Joining lightweight metals to steel is becoming an increasingly important task as weight reduction requirements dictate new standards in many sheet metal assembly industries. The difference in the physical properties of steel and such materials as aluminum and magnesium makes joining them a difficult task. Resistance spot welding is the most preferred technology because it is easily automated. Direct welding of steel to other metals is not possible; for this reason different intermediate layers are suggested as mediators. Also, different ways of mediator layer deposition have been tried to minimize the number of additional operations. IDIR has developed a technology of joining light-weight metals to steel by cold-spraying the mediator layer onto the steel surface and resistance spot welding the metal sheets. The quality of the joint can be monitored by means of ultrasonic real-time inspection system. While operated in reflection mode, it can deliver information about the state of the faying interface between steel and other metal and characterize the quality of the joint.
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