German research institute Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH), in a joint research project with nine partners, developed a laser welding process with integrated welding depth control for thick mixed joints in shipbuilding.
Ship hulls made of steel and aluminum alloy superstructures are primarily used in yacht construction. Such material combinations reduce the overall weight and lower the center of gravity of the ship, thus stabilizing it. Via an adapter, the two different metals are joined securely and with a high mechanical load capacity. This adapter is conventionally manufactured by explosive plating, a complex joining process. The process, named LaSAAS (laser beam welding of steel to aluminum for use in shipbuilding), is able to manufacture such adapters quickly and flexibly.