Archives For Arc Welding

Marc on bike

If you are following EWI Associate Marc Purslow’s cross-country, solo bike trek to raise money for ASAS (After-School All Stars), you’ll know that he’s relentless in achieving his goal. Since he embarked on his journey from Maine on July 3rd, he has left New England, crossed New York State, and made his way through Ohio. For news about his adventures and challenges, be sure to follow his blog. To find out where Marc is at this very moment. click here.

Ride on, Marc — we’re proud of you!

EWI won the latest EWI-MDK Bike to Work Challenge by a score of 60 to 48. The Challenge started  Monday, June 2, 2014 and ended Friday, June 13, 2014.  The scoring was one point per day of commuting to work by bicycle during the work week, regardless of distance (you didn’t need to ride the full distance).  Tracking of rides was done on RideNet | Home.  Our challenger is a locally-based law firm, Home : Manley Deas Kochalski, LLC (employer of Blake McAllister’s sister and Jim Tighe’s sister-in-law).  Several of us from each team met for a Happy Hour last week to celebrate (or lick our wounds, as the case may be).

On a larger scale, Thursday, May 1 was the start of the National Bike Challenge.  This covers all types of riding and will continue until the end of September.  EWI has a team in this event.  Information can be found at Home | National | National Bike Challenge.

A bit of history:  The first Central Ohio Bike to Work Week was held in 2008.  Five EWI Associates participated that year and Team MDK won the 100 to 499 employee division.  I looked at the numbers and realized that we could have won if we doubled our score.  With a bit of a push in 2009, EWI had 17 riders and won our division. Team MDK was second. The photo below shows most of our team that year, including Jim Tighe holding our trophy.

2009 Bike to Work Week Victors

The third year of the local Bike to Work Challenge, Jim’s sister-in-law said in an email “You may also want to spread the word around your office that the bike to work week cheating that costs us our title last year will not be tolerated.  God sees all, and I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you had nothing to do with it.  Prepare to be schooled in the correct way to win.  Let me be your guide.”  With this extra motivation, we had 33 people (nearly 25% of our workforce) ride at least once and won our division a second time.  Team MDK was second. The end results were the same for the top two of our division in 2011, the last year of the local challenge.

EWI and MDK have held our own Bike to Work Challenge the past two years.  EWI has continued to prevail.  The power of innovation…



Marc Purslow is passionate about helping disadvantaged kids succeed. That’s why the EWI Applications Engineer (arc welding) is taking time this summer to raise money for After School All Stars, a program that provides free afternoon programs that keep at-risk children safe and help them achieve in school and life.

Marc and kids

But if you know Marc, you know he doesn’t do things half-way. He’s made a commitment to ride his bicycle solo across the country to raise $50,000 for the ASAS program! Marc starts his journey in coastal Maine on July 3rd, and plans to end in San Francisco some 4-5 weeks later.

We at EWI are incredibly proud of Marc, and are thrilled to support his ASAS Cycle America Challenge. We’ll be keeping up with his adventures and reporting on his cross-country progress throughout the summer. If you want to “join the ride,” you can check “Latest News” at, where we’ll post Marc’s regular reports from the road.

You can learn more about ASAS and support Marc’s goal, by clicking here. All donations from his ride will benefit ASAS Ohio.

Go, Marc!

Challenge map

Marc on bike





On May 7-8, EWI participated in the 9th annual National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) Summit in Blairsville, PA. The event, which included a full day of panel discussions, allowed for an open forum and information exchange, as well as the opportunity to learn about capabilities of other attendees. An exhibit area in the presentation hall showcased about 30 participant companies, as well.

The meeting agenda covered technologies relevant to manufacturing, the mission and status of the new National Network of Manufacturing Innovation institutes (including EWI-founded ALMMII), a session on the roles that primary and secondary education providers need to play in the success of the NNMI, and the renewed culture of manufacturing innovation in the United States.

The day led off with a great introduction by Ralph Resnick, President and Executive Director of NCDMM, and a keynote presentation and address by Adele Ratcliff from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The presentation focused on the importance of the institutes in delivering meaningful results, their relevance to the President’s efforts to return the United States to a position of excellence in manufacturing, and what we can do as individuals to assist in this effort. It was impossible to not feel a strong sense of community, commitment, and national pride afterward, a great way to kick off the event.
The rest of the day was equally informative and inspiring. Being able to see and speak with such a diverse set of contacts in one day are what make attendance at events like the NCDMM Summit so relevant, and easy to justify. We will definitely be at the Summit next year.

