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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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Material selection for laser and EB welding - do's and don'ts

One of the most important factors in a successful laser or electron beam (EB) welding project is choosing the right materials up front.  The right material can make the difference between a project that runs smoothly and gets delivered on time, and a project that takes longer, costs more, and causes a lot of aggravation. While we could probably write a book on this topic, here are a few do’s and don’ts to get started. 

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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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Five steps to planning your career growth

Guest blogger Sue Salvemini is the founder and president of Focal Pointe, Inc., which provides executive coaching, leadership development and business consulting services. 

Climbing the corporate ladder often seems narrow and difficult to navigate. With limited senior level positions and multiple talent striving for the same job, the journey can be overwhelming and often discouraging.

As an individual, you enjoy your work, you like your colleagues, and your company is a great fit. Other than feeling stalled in career advancement, you are happy! So how do you advance and achieve your goals without feeling that your only option is to change jobs or companies? Are there opportunities right in front of you that you may be missing? Are you leading yourself intentionally with a focused direction?

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10 advantages of electron beam welding

Since we started this blog a few months ago, we’ve written about a lot of topics related to laser welding, which hopefully you’ve found useful. Now we’d like to turn your attention to another type of welding that’s a favorite of ours – electron beam welding.

Electron beam (EB) welding is an excellent choice for joining advanced materials used in industries such as aerospace, semiconductors, and medical devices.  Here are 10 advantages of EB welding. (I could come up with more, but 10 is a nice round number, isn’t it?)

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Watching the eclipse at Joining Technologies

Like the rest of the country, all of us at Joining Technologies were pretty excited to see the solar eclipse yesterday.  But not everyone was able to get their hands on eclipse glasses.  So, to avoid being "Blinded by the Light" (to steal a great song title from Bruce Springsteen), Scott Boynton rigged up a way for all of us to watch the big event safely.  Scott, President of Joining Technologies Automation, used mirrors to project the eclipse through our windows and onto the screen in our conference room.  Check out this short video to see how it worked.

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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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