Photonics West 2017

Industrial Glass Newsletter SubscriptionIndustrial Glass Newsletter Feb. 7, 2017 

CINCINNATI GASKET AND INDUSTRIAL GLASS AT PHOTONICS WEST 2017

We just got back from an exciting trip to the Photonics West Exhibition, which had a ton of glass-related companies and applications.

 

 

 

Schott Borofloat and Schott Supremax are the world’s highest quality borosilicate plate, and are made by our friends from Schott.

 

 

 

 

 

These  “Schott Glasses” are quite desirable, and were used for a charitable fundraiser.  The photo doesn’t really do them justice!

 

 

 

 

Our customers combine diverse expertise, and make a wide range of precision items.  As a result, they serve many lighting, laser, and opto-electronic applications.   For example, S.I. Howard Glass brought this display of precision wares:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experienced glass fabricators know it’s tough to make some of these pieces!

 

 

Many companies attend Photonics West, and the technology on display is fantastic.   We spoke to a lot of people who reported a strong order book for the month of January, so let’s hope this is the start of a trend!

We wish you all a safe, happy, and productive February.

 

 

 

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding provides high quality, accurate, fabrication capabilities to Cincinnati Industrial Glass’ services

Complete Tungsten Insert Gas (TIG) welding capabilities for challenging fabrications including thin to medium gauge carbon & stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys.

Our tungsten inert gas method welding staff has decades of experience with the efficient application of this challenging welding technology. Contact us today for a prompt quote for your welding needs.

tig-welded-assemblies
TIG welded sub-assemblies

TIG welded sub-assemblies in our shop, awaiting cleanup

(Following from Wikipedia)

Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, is an arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The weld area is protected from atmospheric contamination by an inert shielding gas(argon or helium), and a filler metal is normally used, though some welds, known as autogenous welds, do not require it.  constant-current welding power supply produces electrical energy, which is conducted across the arc through a column of highly ionized gas and metal vapors known as a plasma.

The Tungsten Inert Gas method is most commonly used to weld thin sections of stainless steel and non-ferrous metals such as aluminummagnesium, and copper alloys. The process grants the operator greater control over the weld than competing processes such as shielded metal arc welding and gas metal arc welding, allowing for stronger, higher quality welds. However, TIG is comparatively more complex and difficult to master, and furthermore, it is significantly slower than most other welding techniques. A related process, plasma arc welding, uses a slightly different welding torch to create a more focused welding arc and as a result is often automated.

Operation

Tungsten Inert Gas Welding

Tungsten Inert Gas weld area

Manual gas tungsten arc welding is a relatively difficult welding method, due to the coordination required by the welder. Similar to torch welding, TIG normally requires two hands, since most applications require that the welder manually feed a filler metal into the weld area with one hand while manipulating the welding torch in the other. Maintaining a short arc length, while preventing contact between the electrode and the workpiece, is also important.

To strike the welding arc, a high frequency generator (similar to a Tesla coil) provides an electric spark. This spark is a conductive path for the welding current through the shielding gas and allows the arc to be initiated while the electrode and the workpiece are separated, typically about 1.5–3 mm (0.06–0.12 in) apart.

Once the arc is struck, the welder moves the torch in a small circle to create a welding pool, the size of which depends on the size of the electrode and the amount of current. While maintaining a constant separation between the electrode and the workpiece, the operator then moves the torch back slightly and tilts it backward about 10–15 degrees from vertical. Filler metal is added manually to the front end of the weld pool as it is needed.

