Original Date: 04/01/1993
Revision Date: 01/19/2007
Information : Aluminum Welding Practices
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA) has previously successfully welded aluminum alloys with gas tungsten arc (GTA) and gas metal arc welding processes. Now, the company- wide commitment to quality has provided the catalyst to invest in a state-of-the-art variable polarity plasma arc (VPPA) welding and inspection facility. This dedicated weld development facility consists of 7,200 square feet of high bay and 7,600 square feet of low bay space meeting class 100K clean room requirements.
The facility has two radiographic inspection booths. The VPPA welding cell consists of a computer-controlled 400 AMP Sciaky weld system capable of plasma or GTA welding in straight or variable polarity modes. Integrated into the weld controller is an MVS laser-based automatic weld joint tracking system, remote controlled mechanized filler wire guide, and a pre-weld and post-weld color video viewing system. The welding controller is capable of controlling and monitoring 23 selectable welding parameters with electronic or hard copy recording of actual critical welding parameters for a given weld sequence. The cell provides nine axes of motion, seven of which are computer controlled. The work envelope is 18 feet wide by 50 feet long with two, 30,000 ft-lb torque positioners. A 7,500 pound overhead bridge crane supports manipulation of hardware in the facility.
The VPPA welding and inspection facility combines state-of-the-art welding equipment and controls with tooling, providing the capability to join large structures in an environmentally controlled facility. This effort produces high quality, low cost manufacture of aluminum structures.
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