Arc-welding robots have been around for decades and are used in many industries, including heavy manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and ship building.  Historically, the knowledge and skill required to implement arc-welding robots has been substantial and may have discouraged first-time robot users.  In recent years, however, robotic welding equipment manufacturers and integrators have advanced the level of control and ease of use.

The development of offline programming (OLP) software has been one such advancement.  By incorporating a 3D part model into the OLP software, which contains a model of the real equipment, the user has the ability to create a weld path without using the actual robot.  Using a robot and a teach pendant to create a weld path can take hours, if not days, depending on the part size, configuration, or complexity.  Using OLP can drastically reduce the programming time required and also eliminates the need to shut down production to program the robot.



Additionally, modern robotics systems that incorporate the use of OLP offer a variety of useful features to make implementation much easier. Some of these features include:

  • Ability to perform reach studies
  • Simulation videos
  • Collision detection
  • Cycle time estimation
  • Multi-bead, multi-layer welds
  • Searching joints to account for joint variations
  • Calculated adaptive fill

If you are interested in learning more about the different offline programming options for robotic arc welding, please feel free to contact Adam Uziel at, or Steve Massey, at



Mil-E-24403/1 and AWS A5.20 specifications (“D” and “Q” designators) have their requirements on low and high heat inputs to qualify a FCAW wire in addition to the control of pre-heat and inter-pass temperatures. A specified heat input is an average heat input for all passes in a test assembly. AWS A5.20 / 17.2 even applies heat input limits on individual passes during the welding of a whole test assembly. However, it still won’t be able to prevent one creative interpretation and practice from manipulating the heat input to qualify FCAW consumables.

During the qualification welding, a targeted heat input should be kept as stable as possible to weld a pass from the beginning to the end. According to the layout of the test assembly illustrated in AWS and Military specifications, usually, about half of the test assembly is used to machine out a tensile specimen for the tension test, and the rest is used for Charpy “V”-notch (CVN) impact samples. This layout provides an unintended advantage of allowing improper manipulation on the heat input in welding.

When a high heat input is used to weld a test assembly, 3G welding is usually adopted for the consumable qualification. For a certain E71T-1 type product as an example, if a consistent heat input is used to weld a pass from the bottom to top by using a 0.052” (or other diameters) FCAW wire, it is very likely that the yield strength falls out the specified strength range, or the CVN impact toughness fails. A “smart” solution is to weld the bottom half by a low heat input with a fast travel speed and weld the top half by a high heat input with a slow travel speed. The whole test assembly is effectively separated into two parts that are welded with two different heat inputs. After the welding, a “smart” move is followed by averaging the low and high heat inputs to satisfy the average heat input required by specifications. By doing that, both the yield strength and impact toughness can be reported to be satisfactory.

Due to the resultant unevenness of mechanical properties on the whole weld assembly, the “smart” move shall not be considered to be legitimate (or decent) from the engineering practice, nor shall be deemed by the welding consumable community. On the other hand, the layout of the test assembly for welding consumables qualification shall be revised to prevent those “smart” moves.

Last week EWI had the first EWI ShipIt! Days. Employees were given 24-hours to do anything they wanted that wasn’t related to their regular job. The catch? You have to deliver something at the end of the 24-hours. This commercial about EWI is what my team delivered. Enjoy!!



If you are not familiar with the original Dollar Shave Club video, check it out.

Buffalo BuildingNew York State has confirmed its investment plans for the new advanced manufacturing institute to be operated by EWI in Buffalo. The announcement to dedicate  $45 million for the new center was made last week. This allocation will fund facilities, equipment, and start-up operations for the first five years, after which the institute will be self-sustaining.

Activities will focus on four areas of manufacturing innovation: flexible automation and controls, advanced materials and testing, additive manufacturing, and advanced fabrication.

The facility, located downtown Buffalo, NY, is set to open in stages with some operations starting up this summer. About half of the space will function as laboraties, with meeting rooms and offices in the other half.

For more details about EWI and the launch of the advanced manufacturing institute in Western New York, click here.

ewi-related-postsBuffalo Billion logo

Buffalo Billion logo                                    western_new_york

Excitement is building in Western New York as state and local officials, businesses, and community leaders get ready to welcome EWI to downtown Buffalo. EWI will launch the new advanced manufacturing institute at the end of February as part of the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan.