Sight glass frame showing TIG welding and Spot Welding
Sight glass frame showing TIG welding and spot welding

This sub-assembly in our shop uses a combination of TIG welding and spot welding techniques

Tungsten Inert Gas welders often develop a technique of rapidly alternating between moving the torch forward (to advance the weld pool) and adding filler metal. The filler rod is withdrawn from the weld pool each time the electrode advances, but it is always kept inside the gas shield to prevent oxidation of its surface and contamination of the weld. Filler rods composed of metals with a low melting temperature, such as aluminum, require that the operator maintain some distance from the arc while staying inside the gas shield. If held too close to the arc, the filler rod can melt before it makes contact with the weld puddle. As the weld nears completion, the arc current is often gradually reduced to allow the weld crater to solidify and prevent the formation of crater cracks at the end of the weld.

Blast-resistant Window frame with TIG welding
Blast-resistant Window frame with TIG welding

Getting started on a new fabrication – even with TIG, careful setup, clamping, and welding techniques are key to achieving straight assemblies built from long, thin sections.

Applications

While the aerospace industry is one of the primary users of gas tungsten arc welding, the process is used in a number of other areas. Many industries use TIG for welding thin workpieces, especially nonferrous metals. It is used extensively in the manufacture of space vehicles, and is also frequently employed to weld small-diameter, thin-wall tubing such as those used in the bicycle industry. In addition, TIG is often used to make root or first-pass welds for piping of various sizes. In maintenance and repair work, the process is commonly used to repair tools and dies, especially components made of aluminum and magnesium. Because the weld metal is not transferred directly across the electric arc like most open arc welding processes, a vast assortment of welding filler metal is available to the welding engineer. In fact, no other welding process permits the welding of so many alloys in so many product configurations. Filler metal alloys, such as elemental aluminum and chromium, can be lost through the electric arc from volatilization. This loss does not occur with the TIG process. Because the resulting welds have the same chemical integrity as the original base metal or match the base metals more closely, TIG welds are highly resistant to corrosion and cracking over long time periods, making TIG the welding procedure of choice for critical operations like sealing spent nuclear fuel canisters before burial.

Quality

TIG fillet weld

A built-up fitting assembly

TIG fillet weld

Tungsten Inert Gas welding, because it affords greater control over the weld area than other welding processes, can produce high-quality welds when performed by skilled operators. Maximum weld quality is assured by maintaining cleanliness—all equipment and materials used must be free from oil, moisture, dirt and other impurities, as these cause weld porosity and consequently a decrease in weld strength and quality. To remove oil and grease, alcohol or similar commercial solvents may be used, while a stainless steel wire brush or chemical process can remove oxides from the surfaces of metals like aluminum. Rust on steels can be removed by first grit blasting the surface and then using a wire brush to remove any embedded grit. These steps are especially important when negative polarity direct current is used, because such a power supply provides no cleaning during the welding process, unlike positive polarity direct current or alternating current. To maintain a clean weld pool during welding, the shielding gas flow should be sufficient and consistent so that the gas covers the weld and blocks impurities in the atmosphere. TIG in windy or drafty environments increases the amount of shielding gas necessary to protect the weld, increasing the cost and making the process unpopular outdoors.

TIG welding for blast-resistant window frame
TIG welding for blast-resistant window frame

Another assembly in process at Cincinnati Gasket

The level of heat input also affects weld quality. Low heat input, caused by low welding current or high welding speed, can limit penetration and cause the weld bead to lift away from the surface being welded. If there is too much heat input, however, the weld bead grows in width while the likelihood of excessive penetration and spatter increase. Additionally, if the welding torch is too far from the workpiece the shielding gas becomes ineffective, causing porosity within the weld. This results in a weld with pinholes, which is weaker than a typical weld.

If the amount of current used exceeds the capability of the electrode, tungsten inclusions in the weld may result. Known as tungsten spitting, this can be identified with radiography and can be prevented by changing the type of electrode or increasing the electrode diameter. In addition, if the electrode is not well protected by the gas shield or the operator accidentally allows it to contact the molten metal, it can become dirty or contaminated. This often causes the welding arc to become unstable, requiring that the electrode be ground with a diamond abrasive to remove the impurity.

What is Borosilicate glass?

