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A Project Report on

Submitted to J.N.T.U, Hyderabad in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Of BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY In MECHANICAL ENGINEERING By


03311A0329 03311A0339 03311A0358


(Affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad) Yamnampet, Ghatkesar, Hyderabad 501301. 2006-2007.



This is to certify that M.RAKESH SOMA (03311A0329), A.SRAVAN KUMAR (03311A0339) and K.KRISHNA KUMAR (03311A0358) have successfully completed the project entitled Development of a Precision

Automatic Fuel Tube Handling System for Resistance Welding in

NFC (Nuclear Fuel Complex), Hyderabad, as per the requirement of graduation degree in Mechanical Engineering (B.Tech) by J.N.T.U during the academic year of 2006-2007.

Head of Department

Internal Guide

External Examiner


Words are only representations of our regards and gratitude that we have towards our actions and their inherent associations. As a matter of fact, without co-operation, no thought could be coined into real action. Consistent motivation and invaluable support throughout any project is an issue that cannot quantitatively measured. These acknowledgements are only a fraction of regards towards their gestures. Our sincere thanks to V.Sivananda Sastry Garu, DGM, ED & A, Nuclear Fuel Complex, HYD and Mr.Maruthi Ram Garu for their cooperation and operational support throughout our project. We would like to thank all the lab technicians at NFC for their assistance through out our project. I express my deep sense of gratitude to Mr. D.Kondayya Garu, Associate Professor, Mechanical Dept, SNIST, who has been a source of inspiration throughout the course of this work with his inestimable advice and moral encouragement. My special thanks to Dr.G.V.Rao Garu, Head of the Department, Mechanical engineering, Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology, Yamnampet, Ghatkesar who has given an immense support throughout the course of the project.


Three spacer pads of size 2.5 mm (W) x 33.0 mm (L) x 1.02mm (T) are to be welded at each of the seven sections along a 3196.0 mm (L) x 10.00mm ID x 0.60 mm wall thickness zircaloy tubes. The pitch between these sections is 450.0mm and the distance between one end of the tube and the central section of its nearest spacer pads is 274.0mm. The angular spacing of the spacer pads around the periphery at each section is equi-spaced i.e. at 120 pitch. It is also required that the corresponding spacer pads at all the seven sections have to be along a straight line. The tube being welded should be supported from the inside at the welding location such that the welds do not cause depressions on the inside surface. An automatic equipment is required to be developed for proper welding of the spacer pads which includea) Receipt of the tube and spacer pads. b) Positioning of the tube. c) Clamping and locating the spacer pads in precise locations on the tube. d) Carrying out the welding operations. e) Linear and rotary Indexing of the tube for welding the next spacer pads. f) Evolving an appropriate sequence of operations, etc. These mechanisms are to be developed right from the stages of conceptualization, which is part of our present project. A capacitor discharge type welding power source specified for the purpose is already available. Also the projections on the spacer pads are manufactured as per the weld design, which is not in the scope of the present project work.

Key Words: Tube, Spacer pads, Electrodes, Weld head, Mandrel, Grippers, Linear Indexing, Rotary Indexing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PAGE No. ORGANIZATION PROFILE 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 OBJECTIVE 1.2 ORIGIN OF IDEA 2. PRODUCTS TO BE HANDLED 3. DESCRIPTION OF HANDLING SYSTEM 3.1 TUBE 3.2 MANDREL 3.3 SPACER PADS 3.4 ELECTRODES (a) WELDING ELECTRODE (b) BOTTOM ELECTRODE 3.5 CARRIAGE AND GUIDEWAYS 3.6 LOCATOR 3.7 CHUCKS 3.8 BEARINGS 3.9 INERT GASES 3.10 CHARACTERISTICS OS ARGON SUPPLY 3.11 HIGH PRESSURE AIR SUPPLY 3.12 PNEUMATIC CYLINDER ARRANGEMENT 3.13 MOTOR (a) DC MOTOR (b) AC MOTOR (c) STEPPER MOTOR 3.14 CLAMPS 3.15 SUPPORTS 33 34 34 35 37 37 38 40 40 5 19 20 21 22 23 24 27 12 14 16 17 18 9 10 11 1


