Development of an automated capacitor discharge welding system Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qz20sw82p

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  • Automation of Capacitor Discharge Welding (CDW) has not been investigated in industry due to the limited understanding of the process. The US Department of Energy's Albany Research Center (ALRC) has done an extensive study of the process and reported applications of welds in the manufacture of electro-mechanical products such as relays and circuit-breakers. The main purpose of this work was to investigate automation of the load/unload cycle of CDW. An automatic CDW machine was built with real-time quality monitoring capabilities. Tooling and fixtures were fabricated for joining silver to brass components used in a circuit breaker assembly. A machine controller was used to automatically sequence the process and the actuators. Computer-based instrumentation was developed for on-line data acquisition and quality monitoring of the weld. This demonstrational setup shows that the equipment can be compact and the process can be easily automated for high production rates. The automation architecture developed can be used as a general model for automating CDW operations in other environments. The automated CDW system was tested by welding silver contacts to brass brackets at different parameter settings. Metallographic examination of the resultant capacitor discharge (CD) welds (made by the automated CDW system) revealed the formation of continuous metallurgical bonds between silver and brass. A comparison of CD welds made by the manual and the automated system was performed to determine the effect of CDW automation on weld quality. The welds were also found to be superior to resistance welds.
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