NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 19.09-4411

PROJECT TITLE: Electrodeless Plasma (EP) Welding Processes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Increased activity in space, coupled with the advent of new materials and increasingly complicated metal working service requirements, forces the constant improvement of existing metal processing technologies. The Electric Propulsion Laboratory, Inc., has demonstrated a new Electrodeless Plasma (EP) welding technology applicable to on-orbit and ground-based welding. Application of this new joining capability to complex refractory metal, aerospace alloy, and ceramic structures, is proposed. Both transferred arc and non-transferred plasma arc operating modes of the EP weld head are described along with experiments to demonstrate the formation of ductile refractory metal joints, and extremely high service temperature ceramic-to-metal joints. A special feature of the EP weld head is also proposed to enable in-situ weld joint inspection to verify joint quality. Benefits to NASA would be significant advances applicable to both ground-based and on-orbit bonding and joining techniques.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The Electrodeless Plasma (EP) welding process, and the subsequent advances to the process resulting from this work, would provide the commercial sector with a new and versatile welding tool which could be applied to a wide range of demanding material joining applications.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. Graeme Aston
Electric Propulsion Laboratory, Inc.
1040 Synthes Ave.
Monument , CO 80132

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Electric Propulsion Laboratory, Inc.
1040 Synthes Ave.
Monument , CO 80132