(19)
(11)EP 3 466 595 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
12.08.2020 Bulletin 2020/33

(21)Application number: 18197209.2

(22)Date of filing:  27.09.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B23K 20/10(2006.01)
B23K 20/24(2006.01)
B23K 33/00(2006.01)
B23K 101/18(2006.01)
B23K 103/10(2006.01)
B23K 20/22(2006.01)
B29C 65/08(2006.01)
B29C 65/00(2006.01)
B23K 103/04(2006.01)

(54)

METHOD OF JOINING THICK SHEETS OF NON-WELDABLE MATERIAL USING ULTRASONIC JOINING

VERFAHREN ZUM VERBINDEN VON DICKEN BLECHEN AUS NICHT SCHWEISSBAREM MATERIAL MITTELS ULTRASCHALLFÜGEN

PROCÉDÉ D'ASSEMBLAGE DE FEUILLES ÉPAISSES D'UN MATÉRIAU NON SOUDABLE AU MOYEN D'UN ASSEMBLAGE PAR ULTRASONS


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.09.2017 US 201715717197
09.08.2018 US 201816059146

(43)Date of publication of application:
10.04.2019 Bulletin 2019/15

(73)Proprietor: Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
Wichita, KS 67278 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Misak, Heath Edward
    Wichita, KS Kansas 67226 (US)
  • Toivonen, Paul R.
    Derby, KS Kansas 67037 (US)

(74)Representative: Uexküll & Stolberg 
Partnerschaft von Patent- und Rechtsanwälten mbB Beselerstraße 4
22607 Hamburg
22607 Hamburg (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2009 185 951
US-A1- 2005 061 433
US-A- 5 188 277
  
      
    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



    [0001] The present invention relates to a method of joining first and second sheets of non-weldable materials, and more particularly, embodiments concern a method of joining relatively thick sheets of non-weldable aluminum and other materials using multiple passes of ultrasonic joining and multiple plugs to create a single larger sheet.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] In the manufacture of aircraft, ships, buildings, and other structures it is often desirable to use large sheets of aluminum or other materials for, e.g., exterior surfaces, or "skins." Using larger sheets rather than riveting together multiple smaller sheets both reduces the number of fasteners and improves the performance of the structure. However, suppliers of aluminum sheets are limited in the sizes they can produce by milling technology. Thus, there is a need to join aluminum sheets together with base material-like properties.

    [0003] Conventional welding is not suitable for use on high performance aluminum alloys (i.e., 2XXX and 7XXX) as it results in a joint having a heat-affected zone with changed heat treatment and corrosion issues. Friction stir welding can join aluminum, but it results in a stir zone with varying metallurgical properties, and it also creates a heat-affected zone that reduces performance.

    [0004] Ultrasonic joining is a joining technique which causes dynamic recrystallization of new grains to form an interface. Ultrasonic joining can join aluminum but is limited in that the energy required to cause dynamic recrystallization must travel through the material, and as the material becomes thicker, the energy requirement increases exponentially. At some point, the energy required to cause the dynamic recrystallization damages the exterior, which imposes a limit on the thickness, approximately 1,016 mm (0.04 inch), that can be joined. Some work has been done to successfully join sheets up to 1,778 mm (0.07 inch) thick by using ultrasonic joining on both sides of a scarf joint. However, ultrasonic joining has not been used to join sheets between 2,032 mm (0.08 inch) and 6,096 mm (0.24 inch) thick, which would be useful in the aircraft manufacturing industry.

    [0005] This background discussion is intended to provide information related to the present invention which is not necessarily prior art.

    [0006] US 5 188 277 A (Basis for the preamble of claim 1) describes a method of joining transformer winding conductor cables. Initially, the ends of the conductor cables to be joined are cut in a staggered configuration. The staggered ends are then chamfered. The ends are then welded together to form a staggered joint which is of substantially the same thickness as the individual conductor cables.

    [0007] JP 2009/185951 A relates to a method of processing a joint of a belt capable of preventing a crack in abutment parts of both ends of the belt. As described, one end of a belt is formed into a finger-shape with a plurality of protrusion parts. A recessed part is formed between adjacent protrusion parts. The other end of the belt is formed into a compensating shape relative to the end by forming a plurality of recessed parts. A protrusion part is formed between adjacent recessed parts. Any one end of both the ends and is coated with an adhesive agent, and both the ends are made to abut on each other, and bonded to each other. Continuously, ultrasonic vibration is applied to abutment the parts between the tips of the protrusion parts and between bottoms of the recessed parts among abutment parts. The tips and the bottoms are heat-fusion-bonded to each other by the ultrasonic vibration.

