Real-Time Robotic Control System for Titanium Gas Metal Arc Welding

Period of Performance: 01/18/2005 - 01/18/2007

$730K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Titanium addresses the Army's need for high strength-to-weight characteristics and can meet the performance and transportability requirements of future lightweight systems. There are initiatives to develop low-cost titanium materials supplies, however, low-cost and high-rate fabrication processes are sorely lacking. Welding and joining technologies enable improved manufactured components by reducing the weight, production time, and cost of joining parts. Improved welding technology increases product lifetimes and makes possible the fabrication of large structures. Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) has the potential to significantly improve the quality, speed, and penetration depth of titanium welds, while reducing the cost per part. However, this result can only be achieved if proper weld parameters are selected and dynamically maintained during the welding process due to the nature of titanium. The goal of this project is to develop a Real-Time Robotic Control System for Titanium GMAW for current and future Army and commercial applications. Our innovative weld control system integrates: (1) feedback sensors that measure weld characteristics; (2) weld parameter adjustment; and (3) real-time adaptive control algorithms used to make critical changes to weld parameters during welding to achieve consistent and reliable high-quality welds.