The MIAB welding process is well established in Europe (especially Eastern Europe) and the independent states of the former Soviet Union, finding application in the automotive industry for the fabrication of tubular-section butt welds and, to a lesser extent, tube-to-plate welds. Tubes can have circular or non-circular cross sections, with walls ranging from 0.5 to 5 mm or more (0.020 to 0.200 in.) thick. Steel as well as aluminum alloy has been welded successfully in mass production, producing welds with exceptional quality even for safety-critical applications.
Magnetically Impelled Arc Butt Welding PrinciplesIn practice, MIAB welding is fully automated. An arc drawn between aligned but properly gapped tube ends is impelled to move (rotate) around the joint line by an interaction of the arc current and an externally applied magnetic field , hence the name. Once the arc has heated the ends of the tubes to cause localized melting and adjacent softening in the heat-affected zone, the parts are forged together. This expels most of the molten metal present and a solid-phase bond is formed. The principle of operation is shown schematically in Figure 1 ; typical placement of the magnets used to apply the propelling force to the arc is shown in Figure 2
|Figure 2 : MIAB schematic|
Benefits of MIAB
The major benefits of MIAB welding are (1) no rotation of either component (thereby overcoming problems with asymmetrical parts encountered with many friction welding processes), (2) short welding times (e.g., 2-4 s for 2 to 4-mm CO.040- to 0.080-in.]-thick low-carbon steel tube), (3) low
material loss, (4) low fumes and spatter, and (5) relatively low required arc current.
As opposed to flash and upset welding , MIAB welding does not use resistance to accomplish heating at the joint, but, rather, an electric arc. This makes it an arc rather than a resistance welding process. The fact that forging removes most molten metal suggests that the process could be considered non-fusion; after all, the role of the liquid is largely fluxing . The process is considered a non-consumable electrode arc process because the intent is not to consume the parts being welded and used as electrodes, but to preserve those parts.
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