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Powder plasma arc welding of aluminium


Light weight bicycle frames are today imported from the far easts where low labour costs make it possible to produce bicycles with simple manual TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) weldine. In order to meet this strong competition, European SMEs involved in bicycle production are forced to develop new and improved production technologies. The powder plasma are welding (PPAW) technique. developed by Plasma Modules OY in Finland, has been shown to possess many of the requirements set to modern welding techniques, and is today under implementation in the fabrication of metal sheets and thin walled tubes in low alloy steels. Due to its potential in making very fine surface finish of welds, it is thought that PPAW should also be a candidate for manufacturing of aluminium as well. A successful result could, in turn, represent a basis for a significant improvements in the production and product quality (low weight) in the case of bicycle frames. However, this will require an extensive research and development phase. The present project is therefore initiated with.the following main objectives: * To reduce the weight of bicycle trames * To improve the production technique of frames * To reduce the number of parts in assembly, * To reduce the amount of postweld finishin;. The project will focus on the development of new production technologies, basically using aluminium alloys. The work tasks include an evaluation of different edge preparation techniques. a process parameter study, production of small parts. and finally, manufacture of bicycle frames.

Funding Scheme

EAW - Exploratory awards


Plasma Modules Oy
00740 Helsinki