A transparent ceramic cap welded to a ceramic tube. (All credits go to: Garay Lab/UCSD)
Ceramic is a notoriously challenging material to weld, due to its brittleness, as well as electrical insulating and heat conduction properties. However, these same characteristics make it a key material for many industrial applications. Its bio-compatibility is also attractive for medical device manufacturing.
A team of researchers led by the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and the University Of California in San Diego (UCSD) has recently demonstrated welding of ceramics with ultrafast lasers. Working with an Amplitude Satsuma laser, they have created a localized melting through nonlinear absorption and successfully welded to small ceramics part with a vacuum proof joint. The UCSD team plans to develop the method for larger parts and different ceramic materials and geometry. Their work, once transferred to industry, could open new applications in micro-electronics, packaging, display and medical implants.
For more information: https://news.ucr.edu/articles/2019/08/22/lasers-can-weld-ceramics-without-furnace