    [0008] US 2005/061433 A1 relates to a method of bonding ends of a flame retardant sheet and an intermediate transfer member of an image forming apparatus fabricated by the method. There is prepared at least one flame retardant sheet member in which a flame retardant layer comprised of a flame retardant agent having extinguishability is sandwiched between resinous layers. One end face of the at least one sheet member and another end face of the at least one sheet member are opposed to each other while forming a clearance therebetween. A first welding member having a first width larger than a width of the clearance is placed on one face of the sheet member. The first welding member is welded with the end faces of the at least one sheet member such that the first welding member is melted and pushed into the clearance while the flame retardant agent situated in the vicinity of the end faces is pushed out from the clearance, thereby forming a joint portion. A second welding member having a second width larger than the first width is placed on the joint portion. The second welding member is welded with the at least one sheet member.

    SUMMARY



    [0009] Embodiments address the above-described and other problems by providing a method of joining relatively thick sheets (i.e., at least 1,778 mm (0.07 inch), or between 2,032 and 6,096 mm (0.08 and 0.24 inch)) of non-weldable aluminum using multiple passes of ultrasonic joining and multiple plugs to create a single larger sheet.

    [0010] A method of joining first and second sheets of non-weldable material according to the present invention is defined in claim 1. For each channel of the first and second channels, at least one plug may be positioned in the channel, with the plug having a thickness of between 0,254 mm (0.01 inch) and 1,016 mm (0.04 inch), and ultrasonic joining may be performed to join the plug in the channel. A last plug may be machined flush with the surface of the single larger sheet.

    [0011] Various implementations of the present invention may include any one or more of the following additional features. The first and second sheets of the non-weldable material may each have a thickness of between 2,032 mm (0.08 inch) and 6,096 mm (0.24 inch). The non-weldable material may be a non-weldable aluminum material. Each plug may be of a different non-weldable material than each sheet. For each channel, at least one additional plug may be positioned over an initial plug in the channel, and ultrasonic joining may be performed to join the additional plug in the channel until a last additional plug is proud of a surface of the single larger sheet. For each channel, the method may further include machining the initial plug ultrasonically joined in the channel in preparation for joining the additional plug over the initial plug. For each channel, there may be at least one intermediate additional plug prior to the last additional plug, and the method may further include machining the intermediate additional plug joined in the channel in preparation for joining the last additional plug over the intermediate additional plug. For each channel, positioning the plug in the channel may involve extruding and cutting the plug from a spool of stock material. The method may further include performing non-destructive inspection on the single larger sheet to determine one or more characteristics of the joining.

    [0012] This summary is not intended to identify essential features of the present invention, and is not intended to be used to limit the scope of the claims. These and other aspects of the present invention are described below in greater detail.

    DRAWINGS



    [0013] Embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the attached drawing figures, wherein:

    FIG. 1 is a flowchart of steps in an embodiment of a method of joining relatively thick sheets of non-weldable material using ultrasonic joining;

    FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side elevation view of first and second sheets to be joined using the method of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side elevation view of the result of an angle cutting step of the method of FIG. 1 on the sheets of FIG. 2;

    FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side elevation view of the result of a profile machining step of the method of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side elevation view of the result of an ultrasonic joining step of the method of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side elevation view of the result of an initial plug installation step of the method of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side elevation view of the result of a final plug installation step of the method of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 8 is a fragmentary cross-sectional side elevation view of the result of a final machining step of the method of FIG. 1, showing the finished joint; and

    FIG. 9 is a diagram of a system for joining relatively thick sheets of non-weldable material using ultrasonic joining.



    [0014] The figures are not intended to limit the present invention to the specific embodiments they depict. The drawings are not necessarily to scale.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0015] The following detailed description of embodiments of the invention references the accompanying figures. The embodiments are intended to describe aspects of the invention in sufficient detail to enable those with ordinary skill in the art to practice the invention. Other embodiments may be utilized and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the claims. The following description is, therefore, not limiting. The scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.

    [0016] In this description, references to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," or "embodiments" mean that the feature or features referred to are included in at least one embodiment of the invention. Separate references to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," or "embodiments" in this description do not necessarily refer to the same embodiment and are not mutually exclusive unless so stated. Specifically, a feature, component, action, step, etc. described in one embodiment may also be included in other embodiments, but is not necessarily included. Thus, particular implementations of the present invention can include a variety of combinations and/or integrations of the embodiments described herein.

    [0017] Broadly characterized, embodiments provide a method of joining relatively thick sheets of non-weldable aluminum and other materials using multiple passes of ultrasonic joining and multiple plugs to create a single larger sheet. In more detail, the method and system employs a multi-step process to overcome existing limitations on the thicknesses of materials amenable to ultrasonic joining, and allows for joining together sheets of non-weldable aluminum or other material having thicknesses of greater than 1,778 mm (0.07 inch), or greater than 2,032 mm (0.08 inch), or between 2,032 mm (0.08 inch) and 6,096 mm (0.24 inch).