Borosilicate glass is a type of glass with silica and boron trioxide as the main glass forming constituents. Borosilicate glasses are known for having very low coefficients of thermal expansion (~3 × 10−6 K−1 at 20 °C), making them resistant to thermal shock, more so than any other common glass. (from Wikipedia)

Welcome to Cincinnati Gasket and Industrial Glass’ Newsletter. We’ll be publishing application examples and technical information here. Please subscribe if you would like to be notified when we have a new post.

Borosilicate glass glass is less subject to thermal stress and is commonly used for the construction of reagent bottles. Borosilicate glass is sold under such trade names as Simax, Borcam,Borosil, Suprax, Kimax,Heatex, Pyrex, Endural, Schott, or Refmex, Kimble.

History

Borosilicate glass was first developed by German glassmaker Otto Schott in the late 19th century. Otto Schott is also founder of today’s SCHOTT AG, which sells borosilicate glass under the brand name DURAN® since 1893. Another manufacturer of DURAN® is the DURAN® Group. After Corning Glass Works introduced Pyrex in 1915, the name became a synonym for borosilicate glass in the English-speaking world. However, borosilicate glass is the name of a glass family with various members tailoring completely different purposes. Most common today is borosilicate 3.3 glass like SCHOTT Duran and Pyrex by Corning.

In addition to quartz, sodium carbonate and aluminum oxide traditionally used in glassmaking, boron is used in the manufacture of borosilicate glass. The composition of low-expansion borosilicate glass, such as those laboratory glasses mentioned above, is approximately 80% silica, 13% boric oxide, 4% sodium oxide and 2–3% aluminum oxide. Though more difficult to make than traditional glass due to the high melting temperature required (Corning conducted a major revamp of their operations to manufacture it), it is economical to produce. Its superior durability, chemical and heat resistance finds excellent use in chemical laboratory equipment, cookware, lighting and, in certain cases, windows.

Pyrex_newspaper_ad_1922Pyrex (trademarked as PYREX) is a brand introduced by Corning Inc. in 1908 for a line of clear, low-thermal-expansion plastic borosilicate glass used forlaboratory glassware and kitchenware. Pyrex sold in the United States is made of tempered soda-lime glass; outside of North America the costlier borosilicate is still used.

Corning no longer manufactures or markets PYREX-branded borosilicate glass kitchenware and bakeware in the US. World Kitchen, LLC, which was spun off from Corning in 1998, licensed the pyrex (all lower case) brand for their own line of kitchenware products—differentiated by their use of clear tempered soda-lime glass instead of borosilicate.

The European manufacturer of Pyrex, Arc International, uses borosilicate glass in its Pyrex glass kitchen products;[1] however, the U.S. manufacturer of Pyrex kitchenware uses tempered soda-lime glass.[2] Thus Pyrex can refer to either soda-lime glass or borosilicate glass when discussing kitchen glassware, while Pyrex, Bomex, Duran, TGI and Simax all refer to borosilicate glass when discussing laboratory glassware. The real difference is the trademark and the company that owns the Pyrex name. The original Corning ware made of borosilicate glass was trademarked in capital letters (PYREX). When the kitchenware division was sold, the trademark was changed to lowercase (pyrex) and switched to low thermal-expansion soda-lime glass. The bottom of new kitchenware and old kitchenware can be inspected for an immediate difference. The scientific division of Pyrex has always been using borosilicate glass. (from Wikipedia)


Cincinnati Gasket & Industrial Glass occupies over 65,000 square feet with state-of-the-art machinery and the finest quality inspection. Dependable, quick service, and competitive prices have made us one of the oldest and largest in the field with some of the newest and most innovative ideas in the industry.

We specialize in a wide range of machined glass products for use in nearly every major industry in the world; from the steel and chemical industries to machine tool and power generation. Whether replacing existing equipment or developing a new design, we can provide creative solutions to your industrial glass needs that will help increase efficiency and save countless hours of downtime in years to come. Contact us.