In today’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at NASA’s Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) - which is being used to construct their next generation launch vehicle. This is what NASA had to say about the VAC just last week:
"The foundation has been completed, and tooling structure built, on the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility. The VAC will be one of the world’s largest welding tools and is scheduled to be completed in 2014. The tool will be used to join domes, rings and barrels together to complete the tanks or dry structure assemblies for the #SLS. The tool also will perform nondestructive evaluation on the completed welds. When finished, the VAC will measure 170 feet tall and 78 feet wide.”
In Today’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at The Seattle Space Needle.
The Space Needle was built in 1962 with the help of dozens of welders. Often, welders had to dangle 100 feet above the ground during the construction process.
The Space Needle came out so strong, its earthquake resistance is twice that required by code, and its wind resistance allows it to tolerate gales over 150 miles per hour.
For today’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball, which was awarded the AWS Extraordinary Welding Award earlier this month.
The New York City icon is a welding and engineering marvel. Created by Hudson Scenic Studios, the ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter and weighing 11,875 pounds. The Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) process was utilized in its aluminum frame construction.
In the above photo you see Dean Wilson, president of the American Welding Society, presenting the award during the annual ceremony to re-light and raise the ball back to its perch above One Times Square. The ball will remain there for all Times Square visitors to see until it drops back down to ring in 2015.
Take a look at this amazing piece of art sent to us by a fan - Sevdah Smlatic.
Sevdah used a Lincoln Electric Ranger 225 to create this picture. He says it is dedicated to all his friends that were killed during the Bosnian War, and to his entire generation that is now spread around the world.
The castle in the picture is a historic structure in his home town that was built in the 16th Century. Above the castle there is half of a face. It represents the youth that was cut short due to the war, and symbolizes those who lost their life in battle. Sevdah says he chose dark colors because he felt the years spent in war have put dark shadows on people from his generation.
The writing on the bottom “Forever in our heart - seniors 1994” signifies the ones that survived the war, who will now carry the memory of the ones that did not.
In today’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago.
In today’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at the Hoover Damn, which was built more than 80 years ago in Black Canyon on the Colorado River.
In today’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at the giant geosphere in Epcot: Spaceship Earth.
Constructed in the early 80s, Spaceship Earth was one of the largest structures ever created by WED Enterprises. The project engineer, Jon Hine said “building Spaceship Earth was like putting up an erector set —we just kept adding one piece on to another.”
Although the structure looks unusual, the welding techniques use were the same as those used in standard construction projects. Because of the large amount of shop welding required, semi-automatic submerged arc welding was used for the full penetration weldments, and fully automatic submerged arc welding was used for the plate girder fabrication. In order to ensure the most perfect welds, radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle, and penetrant inspections were all used for precaution.
To this day, Spaceship Earth still stands as one of the most impressive structures at Walt Disney World.
In this week’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at the Pratt & Whitney F119 Engine.
The F119 is considered by many to be one of the most advanced military engines ever built. Pratt & Whitney designed the engine to power the F-22 Raptor. When speaking with the American Welding Society in 2001, Tom Farmer, Vice President of the F119 Program said “One of the breakthroughs of the F119 is its hollow fan blade and integrally bladed rotor design, which result in a lightweight, durable, high-performance product. This concept could not be provided without the use of advanced welding techniques, such as linear-friction welding and diffusion bonding.”
The F119 represents the first time the linear friction welding process had ever been used in a large aircraft engine. It powered the Raptor as speeds of Mach 1.5 or greater.
In today’s Welding Wonder Wednesday we look at the external tanks which helped carry the Space Shuttle into orbit for 30 years.
In the early days, the tanks were welded using gas tungsten arc welding. Lockheed Martin and NASA developed the variable polarity plasma arc welding process. The process created a keyhole in the metal and the molten metal then solidified at the back of the hole as the torch progressed. In later years, NASA began using friction stir welding to manufacture the tanks.