You may have seen balconies on other properties and thought to yourself that they look impressive, so why not give yourself the same upgrade on your own home? If you needed any further convincing, here’s a few reasons why having a balcony is better…
In terms of value per extra square footage, a balcony will increase property value considerably. They give home owners a less time-consuming option to building an extension and are arguably more attractive too.
Adding a balcony means that visitors can make the most of it by spending evenings and warm days out on the balcony. And of course, there’s the opportunity to dine alfresco on the balcony.
Balconies can provide homeowners with maximum living space. Balconies give you that additional area of space for people, and whether you live in a large property or a home that is cosier, the extra space is usually more than welcome.
If you don't have a huge amount of garden space or live in a busy area, what better way to get outside and get some fresh air than to step out on to your brand new balcony space? In fact, the relaxing element that a balcony offers is unrivalled. Taking the time to stand on your balcony and soak in a pleasant view is nothing short of amazing!
It really doesn't matter how big or small your balcony is, you can fit some kind of mini-allotment in the space. You can add a nice injection of colour to look at if you’d like to grow some flowers, or if you’re keen to grow your own fruit and veg, you have easy access to your balcony for green-fingery!
If you have a pet, and you spend a lot of time out of the house during the day, having a secure space like a balcony is a great way to let them get outside and have some fresh air/go to the toilet. As you will know, having a pet locked inside all day is definitely not recommended, so why not let them enjoy some of the outdoors while you’re out?
Here at ANY Weld, we can provide you with a range of bespoke glass balconies , so why not get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you?
Designing the interior of our homes is an exciting prospect, but with so many designs and styles out there, it can be hard to decide what elements to use. However, one of the main focal points in a home is the staircase, and maybe even the heart of your home. The way a staircase is designed can make or break the atmosphere you are going for, especially if the choice that is made is wrong.
Every year design trends change, and it can be hard to keep up with what is going on. So, to make things a little bit easier for you, we have taken a look at some of the staircase trends to look for in 2018.
Spiral and Curved
Both spiral and curved staircases always seem to be on trend, and rightfully so! They have the timeless sense about them and never seem to go out of fashion. They look grand and have an elegant aura about them. These types of staircases do need a lot of space to work with, but they do look phenomenal, so if you do have the required space they can really improve the appeal of your home.
Curved and spiral staircases are historic features, but they can look modern depending on the colour scheme chosen. Monochromatic colours look sensational because they just seem to work perfectly at modernising an already classic feature.
A trend which we have seen throughout 2017 is glass, and it looks like it will continue to be a trend in the forthcoming year. Glass is used as the framework itself as well as the panelling. Glass panelling can be extremely versatile as you can create a completely different look by just changing the shape, colour and size of the panels. As they are weightless and look elegant, they can look striking in any home.
Steel is a timeless material and has been used greatly over the last few years within interior design. A grand steel staircase will bring a sense of elegance to your home. Current trends for custom stair systems encompass various elements of modern style, with stainless steel and glass as a clean and sleek option.
Glass and stainless steel offer many reasons to be the right choice in modern staircase design. It creates a great feature when you select glass, stainless steel, or a combination of those products, to create an elegant staircase in your abode.
The design of a staircase is of course, very important. However, most often, it is the handrail that makes it stand out. The handrail has increasingly transformed from a simple part of the design which provides safety and protection, to a pleasing and chic design detail. Some staircases have given up the handrail completely in order to achieve a more minimalist look. Again, steel and glass can look incredibly striking when used together as one, and we can see this being a huge trend next year.
What all of these trends have in common is that the staircase is advancing to a well-designed eye-catcher in the interior ambience. Staircases should be just as individual as the interior design of our homes. Therefore, unusual materials such as glass stairs or coloured surfaces are really ‘in’ and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. The main thing is that the staircase is completely in line with your own personal taste and that it fits the design and overall look of your home. A staircase is something you buy to use for a lifetime, so it should still give you pleasure and joy even after many years.
If you require bespoke steel fabrication, Devon , please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Steel is all around us as it is used for major constructions like bridges, railways, roads, commercial buildings and skyscrapers, as well as smaller things like bolts, nails and screws. Steel actually has an interesting history, and what is even more fascinating is how it has developed into an essential part of everyday life. We have taken a look at the history of steel and how it has impacted our lives.