    [0018] Referring to FIGs. 1 and 2-8, a method 20 of joining first and second relatively thick sheets of non-weldable aluminum or other material 120,122, as seen in FIG. 2, using ultrasonic joining is shown. The sheets 120,122 are shown having X, Y, and Z axes, with the sheets being joined along the X axis. The method 20 may broadly comprise the following.

    [0019] A first angle 124 may be cut onto a first or inner side of an edge of the first sheet 120, and a second angle 126 may be cut onto a corresponding first or inner side of the second sheet 122, as shown in 22 and seen in FIG. 3. The purpose of the first and second angles 124,126 may be to facilitate forming a scarf joint, so the angles 124,126 may be substantially identical, and each angle 124,126 may be less than 45 degrees, or less than 20 degrees, though the actual slope may depend on such factors as the thickness of the sheets 120,122 and the ability of the ultrasonic joining to penetrate the material. In one implementation, the first and second angles 124,126 may have a substantially planar contour (as shown in the figures), while in another implementation, the first and second angles 124,126 may have a substantially non-planar contour, such as a curved or a stepped contour, or, more broadly, a simple or a complex contour.

    [0020] A first profile 128 may be machined on a second or outer side of the edge of the first sheet 120, and a second profile 130 may be machined on a corresponding second or outer edge of the second sheet 122, as shown in 24 and seen in FIG. 4. The first and second profiles 128,130 may be substantially identical, and each profile 128,130 may be substantially angular and slope toward the edge of the sheet 120,122. In one implementation, the first and second profiles 128,130 may have a substantially planar contour (as shown in the figures), while in another implementation, the first and second profiles 128,130 may have a substantially non-planar contour, such as a curved or a stepped contour, or, more broadly, a simple or a complex contour.

    [0021] The first and second sheets 120,122 may be arranged so that the first and second angles 124,126 overlap, forming a scarf joint 132, and ultrasonic joining may be performed on both sides of the scarf joint 132 to join the first and second sheets 120,122 together, as shown in 26 and seen in FIG. 5. On one side of the scarf joint 132, the first profile 128 may intersect the second angle 126 to form a first channel 134, while on the other side of the scarf joint 132, the second profile 130 may intersect the first angle 124 to form a second channel 136. As needed or desired, the first and second channels 134,136 may be machined in preparation for joining the first and second plugs, as shown in 28.

    [0022] A first plug 138 may be created and positioned in the first channel 134, and ultrasonic joining may be performed to join the first plug 138 in the first channel 134, and a second plug 140 may be created and positioned in the second channel 136, and ultrasonic joining may be performed to join the second plug 140 in the second channel 136, as shown in 30 and seen in FIG. 6. As needed or desired, the first and second plugs 138,140 ultrasonically joined in the first and second channels 134,136 may be machined in preparation for joining additional plugs, as shown in 32.

    [0023] If the sheets 120,122 are not substantially thicker than 1,778 mm (0.07 inch) (i.e., not greater than 2,286 mm (0.09 inch) thick, or not greater than 2,032 mm (0.08 inch) thick), then only the first and second plugs 138,140 may be needed to complete the complete the joint. However, as needed or desired, two or more additional plugs 142,144 may be created and positioned in the first and second channels 134,136 over the previously installed plugs, and ultrasonic joining may be performed on the two or more additional plugs 142,144 to join the two or more additional plugs 142,144 in the first and second channels 134,136 until at least first and second last additional plugs are proud of the surfaces of the first and second sheets 120,122, as shown in 34 and seen in FIG. 7. As needed or desired, any of the two or more additional plugs 142,144 prior to the first and second last additional plugs ultrasonically joined in the first and second channels 134,136 may be machined in preparation for joining additional plugs, as shown in 36. At least the first and second last additional plugs (or as mentioned, the first and second plugs 138,140 if they are the only and therefore last plugs) may be machined until they are flush with the surfaces of the first and second sheets 120,122 (i.e., until the joint is the same thickness as the base material) to produce the finished joint 146, as shown in 38 and seen in FIG. 8.

    [0024] The first and second plugs 138,140 and/or the two or more additional plugs 142,144 may each have a thickness of between 0,254 mm (0.01 inch) and 1,016 mm (0.04 inch). The first and second plugs 138,140 and/or the two or more additional plugs 142,144 may be of the same or a different material as the sheets 120,122. For example, if the sheets 120,122 are a type of aluminum, then the plugs 138,140,142,144 may be the same or a different type of aluminum, or they may be steel or another body-centered cubic material, or they may be titanium or another hexagonal close-packed material. In one implementation, the plugs 138,140,142,144 may be of a tougher material than the sheets 120,122 in order to further resist cracking. The first and second plugs 138,140 may present inner surfaces having contours that engage or otherwise complement the contours of the angles 124,126 and/or profiles 128,130, and may present outer surfaces having contours that may be similarly planar or non-planar. Similarly, the two or more additional plugs 142,144 may present inner surfaces having contours that engage or otherwise complement the contours of the outer surfaces of the first and second plugs 124,126, and may present outer surfaces having contours that may be similarly planar or non-planar.

