Publication / Aerospace

Welding performance evaluation of the VBCie IP50 TIG orbital heat management system

Published: Jul 2015

Dr Héctor Marín-Reyes, Dr Richard French

The TIG Orbital Heat Management System (IP50-HMS) developed by VBC Instrument Engineering ltd (VBCie) and The University of Sheffield (UoS) is a relatively new, low current automatic orbital welding system. Using HMS InterPulse Technology, the IP50-HMS produces accurate narrow bead welds and offers excellent weld quality and control over the weld process. The use of high frequency pulsing interposed within the pulsed weld current increases arc force and more penetration is achieved with a significantly lower input current. This allows for improved heat management on critical welds whilst still attaining full penetration.

The machine has proven very successful in the joining of very thin wall, small diameter titanium and stainless steel alloy heat exchanger tubes. Conventional orbital welding systems cannot weld such thin wall material with small diameters. The IP50-HMS produces welded, autogenous butt joints showing higher mechanical integrity than conventional orbital welding systems also evaluated. Furthermore, the low heat input obtained improves the materials micro-structure because of decreases in distortion and residual stress. The IP50-HMS proves to have an exceptionally high production yield with very low weld failure rates. Measurements of arc voltages and welding currents carried out at the UoS are reported as well as input power measurements of the VBCie system are discussed to assess the performance of the IP50-HMS.

The paper is available via the VBCie website.

Presented at IIW International Conference, 2015.