If you didn’t already know, steel is an alloy which is composed of between 0.2% and 2.0% of carbon and the balance of iron, and it is the carbon content which gives it its hardness. However, it is possible to create an alloy with a lower carbon content; this is known ‘wrought iron’. Wrought iron is softer, but is also less capable of standing up to the rigours of use. Similarly, ‘cast iron’ is an iron-carbon alloy with a higher percentage of carbon which is hard, brittle and will easily crack or shatter when struck with a heavy blow. While both are still produced and have their uses, it is steel that provides the most useful alloy. It is hard to believe that making steel is a relatively new process.
When going back to pre-100 AD, steel had already been produced on a small scale for thousands of years. The earliest records of steel are about 4,000 years old and were unearthed in Turkey, Roman Iberian and Chinese civilisations, where they used steel to construct a number of weapons. However, they had not yet mastered any methods to produce steel, and so its uses were extremely limited.
Steel production never really reached its full potential until 1855 when the Bessemer Process was created. Sir Henry Bessemer, a British metallurgist, discovered that molten iron could be combined with oxygen. By blasting air through the molten iron ore, the carbon content was reduced. At first, the carbon content was reduced too much, and further experimentation led to the addition of spiegeleisen, a compound of iron, manganese and carbon. The manganese helped remove the excess oxygen in the form of manganese oxide, and the carbon that was left behind was at the appropriate level to produce steel. Along with plastic injection moulding, the Bessemer Process was one of the most important manufacturing developments of the modern era.
In 1950, the Bessemer Process and other steelmaking processes that had been developed alongside it became outdated as there was an introduction of basic oxygen steelmaking. This limited impurities and made it available to process old scrap metal into steel, which lowered waste and increased efficiency. Today, this process accounts for the majority of steelmaking processes in the industrialised world.
The construction industry relies heavily on the production of steel as well as several other industries. Steel itself is vital for just about everything we use. Whether it is buildings, clothes, chemical, cars, lamps or drinks cans - all depend on it at some point. In recent articles, it seems like the world is producing too much steel, and in the UK, it is thought that steel production is going to be reduced greatly and imported from elsewhere. With whatever is going on the world, it is known that we will always require the use of steel, so the industry doesn’t look like it is going to slow down anytime soon.
Here at ANY Weld, we strive ourselves on customer service and quality of work, so, if you require structural steelwork, Devon , please do not hesitate to contact us.
Steel is one the world’s most used materials, so it comes as no surprise that so many buildings are built with it. The majority of steel production goes to the construction industry, and this is due to steel structures being so strong, sustainable at a low cost, and being built so quickly.
Due to steel’s flexibility and versatility it also means that designers, developers and architects can use it in numerous ways to turn their visions into a reality. This has been the case for centuries, but the way we use steel has changed, and in the future, we can only see the industry finding new ways to use steel. We have decided to take a look at how and why structural steel has had such an impact on the construction industry.
Since metal fabricators prefer fabricating steel off-site, the production cost goes has been considerably reduced. Additionally, many modern manufacturing techniques have been steadily reducing the amount of energy and resources required to produce steel for construction. Due to modern facilities and factories, they actually use minimal energy compared to factories which are 20 years old.
Durability and Sustainability
Steel is one of the most durable materials as it is resistant to weather, many chemicals, and changes in temperature. The flexible strength of steel also makes it resistant to physical damage and age. Steel is 100 percent recyclable, so the iron, carbon, and silicon in the material can be melted down and then reused. This simply means that all steel reclaimed from the demolition of a structure can be recycled into new beams, panels or other components. Also, steel can be recycled multiple times as necessary, so recycling and using recycled steel products reduces the need to mine new minerals and saves energy.
All structural components of steel buildings can be fabricated before construction begins. This reduces the amount of time, resources, and energy required to erect a building. Prefabricated steel beams and panels also reduce the amount of construction time on a job site. The result is that the opposing environmental impact of building a steel structure is much less compared to using materials like wood.
The steel industry has become one of the most important industries that we have and has an impact in all of our lives. Today it is incredibly hard to imagine our lives without it, as it is incredibly important to our economy. The UK steel industry still produces 12 million tonnes of steel a year. It’s not much when compared to the 822 million tonnes produced by China, but is still a significant total in UK and European terms. The UK industry has also, over the years, sought to specialise in high-quality and high-value products with resulting advantages in niche markets. Steel, of course, is not a stand-alone industry. It’s a crucial raw material supporting almost every area of manufacturing and beyond.
In the future, we can’t see this industry slowing down in any case, as it has become such an important aspect of everyday life. If you require steel fabricators, Devon , please do not hesitate to contact us on 01271 860 794.
