Hike Metal Products Patented Harmonic Vibratory Stress Relief Welding Process
Traditional Welding Problems
For many years welded aluminum structures, in particular vessels being subjected to dynamic loading have been plagued with the problem of pre-mature weld fatigue cracking. The extent and cause of the cracking varied from one vessel to another with much depending on the vessel design, its construction sequence and welding techniques which the builder used and the ultimate service conditions the vessel operated in. Other factors can be attributed to machinery misalignment or damaged propellers whose excessive and damaging resonating vibration would be transmitted through the hull.
Fatigue cracks are frustrating and expensive to repair. More often than not, the repairs require dry-docking and replacement of major sections of hull plating and structural members, not to mention the out of service down time.
The Stress Relief Process used In Boatbuilding and Shipbuilding
Subsequent to hull assembly and during the continuous welding process, a monitored sub-resonant frequency is applied to the hull during the entire welding process. The mild resonant vibrations accelerate the molecular activity in the metal to condition the welds to prevent cracking and embrittlement. In welding, the points where the metal starts to solidify are called “centers of nucleation”. As the weld cools, the centers of nucleation grow into grains that keep on growing until they meet the boundaries of other grains. The smaller the grain size, the stronger the weld.
This patented vibratory stress relief and weld conditioning equipment and process far more nucleation centers than conventional welding. This results in the uniform formation of many smaller grains in a given weld volume. The patented process significantly improves the mechanical properties of the weld which ultimately reduces cracking through the stress relief, produces less distortion and porosity while at the same time reducing panel distortion and providing a more appealing fair hull form.
Hike Metal utilizes this patented process on all aluminum welded work boats regardless of size.
This Harmonic Vibratory Stress Relief Process produces effective results that increase our Product Service Life-cycle by minimizing inherent Weld Distortion and Cracking, our process is backed by our Written “10 Year Hull Warranty” for all Hike Metal Aluminum Hull Work Boats.