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John Lucas

John is a Senior Process Development Engineer at Joining Technologies who has worked in welding, machining and design for nearly 20 years. When he’s not thinking about welding, he’s an avid boater and fisherman.

Recent Posts

Weld contamination part 2 – aluminum oxide

 

Aluminum oxide contamination is no big deal for that rusty yard art project, but can wreak havoc on critical applications like an axle shaft. (Spider by John Lucas, Jr.)

I’ve talked about weld contaminants in a previous post, but a recent conversation convinced me that it was a topic that warranted revisiting.

Aluminum oxide (AlO), in particular, is a nasty contaminant that is oft overlooked.

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Heat treating, before or after welding (or both)

I’ve blathered about heat, post-weld heat treatment, heat sinking, and blown a lot of hot air in general. Mostly, the discussion has focused on weld characteristics and weldability. This blog will take a slightly different angle.

Heat treating can be used for a variety of reasons: strengthening, annealing, stress relieving, and wear resistance to name a few. But, when is the best time to heat treat your welded part?

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Laser welding aluminum – stay light by welding with light

Warning: This is a blog, not a how-to guide.  I won’t be giving away any secrets today.  If you want those, it’ll cost you $$$!

This is a hot topic.  Aluminum is a popular material due to its light weight, ease of machining, relatively low cost, and good wear and corrosion characteristics.  It is commonly GTAW and MIG welded – think bicycle frames, hand rails, and truck tool boxes.

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In Memory of Paul Lombardini

Folks, today I would like to shift gears from technical discussion and dedicate this blog to an exceptional individual.

Paul Lombardini, our Quality Control Manager, passed away on Tuesday, September 12, very unexpectedly.  This man touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with.  Writing this is surprisingly hard from an emotional standpoint, and exceptionally easy from a content standpoint.

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Filler wire selection for welding

Choices, choices.  The designer literally has all of them at some point.  As the design progresses, they dwindle along with flexibility.

When designing a part for welding, there are times where it becomes necessary to incorporate filler material into the assembly.  This can be to accommodate manufacturing tolerances, to reduce stress, or to join materials that may not readily weld without an intermediary.

These have to be considered when selecting an appropriate filler.

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Weld tolerances and thickness

So, we’ve talked about gaps a few times (here and here), and if you’re not sick of hearing about them, thanks for your patience.  Yes, there are other weld tolerance concerns, so let’s talk about one of the other common tolerances that can wreak havoc on a qualified welding process.

Thickness.  No, I’m not referring to anyone’s skull, rather the tolerance of the cross section of the material at the point of welding.  Depending on the weld joint configuration (assume autogenous for today), there may be 2 or more tolerances to consider. 

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Laser welding dissimilar metals: one is not like the other

We’ve gone over some interesting topics in past blogs.  Hopefully you've read through them. This one is going to build on some of the tidbits previously mentioned.

Sometimes when it comes to product design, joining different materials becomes unavoidable.  We don’t need to cover ALL of the possible reasons, but the more common ones are thermal management and mechanical characteristics (strength, corrosion resistance, etc.).  Yes, those are very broad topics. 

Perhaps it would be best to look at two scenarios:

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Shielding – Do you have gas? Do you need it?

This blog is going to be slightly different from the others.  We’re going to talk about a weld process variable as the primary consideration and work backwards into effects on the work piece.  Rather than what directly affects you, I’d like to talk about what challenges us, the welders.

Today’s topic is shield gas.

What is it?  It is an integral part of most atmospheric weld processes (laser welding, TIG, MIG, plasma arc).  It is used to displace the reactive gasses found in the air we breathe.  Oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, to name a few.

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Heat sinks for welding: keep your cool

 

“I can’t possibly assemble this product with a weld.  It’s too sensitive to heat.”

Really???  Tell me more.  This is probably not the problem you think it is.

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We're playing music with lasers for the 4th of July

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and before we all head out to celebrate with fireworks and barbecues, I thought we’d do something a little different to kick off our first video blog.  What’s the perfect song for Independence Day?  The “Star Spangled Banner” would be a pretty good choice, right?  Well, how about the “Star Spangled Banner” played by a high power industrial laser! Check out the video below:

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