    [0025] In one implementation, the plugs 138,140,142,144 may be dispensed as pre-formed plug material into the channels 134,136. In another implementation, the plugs 138,140,142,144 may be formed from plug material as they are dispensed into the channels 134,136. In the latter implementation, the plug material may be spooled wire other feedstock material.

    [0026] At least the finished joint 146 or the resulting single larger sheet may be tested, evaluated, or otherwise inspected using a non-destructive inspection technique, as shown in 40, to determine whether the joint 146 is satisfactory for the intended purpose of the sheet.

    [0027] Thus, the method 20 may be used to create relatively thick sheets of non-weldable aluminum of substantially any size.

    [0028] Referring also to FIG. 9, a system, not covered by the present invention, is shown for joining first and second relatively thick sheets of non-weldable aluminum or other material 120,122 using ultrasonic joining. The system 220 may implement some or all of the aspects of the method 20 described above, and the corresponding method steps are referenced in the following description of the system 220. The system 220 may broadly comprise first and second end effectors 222,224, with each end effector including a first machining head 226,228; a first ultrasonic joining head 230,232; a second machining head 234,236; a plug dispenser 238,240; a second ultrasonic joining head 242,244; a third machining head 246,248; and first and second NDI devices 250,252.

    [0029] The first and second end effectors 222,224 may be moveable along the length of the edges (i.e., the X axis) of the sheets of material 120,122 to be joined. The end effectors 222,224 may be moved by robotic devices. In an alternative implementation, the sheets 120,122 may be moved relative to the end effectors 222,224 which may remain stationary. The first end effector 222 may be positioned and configured to act on a first side of the sheets 120,122, and the second end effector 224 may be positioned and configured opposite the first end effector 222 and configured to act on a second side of the sheets 120,122. The second end effector 224 may be further configured to react to loads created by the first end effector 222.

    [0030] As illustrated, prior to the sheets 120,122 entering the system 220, a first angle 124 may be cut onto a first or inner side of an edge of the first sheet 120, and a second angle 126 may be cut onto a corresponding first or inner side of the second sheet 122 (corresponding to step 22 of FIG. 1, and seen in FIG. 3), in order to facilitate forming a scarf joint. Alternatively, the system 220 may include first and second cutting heads configured to cut the angles 124,126.

    [0031] The first machining heads 226,228 may be configured to machine a first profile 128 on a second or outer side of the edge of the first sheet 120, and to machine a second profile 130 on a corresponding second or outer edge of the second sheet 122 (corresponding to step 24, and seen in FIG. 4).

    [0032] The first and second sheets 120,122 may be arranged so that the first and second angles 124,126 overlap, forming a scarf joint 132, and the first ultrasonic joining head 230,232 may be configured to perform ultrasonic joining on both sides of the this scarf joint 132 to join the first and second sheets 120,122 together (corresponding to step 26, and seen in FIG. 5). On one side of the scarf joint 132, the first profile 128 may intersect the second angle 126 to form a first channel 134, while on the other side of the scarf joint 132, the second profile 130 may intersect the first angle 124 to form a second channel 136. As needed or desired, the second machining head 234,236 may be configured to machine the first and second channels 134,136 in preparation for joining the first and second plugs (corresponding to step 28).

    [0033] The plug dispenser 238,240 may position a first plug 138 in the first channel 134, and may position a second plug 140 in the second channel 136 (corresponding to a first part of step 30, and seen in FIG. 6). In one implementation, the dispenser 238,240 may dispense pre-formed plug material into the channels 134,136. In another implementation, the dispenser 238,240 may form the plug material as it is dispensed. In the latter implementation, plug material may be in the form of spooled wire or other feedstock.

    [0034] The second ultrasonic joining head 242,244 may be configured to perform ultrasonic joining to join the first plug 138 in the first channel 134, and the second plug 140 in the second channel 136 (corresponding to a second part of step 30, and seen in FIG. 6). As needed or desired, the second machining head 234,236 may be configured to machine the first and second plugs 138,140 in preparation for joining additional plugs (corresponding to step 32).

    [0035] As needed or desired, the plug dispenser 238,240 may position two or more additional plugs 142,144 in the first and second channels 134,136 over the previously installed plugs, and the second ultrasonic joining head 242,244 may perform ultrasonic joining to join the two or more additional plugs 142,144 in the first and second channels 134,136 until at least first and second last additional plugs are proud of the surfaces of the first and second sheets 120,122 (corresponding to step 34, and seen in FIG. 7. As needed or desired, the second machining head 234,236 may be configured to machine any two or more additional plugs 142,144 prior to the first and second last additional plugs ultrasonically joined in the first and second channels 134,136 in preparation for joining additional plugs (corresponding to step 36).

