48);

    locating an inductive coil (34, 36) near the conductors (48) and generating a magnetic field about the conductors (48) in response to electrical current run through the coil (34, 36); characterised in that

    a plurality of magnetic concentrators of varying sizes, volumes or masses are provided; locating one of the plurality of magnetic concentrators (42) complementary to the size of the conductors to be joined adjacent the conductors (48) to concentrate the magnetic field on the conductors (48) to heat the conductors (48); and

    applying pressure to the conductors (48) to facilitate electrically bonding the conductors (48) together.


     
    21. The method of claim 20 wherein a ram (28, 32) is provided to apply said pressure and said inductive coil (34) is provided wounded about said ram (28, 32).
     
    22. The method of claim 20 or 21 wherein an anvil is provided opposing said ram (28, 32) and including said magnetic concentrator (42).
     
    23. The method of one of the claims 20 to 22 wherein said magnetic concentrator (42) is provided as a ferrite block.
     
    24. The method of one of the claims 20 to 23 wherein a plurality of said magnetic concentrators (42a - 42e) is positioned in a row adjacent a planar array of conductors (48).
     
    25. The method of claim 24 wherein at least some of said magnetic concentrators (42a - 42e) are provided of different sizes for accommodating varying conductor sizes.
     
    26. The method of one of the claims 20 to 25 wherein solder (56) is applied to at least one of the conductors (48) which when heated liquefies to facilitate the electrical bond between the conductors (48).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung (10) zum leitfähigen Verbinden zumindest zweier Leiter (48) miteinander, umfassend:

    eine Induktionsspule (34, 36) zum Erzeugen eines Magnetfeldes, wenn elektrischer Strom durch diese geleitet wird,

    einen Applikator (28, 32) zum Aufbringen eines Drucks auf die zumindest zwei Leiter (48),

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    die Vorrichtung eine Mehrzahl von magnetischen Konzentratoren unterschiedlicher Größen, Volumina oder Massen umfasst und dass ein der Größe der zu verbindenden Leiter komplementärer magnetischer Konzentrator (42) an oder in der Nähe der Induktionsspule (34, 36) angeordnet ist, angrenzend an welche die Leiter (48) positioniert sind, um so das Magnetfeld auf die Leiter (48) zu konzentrieren, wobei der Konzentrator (42) unabhängig von den Leitern (48) ist; und
    wobei der Konzentrator (42) das von der Induktionsspule (34, 36) erzeugte Magnetfeld auf die Leiter (48) konzentriert, wodurch die Leiter (48) unter Druck aufgeheizt werden und die Leiter (48) elektrisch miteinander verbunden werden.
     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, bei welcher der Applikator einen bewegbaren Stößel (28, 32)umfasst.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 2, bei welcher der Stößel (28, 32) die Induktionsspule (34) enthält.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 2 oder 3, welche ferner einen Amboss (42) gegenüberliegend dem bewegbaren Stößel (28, 32) umfasst.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 2, bei welcher die Induktionsspule (34) an dem bewegbaren Stößel (28, 32) montiert ist.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5, bei welcher der Amboss dem bewegbaren Stößel (28, 32) und der Induktionsspule (34) gegenüberliegt.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 4 bis 6, bei welcher der Amboss den magnetischen Konzentrator (42) enthält.
     
    8. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei welcher der magnetische Konzentrator (42) einen Ferritblock (42) umfasst.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, bei welcher der magnetische Konzentrator (42) ein magnetodielektrisches Material umfasst.
     
    10. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, bei welcher der magnetische Konzentrator (42) ein magnetodielektrischer Block ist.
     
    11. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, welche eine Mehrzahl der magnetischen Konzentratoren (42a - 42e) umfasst, die in einer Reihe angeordnet sind und angrenzend an welche eine flache Anordnung von Leitern (48) angeordnet werden kann.
     
    12. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 11, bei welcher die magnetischen Konzentratoren (42a - 42e) Konzentratoren (42a - 42e) mit unterschiedlichen Größen umfassen, um verschiedenen Leitergrößen Rechnung zu tragen.
     
    13. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 11 oder 12, bei welcher die magnetischen Konzentratoren (42a - 42e) zumindest einige Konzentratoren (42a - 42e) mit unterschiedlichen Massen umfassen, um verschiedenen Leitergrößen Rechnung zu tragen.
     
    14. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10, welche eine Mehrzahl der magnetischen Konzentratoren (42) mit unterschiedlichen Größen umfasst, um unterschiedlichen Leitergrößen Rechnung zu tragen.
     
