EWI is pleased to welcome Pentaflex back to EWI membership! Headquartered in Springfield, Ohio, Pentaflex is a contract manufacturer of metal stampings and assemblies specializing in heavy-gauge and highly formed components. The company – which also offers value-added services such as welding, machining, parts washing, and the assembly of purchased components – supplies the commercial truck, automotive, medical, and off-road industries.
While there are many advantages to using AM processes in manufacturing, the costs of inspection can be a deterrent in adopting the technology.
EWI is currently involved in a Department of Energy project aimed at reducing costs for the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of AM parts through in-process monitoring and localized region part-risk assessment.
You are invited to read about this work in Reducing NDE Costs in AM via Enhanced In-process Monitoring and Zone Criticality Mapping, written by EWI Senior Technology Leader Ron Aman. To download the paper for free, simply complete the form on this page.
As the desire for hydrogen as a clean energy source intensifies, the current midstream strategy is to transport hydrogen and hydrogen fuel blends through legacy piping networks. There is limited data on the impact of hydrogen transport on the properties (fatigue, fracture toughness, crack growth rates, etc.) and life cycles of these pipe systems. In addition, there is a wide range of steel grades, weld methods, and material quality associated with legacy oil and gas pipelines. All of these factors will influence the benefits of hydrogen and will require significant testing and analysis to fully understand.
Within the next few months, a new technique developed by EWI for testing fracture mechanics in a controlled environment will be implemented using a pressure vessel with a sliding seal on the pull rod allowing for mechanical property measurements under pressure. Initially, fracture toughness studies will be conducted with compact tension (C(T)) specimens. Wires, which will be used for direct current potential drop (DC/PD) measurements on the C(T) specimen, will also be sealed in the vessel. DC/PD measures the change in resistance of a specimen which can be correlated directly with crack growth due to hydrogen exposure. The pressure vessel will be integrated into a servo-electric load frame with initial target test pressures up to 3000 psi.
States like California and New York are already pushing operators to transport hydrogen mixes with natural gas. The information from this test capability will help operators better handle the challenge of safely flowing hydrogen and hydrogen fuel blends through their pipeline network.
Questions about EWI’s fracture mechanics testing? Contact Jesse Rhodes, Applications Engineer at [email protected] or 614.688.5147.
EWI is pleased to recognize the award of three U.S. patents to Alber Sadek, Senior Technology Leader of Materials Engineering:
Patent 10,217,534 – Method of Joining Silicon Carbide Components to One Another This new, simplified brazing approach eliminates the long heating time and pressure thus making the joining process economically optimal in practice for manufacturing fuel rod assemblies and the superheater SiC tubbing system of the third generation power plants. The approach was recently featured in the January issue of the Welding Journal.
Patents 11,135,650 and 11,135,651 – Laser-stirred Powder Bed Fusion These patents involve the adaptation of the laser powder bed fusion process in which the laser moves in a circular or elliptical motion to fuse layers of metal powder. The approach mitigates the solidification cracking associated with high-strength aluminum alloys and nickel-base superalloys. Laser stirring also creates fine and equiaxed grains microstructure that significantly reduces the anisotropy in mechanical properties in the as build condition when additively manufactured, using the standard L-PBF method.
Congratulations to Alber for outstanding work in the areas of materials science and additive manufacturing.
Manufacturing innovators and process developers are glad to see in-person professional meetings and events returning in full-force this month after two years of canceled conferences and programs.
