Laser Plate Butt Welding Project
Small Business Information
APPLIED THERMAL SCIENCES
PO Box C, 1861 Main St., Sanford, ME, 04073
AbstractThe proposed project addresses the Navy's need to reduce shipbuilding costs and improve delivery schedules by developing equipment and methods to dramatically improve the welding of plate panel butt joints. Comprising the outer hull, decks, and bulkheads of ships, these panels remain one of the highest-cost welding and inspection operations in shipbuilding. In addition to welding and inspection costs, traditional welding processes cause significant warpage, requiring expensive and time consuming downstream rework, in straightening and/or adding of fillers and levelers. Fillers provide no structural benefit, but increase vessel weight and compromise stability. This proposed SBIR project will demonstrate that using hybrid Laser-assisted Gas Metal Arc Welding (LGMAW), weld joints can be made in less time, at higher quality, and with less distortion than with traditional methods. In addition, plate preparation and handling costs will be reduced, since the hybrid-LGMAW process can work with plates directly from the cutting process, and can be welded from one side. The hybrid-LGMAW process will reduce panel line cycle times, reduce downstream rework, while at the same time providing improved base metal properties by virtue of its lower heat input.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.