LIFT Off Webinar Presented By Applied Impulse: Compact System for Impulse Manufacturing

Impulse manufacturing is a diverse technology, which can be practiced with several methods for various metalworking applications, including welding, forming, shearing and compaction. One of the main applications is impact welding, which has been traditionally effected with chemical explosives to drive large plates to speeds close to Mach 2 and weld them together upon impact.

It was invented at The Ohio State University and is now being commercialized by the startup company, Applied Impulse Incorporated (Aii), with a new “compact impulse system” being showcased at LIFT. This method relies on a high electric current sent through a thin metal conductor, typically aluminum, causing it to rapidly vaporize. The resultant expanding gas creates a large pressure differential that generates enough force to launch the workpiece to high speeds and undergo impulse processing. This process affords advantages over existing methods in terms of energy efficiency, material versatility, portability, and is possible to automate for serial production.

The “compact impulse system” includes a welding fixture inside a chamber atop an integrated capacitor bank. It is portable and user friendly, making it a fast and intuitive technology to use. The system has the capacity to weld dissimilar materials such as 6XXX series aluminum to dual phase steel, and other similar joints of advanced materials. The build of the first two compact impulse systems was funded by LIFT as a Fast Forge project, and one of the systems is now set up at LIFT for testing, training and demonstration.