Welding in Space: Is It Possible?
"Welding is the technique of joining metal components most used by industry, both in manufacturing and in the recovery of parts and structures."
The increase in demands for greater productivity and quality in the metallurgical, manufacturing, agricultural sector arises from the need for new welding techniques and processes, which were previously unimaginable.
One of the questions is welding in space, in the atmosphere: is it possible to use welding to assemble and maintain structures in this environment?
This application of welding in space would greatly facilitate the maintenance of worn out equipment and structures, such as the International Space Station. And helping to reduce the high cost of fuel needed to place the spacecraft in orbit, it may be possible to move the structures still dismantled into space.
Of course, the space environment has its own special characteristics that need to be taken into account for the development of the entire welding process, such as: Vacuum, weightlessness and ionizing radiation.
For this process to be possible, laser welding is shown as an excellent ally for spatial application, using a high-energy concentrated light, allowing the application of high quality and higher speed welds in the entire welding process.
Laser welding is constantly developing in technological institutes and companies in the segment worldwide, Panasonic is developing the laser process and soon we will have news.
The process presents itself as promising in several applications, contributing to increase control over the processing of materials.
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