Here’s what we’re hearing from New York…

Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“As operator of the Institute, EWI will bring a proven record of helping the industry tackle and solve manufacturing and production issues. Under this partnership, EWI will make Western New York more competitive and position the region as a leader in manufacturing technology and innovation, which will help spur new economic opportunities for years to come.”

Chris Sansone, President of Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance:
“I’m excited about [EWI] opening up shop. Their forte is bridging the gap between government-funded research and the commercialization of those technologies.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown:
“EWI’s selection to provide Buffalo’s advanced manufacturing sector with the tools needed to be highly competitive continues the great momentum that’s underway in Buffalo.”

Erie Community College President Jack Quinn on the relationship between ECC and EWI:
“We’ll be working together, and they’re a world-class operation.”

To read the latest from Buffalo Business First, click here.

Components made from titanium are candidates for additive manufacturing due to both the high material cost and the long lead times on material purchases.  Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication (EBFFF) is the most widely used method for additive manufacturing of large scale titanium parts.  This process is well established but is expensive and requires the parts to be made in a vacuum chamber.  EWI is investigating gas tungsten arc welding with resistively heated wire (GTAW-HW) as an alternative to EBFFF for Ti 6-4 components.  The work discussed here has been done to obtain baseline property data for a Ti 6-4 weld deposit made with the GTAW-HW process.  A blog was previously posted about some of this work.  In this post additional data is presented including the tensile test results of specimens subjected to different post-weld heat treatments.

A 7-in long x 1 1/4-in wide x 2 1/2-in tall weld deposit was produced on Ti 6-4 ELI plate using the GTAW-HW process and Ti 6-4 ELI wire.  The weld deposit was made out-of-chamber using argon for both the torch gas and the trail shield gas.  A heat input 20-KJ/in was used for the GTAW torch and the deposition rate was around 4-lbs/hr.


After the weld deposit was produced the base plate was removed.  A small section was removed and tested to determine the interstitial contents of hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen using the Leco Furnace Method.  The results were compared to the maximum permissible compositions for Ti 6-4 ELI forgings because there is no ASTM specification for Ti 6-4 ELI castings.  The maximum permissible levels for Ti 6-4 ELI forgings are:

  • Hydrogen – less than 0.0125 wt%,
  • Nitrogen – less than 0.03 wt%,
  • Oxygen – less than 0.13 wt%.

The composition of these detrimental interstitial elements in the weld deposit was much less than the requirements for forgings.  The weld deposit contained 0.0013 wt% hydrogen, 0.0078 wt% nitrogen, and 0.077 wt% oxygen.  These results indicate that other reactive metal alloys could also be additively manufactured out-of-chamber with acceptable impurity levels, provided suitable shielding methods are used.

A transverse section was subjected to metallographic evaluation.  This section contained no discontinuities such as incomplete fusion or porosity.

HW - TIG - Macro

Six sub-sized tensile specimens were taken from both the direction of travel and in the build direction (a total of 12 specimens were prepared and tested).  For each orientation, 2 specimens were tested in the as-welded condition, 2 specimens were tested after a solution heat treatment followed by an anneal heat treatment, and 2 specimens were tested after a anneal heat treatment only.  The solution heat treatment was done above the beta transus temperature, while the anneal heat treatment was performed between 700°C and 785°C.  Typical tensile test values for Ti 6-4 ELI castings are listed below along with the tensile test results.

Tensile Test Results

The tensile tests results were not affected by specimen orientation but were affected by the specimen heat treatment condition.  The tensile specimens tested in the as-welded condition as well as those tested in the annealed condition had strength that surpassed the typical values for Ti 6-4 ELI castings, but either elongation or reduction in area were less than the typical values for castings.  The specimens subjected to the solution heat treatment plus anneal had strength that was less than the typical values for Ti 6-4 ELI castings, but most elongation and reduction in area values were greater than the typical values for castings.

The ASTM F-42 Committee defines additive manufacturing as follows:  “Process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing technologies”.  The next step in developing a CAD-to-part additive manufacturing technology is to combine the GTAW-HW process with available path programming software and a suitable positioning system (such as a 6-axis robot).

If you are interested in learning more about additive manufacturing or the properties of materials being used in additive manufactured parts, please contact me at 614-688-5175, or