<VV> Inertia Welding (no specific Corvair)

Sethracer at aol.com Sethracer at aol.com
Wed Oct 21 13:26:31 EDT 2009

In a message dated 10/21/2009 8:18:51 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
Ebarr19 at aol.com writes:

I  retired from Caterpillar and we back in the late 70"s used the same type 
welding only we called it "Inertia Welding" we welded track roller half's  
together this way along with many other shafts together. 
One  piece was held solid while the other would spin using a motor and 
weighted  holding fixture, when it reached a pre-set speed the motor power 
cut  off and then the parts were forced together making the weld.
Gene  Barr

It started way back, Gene. The M113 Personnel carrier and the Bradley  
Fighting vehicle were both built in San Jose, CA, by FMC. The suspension arms on 
 the Bradley were connected to a double-torsion bar/tube suspension which  
gave the effect of doubling the length of the torsion bar by having it ride  
inside a tube. The actual trailing arm, a large forging, not unlike the 
trailing  arm on the late Corvair, but much beefier, was almost fully machined, 
then  assembled into a large inertia-welding machine that FMC had purchased 
from  Caterpillar (Thanks, Gene!). The six foot long, five or six inch  
diameter torsion tube was spun up to high speed and hydraulically rammed  into 
the mating surface on the trailing arm. It closely resembled a bomb going  
off. Lots of smoke and fire. - And a nicely welded part to send off to final  
machining. On top of the machine, they kept a sectioned test piece with the 
 cross-section of the contacted materials all polished. You could see the 
grain  structure of the two dissimilar metals intertwined. Aside from the 
speed and  quality of this "weld" method, it allowed two quite dissimilar 
metals to be  joined securely, always a challenge for any other type of welding, 
and the  dependence on filler material selection. 
Plus - it was a gas to watch!

Seth Emerson

C's the Day! -  Corvair, Camaro, Corvette

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