Work done through the Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) has been published in the May 2009 issue of the Society of Naval Architect and Marine Engineers’ Journal of Ship Production (JSP). The article highlights efforts to demonstrate the cost-saving benefits of using an unconventional welding method to manufacture certain structural shapes for Navy shipbuilding. Erik Oller, NMC Project Manager, co-authored the article in JSP with Paul Blomquist, Applied Thermal Sciences, Inc.; and Michael Ludwig, Cianbro Constructors.
The NMC project was developed to determine optimum parameters for hybrid laser arc welding (HLAW) HSLA-80 T-beams that will reduce production and assembly costs as well as improve T-Beam quality for DDG 1000. This is significant because T-beam stiffeners are used extensively in ship construction for decks, bulkheads, shells and other structural applications. As the need for weight and cost reduction grows, alternate production methods such as HLAW are being considered to improve beam quality, to weld thinner plate materials to minimize distortion, and to improve the cost and availability of beams for ship construction.
The JSP article titled "Economics of Hybrid Laser Arc Welding for Manufacturing Weight-Optimized T-beams" describes the research that reveals that HLAW is a cost-effective solution to reduce the weld-related distortion in built-up T-beam manufacturing to acceptable levels. Savings are realized in reduced distortion and higher weld speed.
JSP is a quarterly publication that contains peer-reviewed technical papers addressing problems of shipyard techniques and production of merchant and naval ships.