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A pictorial history of welding as seen through the pages of the Welding Journal
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By 1988, robots had become familiar sights on automobile manufacturing lines all over the world. The squadron of robots seen here is used to assist in the resistance spot welding of car bodies. What had started out as a tool-handling contraption was now a precise instrument capable of vision, touch sensing, and coordinated motion. Robotics is also being used more and more in arc welding, both in large and small manufacturing plants.
An important step in this country's attempt to curb acid rain took place on November 15, 1990, when President Bush signed new amendments into the Clean Air Act that would force the owners of 110 coal-burning power plants using high-sulfur coal to generate electricity to reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide from their plants. Shown here is the flue gas desulfurization outlet duct at Lower Colorado Authority Fayette Power Project 3. The size of a gymnasium, the interiors of this structure were lined with 50,000 sq. ft. of Hastelloy Alloy C-22 sheet panels. In a technique known as "wall papering," gas metal arc welding is often used in the short-circuiting transfer mode to attach the panels to the walls of the ductwork.
In 1984, Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya of the Soviet Union used a hand-held electron beam gun to conduct welding, brazing and spraying experiments in space. To perform these experiments, she spent three hours "extravehicular" from Salyut 7, her spaceship. General Vladimir Dzhanibekov, a fellow cosmonaut, followed her. The EB gun used for this particular job by engineers at the EO. Paton Electric Welding Institute in Kiev, ukraine. In 1991, interviews with Boris Paton, the president of the institute, and Gen. Dzhanibekov were published in the Welding Journal.
In 1976, an unusal facility was set up outside of Charleston, SC to weld the 5083 aluminum liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks for a fleet of ships being constructed by General Dynamics Corp. in Quincy, Mass. The storage tanks were fabricated according to the Kvaerner-Moss design out of Norway. The plate for this project was rolled at Alcoa's Davenport, Iowa, Works. At the time, it was considered the largest aluminum plate order in Alcoa's history. The main process of construction was as metal arc welding. After each tank was completed, it was moved out of its individual fabrication bay and hoisted onto an awaiting barge for shipment up the coast to Quincy.

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