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Applications of flash welding

Jan 09, 2017

According to the Journal of Materials Processing, the railroad industry is using flash welding to join sections of mainline rail together. This mainline rail is also known as continuously welded rail (CWR) and is much smoother than mechanically joined rail because there are no gaps between the sections of rail. This smoother rail reduces the wear on the rails themselves, effectively reducing the frequency of inspections and maintenance.  In other countries, continuously welded rail is used on high-speed rail lines because of its smoothness. A study published in Materials Science and Design proved that flash welding is also beneficial in the railroad industry because it allows dissimilar metals and non ferrous metals to be joined. This allows crossings, which are generally composed of high manganese steel, to be effectively welded to thecarbon steel rail with the use of a stainless steel insert, while keeping the desired mechanical properties of both the rail and the crossing intact. The ability of this single process to weld many different metals with simple parameter adjustments makes it very versatile. Materials and Design discusses the use of flash welding in themetal building industry to increase the length of the angle iron used to fabricate joists.

The aluminum industry uses flash welding to join aluminum, steel, and copper in various current carrying conductors called busbar. The steel is used for strength, the copper is used for conductivity, and the aluminum is used for a combination of cost and conductivity.