When deciding that you would like to invest in balustrades for your residential or commercial property, it can be hard to decide on what style or material you want to use. However, each material comes with its own benefits and attributes that make them perfect for one purpose but might not be good for another. Whether it be commercial or residential, here at ANY Weld we can provide you with either steel or glass balustrades, so we have taken a look at the benefits of both to help you make your decision.
A glass balustrade is a type of balustrading material that provides a safety barrier of some sort or is used as fencing. Glass balustrades can be fully framed, semi-frameless or fully frameless and they can be made of different types of glass.
Glass balustrades are a great option for a number of reasons, but perhaps the main reason, and why they are so popular, is because they are see-through, which means that when they are installed, your views are not lost at all. This particular factor is important as we all would like to be able to see our surroundings, whether that’s their garden, their entertaining area, or the views of the beaches, forests or beyond.
They are also incredibly versatile design-wise, as they are available in so many different framing and fixing options, and in different colours and textures. As well as being incredibly attractive, glass balustrades are also very safe. This is due to them being made using thick, tempered safety glass, which is very difficult to break. Because of their safety and durability, it makes them absolutely ideal for areas where children will be and means that they can stand up to just about any conditions. When glass is used to make a frameless look, it can really create a stunning, sleek look.
When it comes to balustrades, it is important you choose a material that holds firm, no matter how much weight is pressed upon it, as you do not want it to buckle under pressure or give way. Wood can potentially break, and other materials can bend, but not steel. When it comes to a balustrade, steel is one of the toughest materials you can use.
Steel is always extremely easy to keep clean as well as being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. No matter its location, steel works great in and outside of a property. Better still, it doesn’t require any special or expensive cleaning material to keep it looking good.
Stainless steel is a material used in both residential and commercial balustrades because it is a material that is not only durable but easy to maintain too. The combination of beauty and strength makes it one of the most appealing materials for a balustrade. It adds a contemporary feel to any design or application, whether that is an outside application or an interior one.
With such strong benefits of both, it can a difficult decision to decide on. If you require any advice for your residential balustrade, Devon our team are here to answer any questions you may have.
The trend of balcony gardens has swept the UK in 2017. They are a perfect way to utilise space and enjoy the great outdoors; they make for a fantastic addition to most homes. Could this be a trend that you want to embrace? We’re here today to give you some tips and tricks to help you to create your dream outdoor balcony.
What is a Balcony Garden?
A balcony garden is quite a simple concept that can really transform your space, particularly if you don’t have a garden of your own. It is simply a balcony that has been utilised to hold plants and foliage, creating a stunning green space that you can enjoy as you would a garden. Some take this trend to the max and add turf to the floor, hanging vines to the surrounds and potted plants all around for an immersive environment, whilst others opt for fewer, bolder plants dotted around to create an enjoyable, natural area.
Benefits of a Balcony Garden:
The benefits of adding a balcony garden to your home are extensive. The classic perks that having a balcony offers include additional space, an outdoor extension, adding value to your home and an aesthetically pleasing nature and natural environment. If you have enough space on your balcony for a table and chairs, then this is also a wonderful al fresco dining area!
Creating Your Own Balcony Garden:
If you think that a balcony garden could be the perfect addition to your home, then why not look for some inspiration to create one? If you have an existing balcony, then you are halfway there, but if not, then inquire with us today to see whether we could design, manufacture and build you a bespoke residential balcony which would be perfect to house a natural haven!
The first thing to consider will likely be the position of your balcony. If the area gets a lot of natural sunlight, then the suitable plants will be different to that if your balcony is in the shade. Typically plants are classified into three types, those that need six hours of sunlight or more, those which are in need of three-six hours of sunlight and anything less (which is considered full shade). The longer the sun shines on your outdoor space, the wider the array of plants you will be able to grow.
Deciding on which plants to fill your balcony garden with may be a tricky task, but this will be narrowed down by the sunlight factor, mentioned above, as well as your personal preference. Take your pick from individually potted plants to wide open trays where you can create clusters of flowers, herbs and trees. Don’t forget to look for plants that will grow in hanging baskets too or ones that grow on draping vines, as this can add a fantastic depth to your garden area. In the spring and summertime, you may also want to grow your own vegetables, so be sure to leave space for this if you decide to try it a little later on.
Different types of plants will require a different level of care. Some plants will need watering daily, whilst others may be fine to be left for a few weeks. This is another factor to bear in mind when planning your plants; how much time do you have to care for them? If you’re starting out in the winter, then you may find your options are limited and that the plants which will survive in the cold, needing little care. However, during the summer months, there are a plethora of plants and flowers that will flourish, but may need more attention in the heat.
