Hybrid Structures for Joining of Metals and Continuous Fiber Materials

Emerging technology that uses solid state ultrasonic metal welding to create metal parts.

The Need

Various market segments such as automotive and aerospace continue to seek more ways to 'lightweight' their vehicles using more aluminum, magnesium, titanium and other low-weight alloys in place of heavier alloys. This also includes composites. To incorporate these lightweighting materials into a structure, it is often necessary to join dissimilar metals in a way that provides far supprior mechanical properties and stability beyond traditional adhesives and mechanical fasteners. This is a complex and difficult problem that requires a unquie solution.

The Technology

The Ohio State University and Honda R&D Americas, led by Dr. Marcelo Dapino of Ohio State and Dr. Ryan Hahnlen of Honda, have developed a transition structure that includes a metallic portion, a fiber portion including a plurality of tows embedded within the metallic portion and extending out from the metallic portion forming a fabric, and a binding material forming a matrix surrounding the fiber portion embedded within the metallic portion. The fiber portion may be attached to or form part of a composite omponent. The transition structure may join a metallic component and a composite component. The transition structure may be manufactured by creating first channels within a layer of a metallic substrate, inserting fiber tows into the first channels, placing a first metallic layer over the metallic substrate and the fiber tows, consolidating the metallic layer to the metallic substrate, and binding the fiber tows within a resin. Prior to binding, additional layers of channels and fiber tows may be consolidated onto the first metallic layer. This approach is captured in United States Patents 10,807,186 and 11,511,367.

Commercial Applications

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Markets requiring composite-to-Metal transitions


  • Improved interface strength resulting in joints that can be stronger than carbon fiber
  • UAM can be effectively used to encapsulate carbon fiber in aluminum
  • The UAM process makes it possible to create various joint configurations with the aluminum components placed anywhere in the carbon fiber structure

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