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A laser-welded robot is used in maglev trains of CRRC

April 7, 2021

Over the years, in the field of aerospace, transportation, deep-sea equipment, some non-standard key parts need to rely on manual welding. In the words of relevant experts of CRRC Co., Ltd.(a stated owned company that mainly produces trains), the welding technology of these key parts has high precision, if it fails to meet the requirements, it will cause parts to be scrapped or accidents in operation.


He Xiaoyang Scientific Research Team of Wuxi Hanshen Electric Co., Ltd. of Jiangsu Province, has successfully developed a new hand-held laser welding robot, which has been successfully applied in the new high-speed maglev train project in China.


High speed lightweight, higher requirements for welding technology


Qishuyan, a deputy chief engineer of CRRC told reporters that the CRH380A high-speed EMU ran out of 486.1 kilometers per hour on the Beijing-Shanghai line, refreshing the world's high-speed rail speed. Such a high speed poses great challenges to the performance of the material and gear itself, the sealing reliability of the box, etc.


"At present, China's high-speed car body materials have developed, from ordinary alloy steel materials in the past, to stainless steel, aluminum alloy in nowadays ." He Xiaoyang said. The change of materials put forward higher requirements for welding technology, which naturally has led to the improvement of processing technology. The high and new technology of laser welding cutting machine has also been introduced into the railway vehicle manufacturing line.


"The high-speed train body is a high-strength aluminum alloy material which is difficult to meet the weld quality requirement by traditional welding equipment ." Professor Wang Kehong of Nanjing University of Technology said. Whereas the handheld laser welding robot developed by our country is faster than the traditional manual argon arc welding process. It can be used in vacuum and specific gas environment to realize automatic high-speed welding.

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Improve welding accuracy and allow laser welding equipment to replace imports


Liu Haijun, deputy general manager of Wuxi Hanshen Electric Co., Ltd., told reporters that laser welding technology is an advanced technology in precision manufacturing. In some developed countries, it has been applied in aerospace, ship manufacturing, rail vehicle manufacturing, sheet metal processing, automobile manufacturing and so on. Before, the domestic laser welding technology has been developed in the laboratory stage, a small number of laser welding equipment that have been put into use also mainly rely on imports, which are very expensive.


"In order to break down the technical barriers of laser welding equipment and promote the development of precision manufacturing in China, we have been working with scientific research institutes since 2008, to jointly develop high-power laser welding equipment. In the past 10 years, under the guidance of the concept of intelligence, we have concentrated our scientific research efforts, targeted rail vehicles for laser welding technology and laser welding intelligent equipment research and development. We have overcome many key technological problems, including material technology, processing technology, and finally we successfully developed, and replaced imported laser welding equipment." He Xiaoyang said.


At present, the new hand-held laser welding robot is a more advanced connection technology, compared with the traditional welding method. Its advantages are very obvious:

fast welding speed and beautiful surface forming;

high power density after laser focusing;

high weld depth and high weld strength;

It can not only weld at room temperature or special conditions, but also weld refractory titanium, quartz and other materials, that improve the welding accuracy and efficiency.


However, in the view of some relevant experts, at present, although China has made new breakthroughs in the field of laser welding, the application field is still limited. In order to realize large-scale application in many fields, it is urgent to improve the core competitiveness of laser welding industry by deepening collaborative innovation. At the same time, it is necessary to speed up the formulation of relevant national standards and introduce policies to encourage the purchase and localization of welding equipment. That will better promote the innovation and development of laser welding industry, and provide important equipment technical support for the construction of aerospace, transportation and marine force.