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A spin-off of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) has devised a method for welding steel towers for wind turbines that could revolutionise the welding process.
The welds on a steel wind tower are roughly 700 metres in length. Steel sheets up to 30 millimetres thick must be connected in many layers using the submerged arc welding method. At the moment, this takes over 100 hours. BAM scientists created a magnetic system that is connected to the welding zone. The magnets generate a force known as the Lorentz force, which counteracts gravity. This inhibits the creation of drops at the weld seam. Simultaneously, the mechanism is fully contactless. The method enables the use of a faster laser hybrid welding process while maintaining safety. By employing laser welding, the welding time for a 120-meter tower might be cut from 96 to slightly under 12 hours. The scientists are now forming their own spin-off company. In the following two years, they hope to turn their innovation into a marketable solution for industry. They are funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action's (BMWK) EXIST funding project. They have access to BAM's research infrastructure at the same time.
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