    [0036] The third machining head 246,248 may be configured to machine at least the first and second last additional plugs until they are flush with the surfaces of the first and second sheets 120,122 (i.e., until the joint is the same thickness as the base material) to produce the finished joint 146 (corresponding to step 38, and seen in FIG. 8).

    [0037] The NDI device 250 may be configured to test, evaluate, or otherwise inspect at least the finished joint 146 of the resulting single larger sheet using a non-destructive inspection technique (corresponding to step 40), to determine whether the joint 146 is satisfactory for the intended purpose of the sheet.

    [0038] Thus, the system 220 may be used to create relatively thick sheets of non-weldable aluminum of substantially any size.

    [0039] Although the invention has been described with reference to the one or more embodiments illustrated in the figures, it is understood that equivalents may be employed and substitutions made herein without departing from the scope of the invention as recited in the claims.


    Claims

    1. A method (20) of joining first and second sheets (120, 122) of non-weldable material to create a single larger sheet having a first side and a second side, the method being characterised by the following steps :

    - for each sheet of the first and second sheets (120, 122):

    - cutting (22) an angle (124, 126) on a first side of an edge of the sheet (120, 122), and

    - machining (24) a profile (128, 130) in a second side of the edge of the sheet (120, 122);

    - overlapping (26) the angles (124, 126) on the first sides of both sheets (120, 122);

    - performing ultrasonic joining (26) to join the first and second sheets (120, 122) together by a scarf joint (132) to form the single larger sheet, such that the angle (124, 126) of each sheet intersects the profile (128, 130) of the other sheet to create a first channel (134) in the first side and a second channel (136) in the second side of the single larger sheet; and

    - ultrasonic joining (30) one or more plugs (138, 140) in each of the first and second channels (134, 136).


     
    2. The method of claim 1, wherein each of the first and second sheets (120, 122) of the material have a thickness of at least 0,1778 cm (0.07 inch), and/or
    wherein each plug (138, 140) has a thickness of between 0,254 mm (0.01 inch) and 1,016 mm (0.04 inch).
     
    3. The method of claim 1, wherein the material is an aluminum material, and/or
    wherein each of the plugs (138, 140) are of a different material than the first and second sheets (120, 122).
     
    4. The method of claim 1, further including, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), positioning (34) at least one additional plug (142, 144) over an initial plug (138, 140) in the channel (134,136), and performing ultrasonic joining (34) to join each additional plug (142, 144) in the channel (134, 136) until the last plug is proud of a surface of the larger sheet.
     
    5. The method of claim 4, further including, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), machining (32) the initial plug (138, 140) ultrasonically joined in the channel (134, 136) in preparation for joining the additional plug (142, 144) over the initial plug (138, 140), and, optionally, wherein, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), there is at least one intermediate additional plug prior to the last plug, and further including, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), machining (36) the intermediate additional plug joined in the channel (134, 136) in preparation for joining the last plug over the intermediate additional plug.
     
    6. The method of claim 1, further including machining (38) a last plug of the one or more plugs (138, 140) flush with the respective side of the single larger sheet.
     
    7. The method of claim 1, further including performing (40) non-destructive inspection on the larger sheet to determine a characteristic of the joining.
     
    8. The method of claim 1, further including

    - for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136):

    - positioning (30) at least one plug (138, 140) in the channel (134, 136), and performing ultrasonic joining (30) to join the plug (138, 140) in the channel (134, 136), and

    - machining (38) a last plug of the at least one plug (138, 140) flush with the respective side of the larger sheet.


     
    9. The method of claim 8, wherein each of the first and second sheets of the material have a thickness of at least 1,778 mm (0.07 inch), and/or
    wherein each plug (138, 140) has a thickness of between 0,254 mm (0.01 inch) and 1,016 mm (0.04 inch).
     
    10. The method of claim 8, wherein the material is an aluminum material, and/or
    wherein the plugs (138, 140) are of a different material than the first and second sheets (120, 122).
     
    11. The method of claim 8, further including, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), positioning (34) at least one additional plug (142, 144) over an initial plug (138, 140) in the channel (134, 136), and performing ultrasonic joining (34) to join each additional plug (142, 144) in the channel (134, 136) until the last plug is proud of a surface of the larger sheet.
     
    12. The method of claim 11, further including, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), machining (32) the initial plug (138, 140) ultrasonically joined in the channel (134, 136) in preparation for joining the additional plug (142, 144) over the initial plug (138, 140), and, optionally, wherein, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), there is at least one intermediate additional plug prior to the last plug, and further including, for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136), machining (36) the intermediate additional plug joined in the channel (134, 136) in preparation for joining the last plug over the intermediate additional plug.
     
    13. The method of claim 8, further including performing (40) non-destructive inspection on the larger sheet to determine a characteristic of the joining.
     