42 50 51 52 56 61 62 63 68 70 72


Fig 1: Automated Fuel Tube Handling System for Resistance Welding Fig 2: Tube Used For Resistance Welding Fig 3: Mandrel Fig 4: Spacer Pads Fig 5: Welding Electrode Fig 6: Bottom Electrode Fig 7: Carriage Holding Tube Fig 8: Guide Ways Fig 9: Locator Fig 10: Chuck Fig 11: General Bearing Fig 12: Ball Bearing Fig 13: Pneumatic Cylinder Fig 14: General Stepper Motor Fig 15: Clamps Fig 16: V Supports Fig 17: Linear Indexing Conformation Fig 18: Rotary Indexing Conformation Fig 19: Electric Circuit Beeper Fig 20: Classification of Sensors Fig 21: Proximity Sensor Fig 22: Various Welding Processes 22 23

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 21

25 26 34 38 40 41 48 49 51 53 55 62


HISTORY The Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), established in the year 1971 is a major industrial unit of Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. The complex is responsible for the supply of nuclear fuel bundles and reactor core components for all the nuclear power reactors operating in India. It is a unique facility where natural and enriched uranium fuel, zirconium alloy cladding and reactor core components are manufactured under one roof starting from the raw materials.

The Fuel
India is pursuing an indigenous three stage Nuclear Power Programme involving closed fuel cycles of Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and Liquid Metal cooled Fast Breeder Reactors (LMFBRs) for judicious utilization of the relatively limited reserves of uranium and vast resources of thorium. PHWRs form the first stage of the Power programme that uses zircaloy as clad & Natural uranium dioxide as fuel. In addition, India is operating two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) for the last 30 years. The zircaloy clad enriched uranium oxide fuel elements and assemblies for these reactors are fabricated at NFC starting from imported enriched uranium hexafluoride.

Uranium Refining and Conversion

The raw material for the production of PHWR fuel in NFC is Magnesium Di-uranate (MDU) popularly known as 'Yellow Cake'. The MDU concentrate is obtained from the uranium mine and milled at Jaduguda, Jharkhand, operated by Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UICL). The impure MDU is subjected to nitric acid dissolution followed by solvent extraction and precipitation with ammonia to get Ammonium Di-uranate (ADU). By further steps of controlled 9

calcination and reduction, sinterable uranium dioxide powder is formed which is then compacted in the form of cylindrical pellets and sintered at high temperature to get high density uranium dioxide pellets. For BWRs, the enriched uranium hexafluoride is subjected to pyrohydrolysis and converted to ammonium di-uranate that is treated in the same way as natural ADU to obtain high-density uranium dioxide pellets.

Zircaloy Production
The source mineral for the production of zirconium metal is zircon (zirconium silicate) available in the beach sand deposits of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Orissa and is supplied by the Indian Rare Earths Ltd. Zircon sand is processed through caustic fusion, dissolution, solvent extraction (to remove hafnium), precipitation and calcination steps to get zirconium oxide. Further, the pure zirconium oxide is subjected to high temperature chlorination, reactive metal reduction and vacuum distillation to get homogeneous zirconium sponge. The sponge is then briquetted with alloying ingredients and multiple vacuum arcs melted to get homogeneous zircaloy ingots, which are then converted, into seamless tubes, sheets and bars by extrusion, pilgering and finishing operations.

Fuel Fabrication
For PHWR fuel, the cylindrical UO2 pellets are stacked and encapsulated in thin walled tubes of zirconium alloy, both ends of which are sealed by resistance welding using zircaloy end plugs. A number of such fuel pins are assembled to form a fuel bundle that can be conveniently loaded into the reactor. The fuel bundles for PHWR 220 MW and PHWR 500 MW consist of 19 and 37 fuel pins respectively. For BWRs, two types, namely 6x6 and 7x7 array fuel assemblies are fabricated.

Seamless Tubes, FBR Sub-assemblies and Special Materials


The Stainless Steel Tubes Plant and Special Tubes Plant at NFC produce a wide variety of stainless steel and titanium seamless tubes for both nuclear and non-nuclear applications. NFC is supplying sub-assemblies and all stainless steel hardware including tubes, bars, sheets and springs for the operating FBTR and the forthcoming PFBR. The Special Materials Plant at NFC manufactures high value, low volume, high purity Special Materials like tantalum, niobium, gallium, indium etc., for applications in electronics, aerospace and defense sectors.

