Environmentally Friendly Cleaning for Titanium Welds and Brazing

Period of Performance: 08/08/2006 - 05/08/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Applications Technologies Company LLC
3818 April Lane
Columbus, OH 43227
Principal Investigator


The first critical step in welding or brazing is cleaning to remove surface contamination. The Air Force has a need for an environmentally cleaning method that has no waste stream, minimal requirements of personal safety protection, and does not impact component integrity. The Arc Scrubber is an emerging non-chemical cleaning technology that utilizes and electrical arc to remove surface contamination. The technology, commonly referred to as thermionic cleaning, is believed to offer an environmentally friendly cleaning alternative to conventional chemical cleaning methods. The technology is hand held and user friendly and can be used in the weld both immediately prior to welding or brazing. This project will evaluate the technology as it applies to titanium, aluminum, and stainless steel. A systemic approach will be used understand critical process parameters, determine the waste stream, measure cleanliness, and assess process consistency. The objective of this project is to demonstrate the Arc Scrubber as an environmentally friendly cleaning method for titanium welding and brazing that would eliminate the need for chemical or dry cleaning methods.