Welding has been a crucial process in the aerospace industry ever since the first commercial aircraft were built.
Aerospace welding, or structural welding as it is also known, involves a number of processes, mostly related to repairing engines and other mechanical components by joining together various plates, sheets, and metallic frames.
Aerospace welding is both a lucrative and crucial profession — one that requires a high level of KnowHow about new technologies and evolving safety standards.
At the same time, a lot has changed since the early days of the airplane.
Let’s take a closer look at how some of the latest in aerospace welding techniques can go a long way in ensuring the safety and efficiency of modern aircrafts.
Laser Beam Welding
Laser Beam Welding is one of the most commonly used processes in aerospace welding, as it allows for narrow and deep welds much faster than other techniques.
LBW can be used on a variety of materials — including stainless steel and titanium, and aluminum alloys. As the aerospace industry evolves and looks for newer materials to improve flight performance, such flexibility makes it a preferable option.
At the same time, LBW doesn’t make use of any filler material, ensuring that the aircraft stays lightweight and that welders spend less time on repair and maintenance.
Often used in the construction of aircraft wings and fuselages, flash welding is capable of producing extremely strong welds using an electric arc.
It is time-effective since it does not require special surface preparation and cost-effective since it doesn’t use any shielding gases. At the same time, it can weld aluminum and temperature-resistant alloys effectively.
In the aerospace industry, where it is used in jet engines and landing gear, among other components, it offers the added advantage of creating an end product as strong as the base material.
Friction Stir Welding
This welding technique offers the aerospace industry a number of benefits over traditional methods like gas welding. In fact, it is often thought to be better for the environment and the industry’s finances.
Much like laser beam welding, this process doesn’t require any filler materials, making it more cost-effective. Meanwhile, similar to flash welding, FSW also doesn’t require any shielding gases, further bringing down the costs of fusion welding.
It has the added benefit of allowing manufacturers to do away with fasteners between components, which can also reduce the weight of an aircraft.
Electron Beam Welding
Known for high welding speeds, deep penetration, and precise welds, electron beam welding has become a staple in the aerospace industry.
One of its greatest benefits is that the electron beam controls heat distribution and minimizes thermal distortion, ensuring that critical aerospace components perform reliably even when faced with high temperatures and pressure.
At the same time, it is suitable for welding titanium alloys, which are widely used in aircraft for their light weight and strength, even at elevated temperatures.
Forge Forward Into the Future with nexAir
Welding has come a long way since its early days, with new techniques making the process more sophisticated in the aerospace industry.
nexAir, the leading supplier of welding equipment and KnowHow across the Southeast, has been an integral part of the process. Not only do we embrace the latest in welding technology, but we train future welders in practices that follow the highest safety standards, allowing them to Forge Forward and focus on productivity.
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