Fabrication of Critical Equipment

A notable feature at the Nuclear Fuel Complex is that, apart from in-house process development, a lot of encouragement is given to the Indian industry for fabrication of plant equipments and automated systems. Major sophisticated equipments fabricated in-house at NFC include the slurry extraction system for purification of uranium, high temperature (1750 deg C) pellet sintering furnace, vacuum annealing furnace, cold reducing mill, split spacer and bearing pad welding machines, automatic tube cleaning station, etc. In addition to this, several services like vacuum arc melted alloys production, seamless tube extrusion and finishing, production of tools, NDT services, etc., are undertaken.

Waste Management, Health and Safety

By means of an elaborately organized programme of effluent management, NFC takes scrupulous care in protecting the environment. The Health Physics Unit, the Safety Engineering Division and Environment and Pollution Control Group keeps a continuous watch to ensure that the radioactive and chemical discharges are much below the threshold limits. Rich greenery has been developed in NFC site, which is being nourished with treated wastewater from the production plants.

Self Reliance

The Nuclear Fuel Complex is an outstanding example of a successful translation of indigenously developed processes to production scale operations. The strong base of self-reliance in the crucial area of nuclear fuel and core components is a great asset to the country in not only supporting the nuclear power programme but also in developing a large number of allied and ancillary industries.

The Nuclear Fuel Complex is unique in many respects. It is the only Complex of its kind where Uranium concentrates on the one hand and Zirconium mineral on the other are processed at the same location all the way to produce finished fuel assemblies and also zirconium alloy tubular components, for supplies to the Nuclear Power Industry. The complex also symbolizes the strong emphasis on selfreliance in the Indian Nuclear Power Programme. The advanced technologies for the production of nuclear grade uranium di-oxide fuel, zirconium metal and zirconium alloy tube components and the manufacture of fuel bundles conforming to reactor specifications were developed through systematic efforts during the late 50's and the 60's. The complex has different types of production facilities which include the Zirconium Oxide Plant for processing of Zircon to pure Zirconium oxide; the Zirconium Sponge Plant for conversion of Zirconium oxide to pure sponge metal; facilities for reclamation of zircaloy mill-scrap; the Zircaloy Fabrication Plant for producing various zirconium alloy tubings and also sheet, rod and wire products; the Uranium Oxide Plant for processing crude uranium concentrate to pure uranium dioxide powder; the Ceramic Fuel Fabrication Plant for producing sintered Uranium oxide pellets and assembling of the fuel bundles for the PHWRs; the Enriched Uranium Oxide Plant for processing of imported enriched uranium hexafluoride to enriched uranium oxide powder; the Enriched Uranium Fuel Fabrication Plant for producing enriched UO2 pellets and the fuel assemblies for the BWR reactors; and a plant for fabrication of components and sub assemblies for Fast Breeder Reactors. A Special Materials Plant for producing a number of electronic grade high purity materials for supplies to the Electronic Industry and plants producing stainless steel seamless and other special tubes have also been set up in this complex. 12

The common plant facilities comprising of the Quality Control Laboratory, the Central Workshop, the Compressor and Boiler House, the Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Services render strong support to the Plant operations. While the individual plant capacities were designed to match the requirements of the Indian Nuclear Power Programme as projected in the early '70s the capacities have been under continuous review. With the experience gained in the operation of various production plants, process and equipment modifications have been incorporated to progressively improve plant performance. The stage has now been reached for substantial increase in capacities and plans have been drawn up for establishing new plants to cater to the requirements of fuel and zircaloy for the 6,000 Mw Indian Nuclear Power Programme to be implemented in this decade. An important feature at the Nuclear Fuel Complex is that, apart from indigenous process development, a good portion of the plant equipment for the chemical engineering and extractive metallurgy operations has been indigenously designed and fabricated by the Indian industry. Even in the case of fabrication plants, sophisticated equipments such as Vacuum Annealing Furnace, the Pilger mill, the High Temperature Hydrogen welding units have been successfully designed and fabricated in-house.