    15. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10 oder 14, welche eine Mehrzahl der magnetischen Konzentratoren (42) mit unterschiedlichen Massen umfasst, um verschiedenen Leitergrößen Rechnung zu tragen.
     
    16. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei welcher die magnetischen Konzentratoren (42, 42a - 42e) zumindest einige Konzentratoren (42, 42a - 42e) mit unterschiedlichen Geometrien umfassen.
     
    17. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 11 bis 16, bei welcher die magnetischen Konzentratoren (42, 42a - 42e) durch Dielektrika getrennt sind.
     
    18. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei welcher auf den Leitern (48) ein aufschmelzbares, leitfähiges Material (56) vorgesehen ist.
     
    19. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 18, bei welcher das aufschmelzbare, leitfähige Material (56) zwischen dem bewegbaren Stößel (28, 32) und dem Amboss unter Druck aufgeheizt wird.
     
    20. Verfahren zum leitfähigen Verbinden zumindest zweier Leiter (48) miteinander, welches die folgenden Schritte umfasst:

    Anordnen der zumindest zwei Leiter (48) übereinander;

    Positionieren einer Induktionsspule (34, 36) in der Nähe der Leiter (48) und Erzeugen eines Magnetfeldes um die Leiter (48) herum infolge des Fließens eines elektrischen Stroms durch die Spule (34, 36),

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    eine Mehrzahl magnetischer Konzentratoren unterschiedlicher Größen, Volumina oder Massen bereitgestellt wird, einer der Mehrzahl der magnetischen Konzentratoren (42), welcher komplementär der Größe der zusammenzufügenden Leiter ist, angrenzend an die Leiter (48) positioniert wird, um das Magnetfeld auf die Leiter (48) zu konzentrieren, um die Leiter (48) aufzuheizen, und
    ein Druck auf die Leiter (48) aufgebracht wird, um das elektrische Verbinden der Leiter (48) miteinander zu erleichtern.
     
    21. Verfahren nach Anspruch 20, bei welchem ein Stößel (28, 32) bereitgestellt wird, um den Druck aufzubringen, und die Induktionsspule (34) um den Stößel (28, 32) herum gewickelt bereitgestellt wird.
     
    22. Verfahren nach Anspruch 20 oder 21,
    bei welchem ein Amboss gegenüberliegend dem Stößel (28, 32) bereitgestellt wird und dieser den magnetischen Konzentrator (42) enthält.
     
    23. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 20 bis 22,
    bei welchem der magnetische Konzentrator (42) als ein Ferritblock bereitgestellt wird.
     
    24. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 20 bis 23,
    bei welchem eine Mehrzahl der magnetischen Konzentratoren (42a - 42e) in einer Reihe angrenzend an eine flache Anordnung von Leitern (48) positioniert wird.
     
    25. Verfahren nach Anspruch 24, bei welchem zumindest einige der magnetischen Konzentratoren (42a - 42e) in unterschiedlichen Größen vorgesehen werden, um verschiedenen Leitergrößen Rechnung zu tragen.
     
    26. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 20 bis 25,
    bei welchem Lot (56) auf zumindest einen der Leiter (48) aufgebracht wird, welches, wenn es erhitzt wird, schmilzt, um die elektrische Verbindung zwischen den Leitern (48) zu ermöglichen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil (10) pour lier de manière conductrice, l'un avec l'autre, au moins deux conducteurs (48), comprenant :

    une bobine d'induction (34, 36) destinée à produire un champ magnétique lorsqu'un courant électrique la traverse ;

    un applicateur (28, 32) destiné à appliquer une pression aux au moins deux conducteurs (48), caractérisé en ce que

    l'appareil comprend plusieurs dispositifs de concentration magnétique de tailles, de volumes ou de masses qui varient, et un dispositif de concentration magnétique (42) complémentaire à la taille des conducteurs à lier est disposé sur ou à proximité de la bobine d'induction (34, 36), positionnés adjacents aux conducteurs (48) de façon à concentrer le champ magnétique sur les conducteurs (48), le dispositif de concentration (42) étant indépendant des conducteurs (48) ; et

    ce par quoi le dispositif de concentration (42) concentre le champ magnétique produit par la bobine d'induction (34, 36) sur les conducteurs (48), en chauffant ainsi les conducteurs (48) sous pression et en liant électriquement l'un avec l'autre les conducteurs (48).


     
    2. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit applicateur comprend un plongeur mobile (28, 32).
     
    3. Appareil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ledit plongeur (28, 32) comprend la bobine d'induction (34).
     