    14. The method of claim 1, wherein each of the first and second sheets of a aluminum material having a thickness of at least 1,778 mm (0.07 inch), the method comprising:

    - for each channel of the first and second channels (134, 136):

    - adding plugs (138, 140, 142, 144) until at least one of the plugs is proud of the respective side of the larger sheet, wherein the adding of the plugs includes:

    - positioning (30) an initial plug (138, 140) in the channel (134, 136), with the initial plug (138, 140) having a thickness of between 0,254 mm (0.01 inch) and 1,016 mm (0.04 inch), and performing ultrasonic joining (30) to join the initial plug (138, 140)in the channel (134, 136),

    - positioning (34) at least one additional plug (142, 144) over the initial plug (138, 140) in the channel (134, 136), and performing ultrasonic joining (34) to join the additional plug (142, 144) in the channel (134, 136), and

    - machining (38) a last additional plug (142, 144) flush with the respective side of the larger sheet; and

    - performing (40) non-destructive inspection on the larger sheet to determine a characteristic of the joining.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren (20) zum Verbinden eines ersten und eines zweiten Bogens (120, 122) aus einem nicht schweißbaren Material, um einen einzelnen größeren Bogen herzustellen, der eine erste Seite und eine zweite Seite hat, wobei das Verfahren gekennzeichnet ist durch die folgenden Schritte:

    - für jeden Bogen des ersten und des zweiten Bogens (120, 122):

    - Schneiden (22) eines Winkels (124, 126) an einer ersten Seite von einer Kante des Bogens (120, 122), und

    - Ausbilden (24) eines Profils (128, 130) in einer zweiten Seite von der Kante des Bogens (120, 122);

    - Überlappen (26) der Winkel (124, 126) an den ersten Seiten von beiden Bögen (120, 122);

    - Durchführen (26) einer Ultraschallverbindung, um den ersten und den zweiten Bogen (120, 122) durch eine Falzverbindung (132) miteinander zu verbinden, um den einzelnen größeren Bogen zu bilden, so dass sich der Winkel (124, 126) von jedem Bogen mit dem Profil (128, 130) des anderen Bogens kreuzt, um einen ersten Kanal (134) in der ersten Seite und einen zweiten Kanal (136) in der zweiten Seite des einzelnen größeren Bogens zu erzeugen; und

    - Ultraschallverbinden (30) von einem oder mehreren Stopfen (138, 140) in jedem der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136).


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei jeder des ersten und des zweiten Bogens (120, 122) des Materials eine Dicke von mindestens 0,1778 cm (0,07 Zoll) hat, und/oder
    wobei jeder Stopfen (138, 140) eine Dicke von zwischen 0,254 mm (0,01 Zoll) und 1,016 mm (0,04 Zoll) hat.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Material ein Aluminium-Material ist, und/oder
    wobei jeder der Stopfen (138, 140) aus einem anderen Material als der erste und der zweite Bogen (120, 122) besteht.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, außerdem umfassend, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), das Positionieren (34) von mindestens einem zusätzlichen Stopfen (142, 144) über einem anfänglichen Stopfen (138, 140) in dem Kanal (134, 136), und das Durchführen (34) einer Ultraschallverbindung, um jeden zusätzlichen Stopfen (142, 144) in dem Kanal (134, 136) zu verbinden, bis der letzte Stopfen von einer Fläche des größeren Bogens vorsteht.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4, außerdem umfassend, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), das Ausbilden (32) des anfänglichen Stopfens (138, 140), der durch Ultraschall in dem Kanal (134, 136) verbunden ist, in Vorbereitung für das Verbinden des zusätzlichen Stopfens (142, 144) über dem anfänglichen Stopfen, und, optional,
    wobei, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), mindestens ein zwischenliegender zusätzlicher Stopfen vor dem letzten Stopfen vorgesehen ist, und außerdem umfassend, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), das Ausbilden (36) des zwischenliegenden zusätzlichen Stopfens, der in dem Kanal (134, 136) verbunden ist, in Vorbereitung für das Verbinden des letzten Stopfens über dem zwischenliegenden zusätzlichen Stopfen.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, außerdem umfassend das Ausbilden (38) eines letzten Stopfens des einen oder der mehreren Stopfen, der mit der jeweiligen Seite des einzelnen größeren Bogens bündig ist.
     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, außerdem umfassend das Durchführen (40) einer zerstörungsfreien Inspektion an dem größeren Bogen, um eine Eigenschaft der Verbindung zu bestimmen.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, außerdem umfassend

    - für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136):

    - Positionieren (30) von mindestens einem Stopfen (138, 140) in dem Kanal (134, 136), und Durchführen (30) einer Ultraschallverbindung, um den Stopfen (138, 140) in dem Kanal (134, 136) zu verbinden, und

    - Ausbilden (38) eines letzten Stopfens des mindestens einen Stopfens (138, 140), der mit der jeweiligen Seite des größeren Bogens bündig ist.