NFC - Vision & Mission


India is pursuing a three-stage nuclear power programme linking the fuel cycles of Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) and Liquid Metal Cooled Fast Breeder Reactors (LMFBR). In addition, Light Water Reactors (LWR) have also been included in the programme in order to achieve the target of 20,000 MW of nuclear power by the year 2020 From the very inception of the nuclear power programme in India in the mid 1960s, great emphasis has been given towards self-reliance and indigenisation in fabrication of nuclear fuels. Ever since its commissioning in 1971, the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) is playing a key role in this programme and has been supplying natural and enriched Uranium Oxide fuels and Zirconium alloy core components for all the power reactors in India. Indigenous resources, know-how, and process equipment are being extensively utilized. NFC is perhaps the only facility in the world wherein under the same roof; both Uranium Oxide fuels and Zircaloy alloy components are fabricated starting from the basic raw materials namely Magnesium-di-uranate and Zircon sand respectively. In addition, NFC has manufactured and supplied stainless steel core components for the Fast Breeder Reactor programme, Seamless alloy steel and Titanium tubes and other special high purity materials for both nuclear and non-nuclear applications. NFC has a highly qualified and committed team of Scientists, Engineers and Technicians. This resource, combined with state-of-the-art equipment and technology and total quality management objective, NFC is poised to meet challenges in the years to come.



Equipment Development and Automation, (ED&A) section was started in the early 80s when difficulties were faced in importing special purpose welding equipment required for PHWR fuel assembly fabrication due to the embarge imposed by the developed countries on India.

This plant is essentially carrying out original development of special purpose equipment, for various applications as per user requirement from various production plants on a turnkey basis. Quite a few equipment for welding testing graphite coating etc., have been successfully developed by this group during the past decades. In the process of developing complete equipment certain new technologies also involved for eg, the empty tube welding.



1.1 Objective: We need to develop a system that can weld the spacer pads on the 3 mts tube at the required sections without any internal depressions and with high accuracy. 16

We are required to weld 7 Spacer pads at 7 locations linearly along the tube and is repeated by turning the tube to 120 and 240, Which can be achieved by proper indexing mechanism.

The type of weld is Resistance Spot welding and the values of voltage and current and the design of weld electrode are not in the scope of our project.

The welding of spacer pads on the tube is used for creating gap between the bundles of tubes for flow of water in nuclear reactors to absorb heat produced during the reaction process.

The dimensions used are Length of the tube: 3196.00 mm Internal Diameter of the tube: 10.00 mm Wall thickness of the tube: 0.60 mm Length of the spacer pad: 33.00 mm Width of the spacer pad: 2.50 mm Thickness of the spacer pad: 1.02 mm Pitch between spacer pads: 450.00 mm Distance between one end of the tube and central section of its nearest Spacer pad: 274.00 mm.

1.2 Origin of Idea: -

Welding of spacer pads on a tube of 3196.00 mm length with linear and rotary indexing is a difficult task for manual labor. 17

Presently, the welding machine in NFC is semi automatic and requires high labor for mass production of Fuel tubes. Therefore it is needed to change the instrument from semi automatic state to fully automatic state so that the deficiency in production can be minimized to a large extent. So, we took up the task of changing the welding machine into automatic mode by incorporating suitable machine modes that function as per the sequence of operations that were given by PLC.



Products to be Handled: -

Some of the products mentioned are passive and some of them are active. The various products to handle are 19

1). Tube 2). Mandrel 3). Spacer Pad 4). Electrodes 5). Carriage & Guide Ways 6). Locators 7). Chucks 8). Bearings 9). Inert Gases 10). Argon Supply 11). High Pressure Air Supply 12). Pneumatic Cylinder Arrangement 13). Motors 14). Clamps 15). Supports When the tube is handled for welding, it should not be distorted or loose its composition. So the chucks or clamps used should be of rubber type that just supports the tube. And also argon gas is supplied to avoid the formation of oxides at the time of weld so as to get a clean weld of spacer pads on the tube.