    4. Appareil selon la revendication 2 ou 3, comprenant en outre une enclume (42) opposée audit plongeur mobile (28, 32).
     
    5. Appareil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ladite bobine d'induction (34) est montée sur ledit plongeur mobile (28, 32).
     
    6. Appareil selon la revendication 5, dans lequel ladite enclume oppose ledit plongeur mobile (28, 32) et la bobine d'induction (34).
     
    7. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 4 à 6, dans lequel ladite enclume inclut le dispositif de concentration magnétique (42).
     
    8. Appareil selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit dispositif de concentration magnétique (42) comprend un bloc (42) de ferrite.
     
    9. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 1 à 7, dans lequel ledit dispositif de concentration magnétique (42) comprend un matériau magnéto-diélectrique.
     
    10. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 1 à 7, dans lequel ledit dispositif de concentration magnétique (42) est un bloc magnéto-diélectrique.
     
    11. Appareil selon l'une des revendications précédentes, incluant plusieurs desdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42a à 42e) agencés en une rangée, et un groupement plan de conducteurs (48) pouvant être positionné adjacent à ceux-ci.
     
    12. Appareil selon la revendication 11, dans lequel lesdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42a à 42e) comprennent des dispositifs de concentration (42a à 42e) de tailles qui varient pour adaptation à des tailles de conducteurs qui varient.
     
    13. Appareil selon la revendication 11 ou 12, dans lequel lesdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42a à 42e) comprennent au moins certains dispositifs de concentration (42a à 42e) de masses qui varient pour adaptation à des tailles de conducteurs qui varient.
     
    14. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 1 à 10, incluant plusieurs desdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42) de tailles qui varient pour adaptation à des tailles de conducteurs qui varient.
     
    15. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 1 à 10 ou 14, incluant plusieurs desdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42) de masses qui varient pour adaptation à des tailles de conducteurs qui varient.
     
    16. Appareil selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel lesdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42, 42a à 42e) comprennent au moins certains dispositifs de concentration (42, 42a à 42e) de géométries différentes.
     
    17. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 11 à 16, dans lequel lesdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42, 42a à 42e) sont séparés par des diélectriques.
     
    18. Appareil selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel lesdits conducteurs (48) portent un matériau conducteur pouvant refondre (56).
     
    19. Appareil selon la revendication 18, dans lequel ledit matériau conducteur pouvant refondre (56) est chauffé sous pression entre le plongeur mobile (28, 32) et l'enclume.
     
    20. Procédé de liaison conductrice, l'un avec l'autre, d'au moins deux conducteurs (48), comprenant les étapes, dans lesquelles : on juxtapose lesdits au moins deux conducteurs (48) ; on dispose une bobine d'induction (34, 36) à proximité des conducteurs (48) et l'on produit un champ magnétique autour des conducteurs (48) en réponse à un passage de courant électrique à travers la bobine (34, 36) ; caractérisé en ce que
    plusieurs des dispositifs de concentration magnétique de tailles, de volumes ou de masses qui varient sont prévus ; on dispose l'un des plusieurs dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42), complémentaire à la taille des conducteurs à lier, adjacent aux conducteurs (48) pour concentrer le champ magnétique sur les conducteurs (48) dans le but de chauffer les conducteurs (48) ;
    et l'on applique une pression aux conducteurs (48) pour faciliter une liaison électrique, l'un avec l'autre, des conducteurs (48).
     
    21. Procédé selon la revendication 20, dans lequel un plongeur (28, 32) est prévu pour appliquer ladite pression, et ladite bobine d'induction (34) est disposée enroulée autour dudit plongeur (28, 32).
     
    22. Procédé selon la revendication 20 ou 21, dans lequel une enclume est prévue opposée audit plongeur (28, 32) et incluant ledit dispositif de concentration magnétique (42).
     
    23. Procédé selon l'une des revendications 20 à 22, dans lequel ledit dispositif de concentration magnétique (42) est réalisé en tant que bloc de ferrite.
     
    24. Procédé selon l'une des revendications 20 à 23, dans lequel plusieurs desdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42a à 42e) sont positionnés en une rangée adjacente à un groupement plan de conducteurs (48).
     
    25. Procédé selon la revendication 24, dans lequel au moins certains desdits dispositifs de concentration magnétique (42a à 42e) sont prévus avec des tailles différentes pour adaptation à des tailles de conducteurs qui varient.
     
    26. Procédé selon l'une des revendications 20 à 25, dans lequel une soudure (56) est appliquée à au moins l'un des conducteurs (48) qui, lorsqu'on la chauffe, se liquéfie pour faciliter la liaison électrique entre les conducteurs (48).
     




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