images1

METALWORKING

Welding Is A Blast, Literally

In my last entry, I wrote about unusual applications for gases like nitrogen, the inert gases and helium (a flying house!). In case you thought I had forgotten about welding, think again. Welding has a lot of applications, but one of the most unusual welding processes I’ve seen is something called explosion welding.
If you’ve never heard of it, the method literally involves an explosion. The force from the explosion enables the joining highly dissimilar metals, such as aluminum, carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, copper alloys, and so forth. The explosion delivers millions of pounds of force per square inch. Almost any metals can be joined, regardless of type of composition, and the result is a stronger material than what could normally be achieved by regular joining methods.

Chris Conrardy, VP for technology and innovation at the Edison Welding Institute, wrote about the importance of new joining technologies in “Advanced Technologies” (WGT Summer 2010). “Joining of dissimilar materials is of increasing importance to many industry sectors,” he says. Conrardy mentions other technologies, such as magnetic pulse welding and friction welding, that are also helping to join dissimilar materials. If you’re interested in cutting-edge welding methods, I highly recommend checking out the article.