Brief Description of Handling System: The outline of the machine is given here under: Upper Electrode 21

Clamp-2 Mandrel Chuck-2 Tube Clamp-1

Stepper Motor





Piston Arrangement

V-Supports Bottom Electrode


3.1 Tube: The tube used for welding is made of zircaloy (an alloy of zirconium). The tube is of 3196.00 mm in length, 0.6 mm in thickness and 10.0 mm in internal 22

diameter. Due to its low thickness, this tube should be handled carefully, and care should also be taken since it is used in Advanced Heavy Water Reactors (AHWR). The tube used is shown under: -


3.2 Mandrel: . The tube being welded should be supported from the inside at the welding location such that the welds do not cause depressions on the inside surface. For this purpose Mandrel is used. The dimensions of the mandrel are slightly smaller than that of the tube used. Argon Gas and High Pressure air is pumped into the mandrel at the 23

time of weld. Argon gas is pumped into the mandrel such that the welds do not form oxide layers on the tube and the tube is clean and neat even after welding. Highpressure air is pumped into the mandrel so that the mandrel is inflated at the time of weld and supported the tube from inside to avoid depressions. The mandrel is shown here under: -

RU BBER TU BE Argon supply Tube Air supply



3.3 Spacer Pads: Three spacer pads of size 2.5 mm width, 33.0 mm length and 1.02mm thickness are to be welded at each of the seven sections along the given zircaloy tubes. The pitch between these sections is 450.0mm and the distance between one end of the tube and the central section of its nearest spacer pads is 274.0mm. The 24

angular spacing of the spacer pads around the periphery at each section is equi-spaced i.e. at 120 pitch. It is also required that the corresponding spacer pads at all the seven sections have to be along a straight line. The given spacer pads has 3 projections on the bottom side through which they are resistance projection welded on to the tube by proper mechanisms.

The spacer pad is shown here under:

Front View

Side View

Top View


3.4 Electrodes: There are two types of electrodes used for the welding purpose; they are upper electrode known as Welding Electrode and bottom electrode known as Supporting Electrode.


(a) Welding Electrode (Upper electrode) Welding electrode consists of 3 cylinders through which the spacer pad is welded to the tube. The welding electrode gets the power supply from a DC transformer source, which is not in the scope of our present project. The weld electrode is movable part of the machine. The electrode moves down when there is spacer pad on the tube welds the spacer and goes back to its home position after a perfect weld. The block diagram of the electrode is shown here under:


Spacer Pad


Fig 5: WELDING ELECTRODE (a) Bottom Electrode: Bottom Electrode used consists of an annular groove, which helps the tube along with spacer pad rotate freely in the groove. Therefore the depth of the annular groove should be such that the electrode doesnt damage the spacer pad. 26

Bottom Electrode also gives support to the tube at the time of welding. Bottom electrode is connected to a DC electric source to complete the circuit of the upper electrode. The length and depth of annular groove provided is slightly greater than the length and thickness of the spacer pad. After each weld the Bottom Electrode moves down and the tube moves forward. The stroke length with which the Electrode comes down is slightly greater than the height of the V-Supports. This will avoid Bottom Electrode getting hit by the Vsupports.

Annular Groove


3.5 Carriage & Guide ways: Carriage holds the tube arrangement and moves the tube. It also carries chucks, V-Supports, Stepper motor arrangement. The carriage moves over a rail (as shown in fig below). The carriage is moved with the intervals of 450 mm at a time. This movement is given by a pneumatic system arrangement (discussed below) provided below the carriage arrangement.


For guiding the movement of the carriage we use guide ways (LM Guide ways). (Shown in fig below). The carriage arrangement is shown here under:

Carriage Guide Ways


Fig 8: GUIDE WAYS 3.6 Locator: Locator is a device used for confirming the rotary and linear indexing. This locater also helps in proper indexing. Here we are using two locators, one for confirming the rotary indexing of the tube and the other used for confirming the linear indexing the carriage.


S-1 Fig 9: LOCATOR


The above figure shows the general arrangement of the locator used for confirming both linear and rotary indexing. Here we have two sensors S-1 & S-2, and a Rack and Pinion arrangement. When sensor (S-2) gets activated and sends signal to the motor, which drives the pinion and which in turn, moves the rack in forward direction, thus confirming the indexing. Now when the confirmation of indexing is done, we need to retrieve the rack to its original position. For which the sensor (S-1) gets activated and the rack is retrieved to its home position. This mechanism is repeated for every indexing of the tube.

