Developing Products for Emerging Technologies
Laser Seam Welding
Epoch Wires laser seam welding technology is capable of producing seamless powder-cored wires for industrial applications. Two distinct laser seam welding technologies are applied.
A Ytterbium fiber laser with embedded video camera is utilised for seam welding conventional materials such as steel, stainless steel and nickel base alloys. Light emitting metals such as copper and aluminium are welded with fibre laser using a high frequency oscillation mode.
In both techniques the depth of the weld penetration is controlled with 3% accuracy.
Laser seam welded wires are rolled to small diameters using cassette roller dies achieving excellent smoothness and perfect tolerances. Finished wires are chemically treated to remove any residue obtaining ultra-clean wires suitable for demanding applications.
Superconductive cables need to be bundled to create 1+6, 1+6+12..morphologies using a wire twisting machine. Such cables are produced in numerous combinations to achieve the required amount of copper to superconductive material ratio.
Nano Powder Mixing and Feeding
Nano powders are often added as dopants to improve the critical current density at high magnetic fields in MgB2 superconductive wires. They are also used to modify the microstructure of deposited materials in order to improve the mechanical properties by grain refinement. Epoch Wires have designed a unique and patented nano powder feeding technology which is capable of distributing nano powder additions within long-length wires with micron scale consistency.
Continuous Wire Heat Treatment
Some wires require heat treatment to achieve adequate phase transformation or to relieve stresses to allow for further deformation. Such wires are heat treated in continuous furnaces under protective atmosphere. The temperature is controlled within +/- 3 degree centigrade variation achieving excellent consistency in long-length wire production.
Wire manufacturing line consists of measurement sensors located in every critical part of the operation. Distance, displacement and speed laser sensors are combined with on-line temperature sensors and other mechanical and gas sensors to control process variables. The centralised data logging system registers the variations and produces a comprehensive quality control report for every batch of wire produced. Surface quality is monitored using an on-line Eddy current measurement system and the wire production is filmed throughout the process.