     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, wobei jeder des ersten und des zweiten Bogens des Materials eine Dicke von mindestens 1,778 mm (0,07 Zoll) hat, und/oder
    wobei jeder Stopfen (138, 140) eine Dicke von zwischen 0,254 mm (0,01 Zoll) und 1,016 mm (0,04 Zoll) hat.
     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, wobei das Material ein Aluminium-Material ist, und/oder
    wobei die Stopfen (138, 140) aus einem anderen Material als der erste und der zweite Bogen (120, 122) bestehen.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, außerdem umfassend, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), das Positionieren (34) von mindestens einem zusätzlichen Stopfen (142, 144) über einem anfänglichen Stopfen (138, 140) in dem Kanal (134, 136), und das Durchführen (34) einer Ultraschallverbindung, um jeden zusätzlichen Stopfen (142, 144) in dem Kanal (134, 136) zu verbinden, bis der letzte Stopfen von einer Fläche des größeren Bogens vorsteht.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 11, außerdem umfassend, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), das Ausbilden (32) des anfänglichen Stopfens (138, 140), der durch Ultraschall in dem Kanal (134, 136) verbunden ist, in Vorbereitung für das Verbinden des zusätzlichen Stopfens (142, 144) über dem anfänglichen Stopfen (138, 140), und, optional,
    wobei, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), mindestens ein zwischenliegender zusätzlicher Stopfen vor dem letzten Stopfen vorgesehen ist, und außerdem umfassend, für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136), das Ausbilden (36) des zwischenliegenden zusätzliche Stopfens, der in dem Kanal (134, 136) verbunden ist, in Vorbereitung für das Verbinden des letzten Stopfens über dem zwischenliegenden zusätzlichen Stopfen.
     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, außerdem umfassend das Durchführen (40) einer zerstörungsfreien Inspektion an dem größeren Bogen, um eine Eigenschaft der Verbindung zu bestimmen.
     
    14. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei jeder des ersten und des zweiten Bogens eines Aluminium-Materials eine Dicke von mindestens 1,778 mm (0,07 Zoll) hat, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    - für jeden Kanal der ersten und zweiten Kanäle (134, 136):

    - Hinzufügen von Stopfen (138, 140, 142, 144) bis mindestens einer der Stopfen von der jeweiligen Seite des größeren Bogens vorsteht, wobei das Hinzufügen der Stopfen umfasst:

    - Positionieren (30) eines anfänglichen Stopfens (138, 140) in dem Kanal (134, 136), wobei der anfängliche Stopfen (138, 140) eine Dicke von zwischen 0,254 mm (0,01 Zoll) und 1,016 mm (0,04) Zoll hat, und das Durchführen (30) einer Ultraschallverbindung, um den anfänglichen Stopfen (138, 140) in dem Kanal (134, 136) zu verbinden,

    - Positionieren (34) von mindestens einem zusätzlichen Stopfen (142, 144) über dem anfänglichen Stopfen (138, 140) in dem Kanal (134, 136), und Durchführen (34) einer Ultraschallverbindung, um den zusätzlichen Stopfen (142, 144) in dem Kanal (134, 136) zu verbinden, und

    - Ausbilden (38) von einem letzten zusätzlichen Stopfen (142, 144), der mit der jeweiligen Seite des größeren Bogens bündig ist; und

    - Durchführen (40) einer zerstörungsfreien Inspektion an dem größeren Bogen, um eine Eigenschaft der Verbindung zu bestimmen.


     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé (20) d'assemblage de première et seconde plaques (120, 122) de matériau non soudable pour créer une unique plus grande plaque ayant un premier côté et un second côté, le procédé étant caractérisé par les étapes suivantes:

    - pour chaque plaque parmi les première et seconde plaques (120, 122):

    - la coupe (22) d'un angle (124, 126) sur un premier côté d'un bord de la plaque (120, 122), et

    - l'usinage (24) d'un profil (128, 130) dans un second côté du bord de la plaque (120, 122);

    - la superposition (26) des angles (124, 126) présents sur les premier côtés des deux plaques (120, 122);

    - la réalisation d'un assemblage par ultrasons (26) pour assembler les première et seconde plaques (120, 122) l'une à l'autre par un joint en biseau (132) afin de former l'unique plus grande plaque, de manière que l'angle (124, 126) de chaque plaque intersecte le profil (128, 130) de l'autre plaque pour créer une première rainure (134) dans le premier côté et une seconde rainure (136) dans le second côté de l'unique plus grande plaque; et

    - l'assemblage par ultrasons (30) d'un ou de plusieurs tampons (138, 140) dans chacune des première et seconde rainures (134, 136).