- Planning. Planning your balcony garden before taking on the actual project is essential. It will help you to make the most of both your time and your space.
- Know when to stop. It can be all too easy to go overboard with filling your balcony with all kinds of plants, but remember to leave some room for yourself to enjoy it!
- Start small. Starting with just a few plants will help you to keep on top of the maintenance, then you can slowly add to your collection until you are satisfied!
As specialist steel fabricators, we have substantial knowledge about the material of steel. It’s an incredibly popular material for a variety of projects, from forming the framework of a house, to being used for stairs, balconies and many other functions. Here are 23 things that you probably didn't know about steel:
1. It is estimated that steel is up to 1,000 times stronger than iron when in its purest form.
2. Steel is one of the few metals that can be recycled from its purest form without losing any of its original strength.
3. The main material used in generating renewable energies such as solar, hydro and wind power is steel.
4. The steel industry generates an estimated £900 billion turnover each year, which means that it is the second largest industry in the world; oil and gas being the largest.
5. Over two million people are currently employed in the steel industry worldwide, and this figure is constantly growing as the demand for steel fabricators and other specialists increase.
6. Only 31,000 of those two million are employed in the UK.
7. Around 75% of all major appliances are made of steel, and 25% of an average computer is made purely from steel.
8. The Eiffel Tower is primarily made of iron and steel, which are both materials that expand when heated. This means that this grand structure can grow to up to 6-inches taller during the warmer months.
9. In 1918, the first steel made-car was introduced.
10. To build a wooden frame for an average UK home, it can take up the resources of more than 40 trees. If the same frame is built from steel, however, it can be made from just eight recycled cars!
11. The innovations in the steel industry over the last ten years means that the ‘new steel’ is up to 30% stronger than ever before.
12. Within the ‘new steel’ creations, lightweight alternatives have also been created with a greater level of flexibility, without compromising on strength.
13. The most substantial consumer of steel is the housing and construction sector, which uses around 50% of all steel produced globally.
14. Steel is actually made from refined iron, as most metals are. The majority of iron is crafted into steel.
15. It is easier and cheaper to recycle steel than it is to mine new iron ore.
16. China is the top producer of steel in the world, followed by the United States and then Japan. In 2015, China produced 804 million tonnes, while the UK only produced 11 million.
17. Steel was first discovered in the 1700s. They found that by reducing the impurities and adding carbon to wrought iron, they could create the metal alloy that we know as steel.
18. The first steel bridge was built in 1874 in St. Louis; it is called the Eads Bridge.
19. If all of the steel in the world today was divided up by all of the people on the earth today, each person would have around 500lb of steel each.
20. According to the World Steel Association, there are more than 3,500 grades of steel, each possessing its own unique environmental, chemical and physical properties. This is part of the reason why steel is so versatile and diverse.
21. Stainless steel soap bars became popular in the early 2000s because although the unique bar did not kill germs or bacteria, it has the properties to neutralise strong odours such as garlic on the hands.
22. Stainless steel gained its name largely from the fact that it is the most corrosion-resistant type of steel available today.
23. More than 50% of all products in the world come from steel fabrication processes from bridges, staircases and balconies to boats, aircrafts, office blocks and many other things (including space stations)!
If you’re in need of structural steelwork, Devon , get in touch with us today and see how we can help you through the designing, manufacturing and installation of your next project!
Steel is known for its versatility, strength and value. It is one of the most widely used construction materials worldwide, and one of the key aspects of the use of steel is the work of fabricators. Take a look into the world of steel fabrication today and learn about the wide range of processes involved and final products that can be achieved through this innovative type of construction.
What is Steel Fabrication?
Steel fabrication is the process that is used to manufacture components out of steel too, when finished, create a framework. This can be used to create a vast variety of structural shapes, sizes and for many uses including stairs, balconies and roofs. Typically, standard sections of steel are combined with specialist items to fit a job. However, some projects require a fully bespoke service for the best finish. A fabricator transforms simple sections of steel into detailed designs with precision to bring a project to life.
Techniques Involved in Steel Fabrication
The innovative practices of steel fabrication have greatly evolved over the years, utilising new technologies to make the final product more precise and the processes more efficient than ever. Just a few of the techniques involved in steel fabrication include:
Shot blasting – this is the process in which sections are steel are blasted with a ‘shot’. This helps to prepare the materials or fabrication, offering a clean finish and rough surface to hold paints and other finishes.
