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New Welding Method
June 29, 2015   
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Polish engineers and researchers are working on an innovative welding method that will be used to produce machines for the paper-making industry designed to work under high pressures.

The method is being developed by Polish industrial equipment producer Metalko together with researchers from the University of Technology and Life Sciences in the north-central city of Bydgoszcz.

There are dozens of methods of welding metals. The method employed depends on the type of materials involved, available energy sources, and the conditions in which the equipment is supposed to operate. Equipment for the paper-making industry must withstand very high pressures.

Equipment used in the production of paper from pulp is constructed of high-alloy steel or so-called duplex steel with enhanced strength, or other materials such as titanium.

“We’ve managed to achieve optimal welding parameters,” says Jan Rześny, the project manager from Metalko. “We have created a computer program that, on the basis of process input parameters, will offer pointers on how to adapt the welding technology to the production of specific equipment.”

As part of the project, the Metalko engineers, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz, selected specific types of steel and titanium and then tried various welding methods on them. On the basis of these experiments they built up a database that they later used to model the welding process and to write the computer program involved. The project will result in developing prototypes of equipment using the computer program.

“Welding is one of the methods for joining together metals, alongside soldering and heat-sealing. Welding is used the most often, because it produces the best results. We chose the welding method best fitted for the production of equipment for the paper industry,” says Rześny.

In addition to paper-making, the project is expected to benefit the chemical industry, which also uses high-pressure equipment.

Information about the experiments conducted by the Metalko engineers and the Bydgoszcz researchers will be disseminated at technology conferences and published in science journals. Metalko has also filed for a patent. The research results are expected to attract the interest of other companies manufacturing equipment for the paper-making industry.

Metalko’s products for the paper-making industry include equipment for dewatering paper pulp that features a variety of filters and dozens of discs placed in a tank. Such equipment is transported in parts to its destination and is then assembled on site.

Metalko has 220 employees and operates three production plants in the Bydgoszcz Technology and Industry Park. In operation since 1992, the company specializes in the production of various types of industrial equipment. Many of its products are sold on foreign markets.

The new welding method will be developed as part of a project formally called “The welding process for the manufacture of equipment from special materials for the paper industry” that has been partially financed by public funds.

Metalko says the project strengthens its position as a leading provider of technology for the paper-making industry. “We can create new jobs as a result of this,” says Rześny. “The introduction of modern production technology means we need new equipment, which will also benefit our suppliers.”

The project began in December 2012 and will end in August this year. Its total cost is zl.4.7 million. The National Center for Research and Development (NCBR) has provided zl.2.33 million in co-financing. Metalko has contributed the remaining zl.2.37 million.

Karolina Olszewska
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