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel chacune des première et seconde plaques (120, 122) du matériau a une épaisseur d'au moins 0,1778 cm (0,07 pouce), et/ou
    dans lequel chaque tampon (138, 140) a une épaisseur comprise entre 0,254 mm (0,01 pouce) et 1,016 mm (0,04 pouce).
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le matériau est un matériau aluminium, et/ou
    dans lequel chacun des tampons (138, 140) est constitué d'un matériau différent de celui des première et seconde plaques (120, 122).
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), le positionnement (34) d'au moins un tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) au-dessus d'un tampon initial (138, 140) dans la rainure (134, 136), et la réalisation d'un assemblage par ultrasons (34) pour assembler chaque tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) dans la rainure (134, 136) jusqu'à ce que le dernier tampon dépasse d'une surface de la plus grande plaque.
     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 4, comprenant en outre, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), l'usinage (32) du tampon initial (138, 140) assemblé par ultrasons dans la rainure (134, 136) en préparation de l'assemblage du tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) au-dessus du tampon initial (138, 140), et, facultativement, dans lequel, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), il existe au moins un tampon supplémentaire intermédiaire avant le dernier tampon, et comprenant en outre, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), l'usinage (36) du tampon supplémentaire intermédiaire assemblé dans la rainure (134, 136) en préparation de l'assemblage du dernier tampon au-dessus du tampon supplémentaire intermédiaire.
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre l'usinage (38) d'un dernier tampon parmi le ou les tampons (138, 140) de niveau avec le côté respectif de l'unique plus grande plaque.
     
    7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre la réalisation (40) d'une inspection non destructive sur la plus grande plaque pour déterminer une caractéristique de l'assemblage.
     
    8. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre

    - pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136):

    - le positionnement (30) d'au moins un tampon (138, 140) dans la rainure (134, 136), et la réalisation d'un assemblage par ultrasons (30) pour assembler le tampon (138, 140) dans la rainure (134, 136), et

    - l'usinage (38) d'un dernier tampon parmi l'au moins un tampon (138, 140) de niveau avec le côté respectif de la plus grande plaque.


     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 8, dans lequel chacune des première et seconde plaques du matériau a une épaisseur d'au moins 1,778 mm (0,07 pouce), et/ou
    dans lequel chaque tampon (138, 140) a une épaisseur comprise entre 0,254 mm (0,01 pouce) et 1,016 mm (0,04 pouce).
     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le matériau est un matériau aluminium, et/ou
    dans lequel les tampons (138, 140) sont constitués d'un matériau différent de celui des première et seconde plaques (120, 122).
     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), le positionnement (34) d'au moins un tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) au-dessus d'un tampon initial (138, 140) dans la rainure (134, 136), et la réalisation d'un assemblage par ultrasons (34) pour assembler chaque tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) dans la rainure (134, 136) jusqu'à ce que le dernier tampon dépasse d'une surface de la plus grande plaque.
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 11, comprenant en outre, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), l'usinage (32) du tampon initial (138, 140) assemblé par ultrasons dans la rainure (134, 136) en préparation de l'assemblage du tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) au-dessus du tampon initial (138, 140), et, facultativement, dans lequel, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), il existe au moins un tampon supplémentaire intermédiaire avant le dernier tampon, et comprenant en outre, pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136), l'usinage (36) du tampon supplémentaire intermédiaire assemblé dans la rainure (134, 136) en préparation de l'assemblage du dernier tampon au-dessus du tampon supplémentaire intermédiaire.
     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre la réalisation (40) d'une inspection non destructive sur la plus grande plaque pour déterminer une caractéristique de l'assemblage.
     
    14. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel chacune des première et seconde plaque d'un matériau aluminium ayant une épaisseur d'au moins 1,778 mm (0,07 pouce), le procédé comprenant:

    - pour chaque rainure parmi les première et seconde rainures (134, 136):

    - l'ajout de tampons (138, 140, 142, 144) jusqu'à ce qu'au moins un des tampons dépasse du côté respectif de la plus grande plaque, l'ajout des tampons comprenant:

    - le positionnement (30) d'un tampon initial (138, 140) dans la rainure (134, 136), le tampon initial (138, 140) ayant une épaisseur comprise entre 0,254 mm (0,01 pouce) et 1,016 mm (0,04 pouce), et la réalisation d'un assemblage par ultrasons (30) pour assembler le tampon initial (138, 140) dans la rainure (134, 136),

    - le positionnement (34) d'au moins un tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) au-dessus du tampon initial (138, 140) dans la rainure (134, 136), et la réalisation d'un assemblage par ultrasons (34) pour assembler le tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) dans la rainure (134, 136), et

    - l'usinage (38) d'un dernier tampon supplémentaire (142, 144) de niveau avec le côté respectif de la plus grande plaque; et

    - la réalisation (40) d'une inspection non destructive sur la plus grande plaque pour déterminer une caractéristique de l'assemblage.


     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description