ARC Specialties, a company that designs and builds automated welding systems worldwide, has formed an alliance with the E.O. Paton Electric Welding Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (PEWI).
PEWI, renowned as one of the most prestigious welding institutions in the world, has developed many of the welding manufacturing industry’s latest technologies.
ARC Specialties president Dan Allford and welding engineer Jordan Smith accompanied by Dr. Peter Kuznetsov, a former PEWI specialist who developed theory, technique and equipment for magnetically impelled arc butt (MIAB) welding of T-joints, met with key research scientists at the PEWI headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine to initiate the relationship in a technology exchange at the end of last year. The visit also included a chance to meet with the president of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine (NAS) and director of PEWI Boris E. Paton. The new alliance will concentrate on developing and implementing new technologies into modern welding manufacturing processes in the U.S. and abroad.
Preliminary studies have begun in the R&D lab at ARC Specialties headquarters in Houston, Texas with an investigation into adding PEWI's activating flux, or a PATIG activator, to standard gas tungsten arc (GTA) welding processes to create a process called A-TIG. PEWI developed the paste-like and spray-like fluxes to prime base metals before welding to increase weld penetration, a known deficiency in GTA welding. Preliminary results suggest only a thin layer of the activating flux compound can drastically increase the weld penetration, which increases the weld quality.
MIAB welding is also under examination to see if new shielding gas methods can expand an area of application of MIAB welding on new materials and joint configurations. Dr. Peter Kuznetsov has teamed with Allford to test the feasibility of the theory. Crediting Allford for the idea, Kuznetsov said, "Using argon shielding gas in MIAB can completely change the process."
Like many metallurgists, Allford has long been an admirer of PEWI's work. Allford foresees the new alliance as a potential influencing force that can improve automated welding. "These guys (PEWI) know no limits", said Allford.