Automated welding technology and techniques for welding advanced aluminum alloys with potential for industrial and commercial applications have been developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the Marshall Space Flight Center. These technologies are being offered to private companies for commercial development, and include: Variable polarity plasma arc welding, a welding process that produces high-quality aluminum welds for fabrication of the space shuttle external tank and space station common module structures. This process uses reverse polarity pulses to produce welds virtually free of internal defects. Advanced weld sensor technology, comprised of machine vision-based weld seam tracking that uses both structured and global laser illumination for finding weld joints, even those difficult to discern by the human eye. Weld pool feedback is accomplished with a vision system to measure arc symmetry and molten weld pool geometry. A weld bead profiler trails the welding torch. It provides feedback to the process control system, which records quality control data.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Clyde S. Jones, Clyde S. Jones, } "Automated and aluminum welding technology", Proc. SPIE 2270, NASA/SPIE Conference on Spin-Off Technologies from NASA for Commercial Sensors and Scientific Applications, (4 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.188821; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.188821


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