EWI subject specialists will be presenting our latest R&D work at the following events in the second half of March:
America Makes Spring TRX — Senior Technology Leader Dennis Harwig:
Qualification Requirements for Additive Manufacturing Processes, March 22
RIA Robotic DED System — Digital Twin Setup & Capability Demonstration, March 23
7th Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence Snapshot Workshop — Applications Engineer Lindsey Lindamood,Addressing the Unique Challenges of Inspecting AM Parts with Advance NDT, March 28
PMA Metal Stamping and Lubrication Conference — EWI Forming Center Consortium Director Hyunok Kim, Effects of Lubrication on Springback of the S-rail part with 980 Gen3 Steel and 6XXX Aluminum Alloy, March 29
TFAP 2022 —
Joshua James, Principal Engineer, Integrity Threats Associated with Pipeline Conversion to Mixed Methane-Hydrogen Service: Knowledge Gaps and Evaluation Needs, March 29
Tom McGaughy, Senior Technology Leader, Weldability Characterization of a New Low Manganese Pipe Steel, March 31
SwRI Automotive Corrosion Symposium — Principal Engineer Joshua James, The Complex Synergy of Delayed Cracking Failures in Transmission Gear Assemblies, March 31
To see the full schedule of EWI subject experts’ talks at upcoming conferences, visit ewi.org/events.
Welding Technology and Medical Miracles — A Personal Story
by James Cruz, EWI
Welding is everywhere.
As a welding engineer with over 25 years of industrial experience, I know that. And after all this time, especially with 15 of those years here at EWI, I thought I had seen just about every application of welding there was to see. Then life happened.
In February 2021, I went in for a simple diagnostic test that none of us likes to talk about – a colonoscopy. When I came out of the twilight anesthetic, the first thing I remember the doctor telling me is that I had cancer. No waiting for the pathology, no sugar coating it. The past year has been a whirlwind of oh-so-many-doctors probing and inspecting. Radiation. Chemo. More chemo. CT Scans. MRIs. And ultimately – a proctectomy. They ‘harvested’ muscle from each of my inner thighs to fill the void left from taking so much of my colon and sphincter muscle. I recently returned to work after a two-month recovery that included healing of approximately 36 inches of sutures (another joining technology, if you think about it) and adjusting to a new life with a colostomy bag.
That’s where this story comes back to welding. Up until a few months ago, I never even really knew what a colostomy was, nor anything about the associated appliances. The photo on the left below shows what approximately 100,000 people in the US learn about each year – a colostomy bag. I’ll spare you the gory details, but these bags are so full of technology your head could spin!
First, there is significant research into the raw materials being used for each bag. From left to right, these samples are made by Coloplast, Hollister, and ConvaTec, and each material has a different ‘feel’. For obvious reasons, the bags must be water-tight and strong. Many of them include a complex venting system to allow gas to escape, but only after it has passed through a fancy charcoal filter to help mitigate odor (image on right). Then there is the welding! The seam around the entire periphery of the bag, as well as around the filter, is all welded!
Given the bag’s purpose, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about the importance of the integrity of that weld. Depending on the bag materials, there are several options available as candidate welding processes. Some of these might include radio frequency welding, laser welding, ultrasonic welding, and even thermal welding. I bet a big chunk of you didn’t even know plastics were weldable, let alone there were so many process options – and there are more than I have even listed here!
EWI has several experts who have made careers out of studying applications exactly like this, including Jeff Ellis and Miranda Marcus. If you would like to know more about working with polymers, please contact any of us, and we will be happy to field your questions.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with one final thought… For those of you who have put off your diagnostic health tests – be it mammogram or dermatologist skin check or colonoscopy – I implore you to take this blog as a sign to get that done. Trust me – all of those tests pale in comparison to the potential impact of not having them done.
To learn more about EWI’s work in plastic welding, click here. To contact James Cruz, EWI Business Development Director, email [email protected].
Global climate change. International accords. Electric vehicles. Blue hydrogen. Green hydrogen. Carbon capture and storage. CO2 recycling. Carbon emissions trading.
The news discusses these and many other energy-related issues, information, and ideas on a daily basis. It can be hard to keep up with what’s new, what’s possible, and — perhaps most importantly — what’s practical.
At EWI, however, we’ve been doing just that. And there’s one area we believe is on the edge of opportunity: offshore wind.
We recently released a report, Offshore Wind Energy in the United States: Emerging Industrial Activity and Heavy Fabrication Opportunities, which provides insights into industry trends and business opportunities in the offshore wind arena. I’m excited about the potential for exponential growth in this new industrial sector over the next 10-20 years, particularly for large-scale U.S. manufacturing.