PLASMA WELDING AND CLEANING.
BATTELLE MEMORIAL INST COLUMBUS OHIO
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Plasma technology, as it applies to joining metals, is reviewed and the current status of both welding and cathodic cleaning of metals by plasma arc procedures is summarized. In order to produce defect-free welds, with high joint efficiencies in aluminum alloys by TIG welding procedures, very slow welding speeds, or specialized methods, must be used. Although application of the plasma arc to joining metals is still largely in the development stage, it appears to be an attractive welding process. The plasma arc is constricted whereas the TIG arc is unconfined. Because of the constriction, higher temperatures are available in the plasma arc. Thus, substantially higher welding speeds can be achieved than with the TIG process. Furthermore, the plasma arc characteristics are not as sensitive to minor variations in the process variables. The effectiveness of cathodic cleaning has been demonstrated by surface resistivity measurements. Author