Cutting – with the use of tools such as circular saws, flame cutters and plasma cutters, sections of steel can be tailored to the exacting needs of each project.
Bending – steel fabrication often works in curves rather than in ridged shapes; therefore it is essential to know how to correctly bend and roll steel to create a smooth and streamline finish without any breakages, kinks or damages.
Welding – welding is used to attach different sections of steel together, mainly to attach fixtures and fittings. This process uses a very high heat to melt the parent material to the steel which, when cool, solidifies and forms a stable joint.
Coating – coatings can be of the utmost importance to the finish of a steel fabrication project as it can protect against corrosions, high heats or for more aesthetic purposes.
What is Steel Fabrication Used For?
Steel fabrication can be used in a wide range of projects and structures including grand building structures, balustrades, balconies, fire escapes, staircases, handrails, gates and a wide range of other bespoke products. The strength of the metal and versatility means that it can be used in a wide range of settings as an effective solution. The steel can also be combined into designs with many other materials such as wood and glass. Steel fabrication has plenty of practical uses, as has been popular historically. However, in the modern day, steel is often a material of preference for aesthetic purposes too.
If you have a project in mind which requires bespoke steel fabrication in Devon , why not get in touch today? We are steel and glass specialists who can help you with the designing, manufacturing and installation of whatever task you require; take a look at the services we offer for more information.
Spiral staircases are often praised today as a stunning design feature within a home or business, as well as a practical and space-saving invention. Although the exact date of origin is somewhat unknown, what is known is that their history dates back centuries with its concept believed to be over 3,000 years old! Often described as an architectural phenomenon, the spiral staircase has come a long way from its origins, and has a long future ahead! Find out more today:
What is a Spiral Staircase?
A spiral staircase is a set of steps that rise around a central axis. This means that every step, or every few steps, will result in a turn of up to 360 degrees when ascending or descending. There are several different types of spiral staircase which can be categorised in different ways. For example, they could be classified by the materials used in the making, in the type of spiral (helical, spiral, double spiral, double helix), or in the number of turns completed on the journey (quarter-turn, half-turn, three-quarter-turn, full-turn).
Spiral Staircases Uses
It was during the Middle Ages that spiral staircases became a popular structural feature. They were originally designed as a defence mechanism in castles that homed royalty. The idea behind it was that the narrow, clock-wise winding stairway would be a disadvantage to right-handed swordsmen coming to attack, as they would then have to use their weaker left hand to carry their sword. The spiral staircase feature would also mean that the soldiers could only enter the towers or castle one-by-one, rather than in mass. Some even went as far as to make the steps uneven, causing the men to stumble and fall. The inhabitants of the castle would then have had an extra few minutes to prepare for an attack or escape to safety.
Not long after the introduction of staircases for defence, they were also much sought out by the wealthy as a symbol of status and power. It became the latest fashion to have grand spiral staircases constructed in palaces all over the world –a trend which is still popular today!
In modern-day, there is little need for these staircases as a means of defence; however, they are still highly valued for space-saving and aesthetic purposes, both indoors and out. As they tend to be custom-built, they fit perfectly into every space and can be tailored to meet specific needs. Spiral staircases are also no longer only accessible to those of great wealth, as the materials now cost much less, and innovations in technology make the designing and crafting process easier.
Spiral Staircase Materials
During the early days of the spiral staircase, the most common materials for building these structures were stone or marble. This meant that the stair would be durable, hardwearing and stable for a very long period of time. They were typically built into the walls during the initial building of a structure and did not hold much aesthetic appeal. The methods of crafting spiral staircases varied significantly from place to place, with some being built in individual steps, whilst others were created from large blocks of stone for greater stability.
Today, spiral staircases are made out of a wide variety of materials, with stone and marble still proving popular alongside steel, diamond plate, wood and even glass!
Evolution of Spiral Staircases
In the early days of these grand staircases, the steps were often secured to a central pole holding the structure together. However, as the understandings of architectural practices grew over the centuries, ways were uncovered in which there could be an empty central cavity, where one could observe the view of the staircase over the bannister. This gave the designers and builders greater flexibility in design and meant that so much more was possible.
Once an incredibly laborious and time-consuming feature, modern developments in manufacturing and design mean that a spiral staircase is now accessible to all.
The late 20th-century saw the introduction of spiral stairs in a kit form, typically made of steel, where the pieces simply needed to be bolted together. The low-cost and ease of use of this product proved popular for a short while before bespoke and custom design became the forefront of innovation for spiral staircases.
Custom-made spiral staircases are now becoming increasingly popular, offering a unique addition to a space that can fulfil several needs.
If you think that your home or business could benefit from a practical steel staircase or an elegantly designed glass stair feature, why not get in touch today? We can help you to find the perfect option, from the designing and manufacturing stages right up to the installation with our bespoke steel fabrication services in Devon.
Stainless steel handrails are a very popular choice, thanks largely to the benefits they offer. Aside from being easier than other fabrications to set up and install, this type of railing can also be left supported by mounted posts as standalone railings, or be fixed on a handrail bracket and mounted on the wall.
The versatility that stainless steel railings bring make them an appealing option, but if you needed more convincing, take a look at our five benefits of using stainless steel handrails in both residential and commercial buildings:
When it comes to handrails, one of the two of the main focuses should be on durability and having a strong material to ensure safety is taken into account. Stainless steel is among the most durable of materials that can be used for this purpose. Stainless steel brings more strength, in fact, more than other materials such as wood. Stainless steel handrails also offer the appeal of being rustproof, as well as being able to withstand what the weather throws at it, which makes them ideal for outdoor railings.
Maintenance is a factor that people will almost always take into account and knowing that stainless steel is one of the easiest materials to maintain, means it ranks highly for those looking to have railings fitted.
What’s more, stainless steel handrails offer increased value and appeal to any indoor or outdoor setting. The fact that it can be kept shiny and polished just by wiping it clean and using a brush or polish to mildly brush it over is an alluring benefit. Furthermore, stainless steel handrails won’t warp, crumble, fracture or bend over time.
Stainless steel railings are particularly cost-effective when compared to other building materials. The initial outlay can be less expensive, and what's more, can also save owners money, in the long run, thanks to no periodic finishing be required. You can throw snow, rain or heat at stainless steel handrails and they will retain their appearance.
Beauty, strength and aesthetic appeal are three factors that highlight the proof is in the pudding. The very fact that many buildings use stainless steel handrails is another point to add to the case of their positive appeal.
If you’re contemplating having new railing fitted at home, you can expect to look forward to a modern, sleek-looking addition. This type of railing is especially appealing for anyone thinking of having open stairways, as people use glass or protective plastic covering between chic and sleek stainless-steel handrails to finish of the attractive appeal.
A major advantage of choosing stainless steel handrails is that you can choose from a riot of designs based on your specific interior and exterior décor. You can find the round and square railings to complement quadrant and equilateral modern designs. With the sheer range available in the market, it is possible to create a perfect balance in any home with the right stainless-steel handrails.
Now that we’ve laid down such a convincing case for stainless steel railings or if you are looking for your own bespoke steel fabrication, South West -based ANY Weld are here to help you. Why not get in touch with us today to find out more?
Experts at HRL Laboratories in the United States have made a recent breakthrough in metallurgy. They announced that staff had developed a technique for successfully 3D printing high-strength aluminium alloys.
So, what’s so good about this news?
Well, in answer to the question over this development, it essentially paves the way to the additive manufacturing of engineering-relevant alloys. These alloys are very desirable for aircraft and automobile parts and have been among thousands that were not amenable to additive manufacturing—3D printing is now potentially a solution provided by the HRL researchers. An added benefit is that their method can be applied to additional alloy families such as high-strength steels and nickel-based superalloys difficult to process currently in additive manufacturing. This means that there’s the possibility it can be transferred to the steel fabrication sector.
"We're using a 70-year-old nucleation theory to solve a 100-year-old problem with a 21st century machine," said Hunter Martin, who co-led the team with Brennan Yahata.
"Our first goal was figuring out how to eliminate the hot cracking altogether. We sought to control microstructure, and the solution should be something that naturally happens with the way this material solidifies," Martin said.
"Using informatics was key," said Yahata. "The way metallurgy used to be done was by farming the periodic table for alloying elements and testing mostly with trial and error. The point of using informatics software was to do a selective approach to the nucleation theory we knew to find the materials with the exact properties we needed. Once we told them what to look for, their big data analysis narrowed the field of available materials from hundreds of thousands to a select few. We went from a haystack to a handful of possible needles."
Watch the video on the breakthrough, here: https://youtu.be/8YwlenA4bdg
The team here at ANY Weld will be waiting with great
anticipation to see the potential that this progression has for us and
businesses like us.
Video courtesy of HRL Laboratories, LLC /YouTube.