3.7 Chucks: Chuck is a device used for holding the work piece. The chucks we generally come across are used in lathe machines. In this, Jaws (3-Jaws, 4- Jaws) are used to hold the work piece. 29

The purpose is achieved by using a Rubber Diaphragm, which holds the tube by the supply of compressed air over the rubber diaphragm. Two chucks are provided for holding the tube at both of its ends. The chuck arrangement is incorporated in the carriage it self and it moves along with the carriage.


High Pressure Air Supply

Slotted Disc Rubber Diaphragm Locator

Fig 10: CHUCK

The chuck we are using is shown above, it consists of a: Rubber Diaphragm Cylindrical Block with annular groove inside it. Bearing 30

Arrangement for attaching locator

3.8 Bearings: The bearing makes many of the machines we use every day possible. Without bearings, we would be constantly replacing parts that wore out from friction. BEARINGS are basically used to ease friction between moving parts. They are also used to carry load in certain industries such as those that handle materials. They find application in rotating parts of virtually all machines and automobiles. The automobile industry is the major user segment for bearings, followed by general engineering, heavy industries and railways. Bearings are produced in various sizes and shapes with the smallest bearing weighing just a few grams and the larger ones weighing a few tonnes. The material used to produce bearings can also vary from conventional steel to ceramics, brass and plastics. Bearings can be broadly classified into two segments _ bimetals and antifriction bearings. Bimetal bearings (also known as engine bearings) are primarily used in the engines of automobiles or machines. They are meant to reduce the friction between the moving part of an engine- crankshaft or camshaft and its associated support surface. The main components of an anti-friction bearing are the inner ring, the outer ring, the rolling elements, the cage and the seals. The anti-friction roller bearings can be further sub-classified based on the size of the rolling element. Depending on the type of the rolling elements that are used, the anti-friction bearings segment can be classified into ball bearings and roller bearings. Ball bearings are used in automobiles, electrical equipment and household appliances. In India, SKF Bearings is the top ball bearings producer. The roller bearing segment consists of the needle, cylindrical, taper and spherical roller bearings. Of the lot, the taper roller bearings accounts for a major chunk of the roller bearing market. These are used mainly in four-wheelers. Timken India, NRB Bearings and Asian Bearings are major players in the taper rolling market.



Bearings may be classified broadly according to(i) The motions they allow and (ii) Their principle of operation.

Types of Bearings Common motions include linear/axial and rotary/radial. A linear bearing allows motion along a straight line, for example a drawer being pulled out and pushed in. A rotary bearing or thrust bearing allows motion about a center, such as a wheel on a shaft or a shaft through housing. Common kinds of rotary motion include both one-direction rotation and oscillation where the motion only goes through part of a revolution. Other kinds of bearings include spherical bearings such as ball joints, which are used in car suspensions and some computer mice. There are many types of bearings, each used for different purposes. These include ball bearings, roller bearings, ball thrust bearings, and roller thrust bearings and tapered roller thrust bearings. Ball Bearings: 32

Ball bearings, as shown below, are probably the most common type of bearing. In a ball bearing, the load is transmitted from the outer race to the ball and from the ball to the inner race. Since the ball is a sphere, it only contacts the inner and outer race at a very small point, which helps it spin very smoothly. But it also means that there is not very much contact area holding that load, so if the bearing is overloaded, the balls can deform or squish, ruining the bearing.

Fig 12: BALL BEARING The balls in a ball bearing transfer the load on a very small surface. The load carrying capacity is therefore lower than for a roller bearing, where rollers transfer the load via a larger line of contact with the raceways or the outer surface.

3.9 Inert Gases: If two work pieces are welded, there is a tendency to form oxides on the surfaces of which may lead to bad quality of the weld. So using inert gas over the welded area can control these oxides formation. We have many inert gases such as Helium, Neon, Argon, etc. but we have chosen the Argon gas because it is easily available, and is cheaper than other inert gases, which make it economical to the industry. We are having


two supply lines of argon, one supply line supplies argon gas over the surface of the tube, and the other supplies inside the tube. An inert gas is any gas that is not reactive under normal circumstances. Because of the non-reactive properties of inert gases they are often useful to prevent undesirable chemical reactions from taking place. There are five inert gases. They are, in order of atomic size: Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton and Xenon. The following chart will outline some statistics regarding these inert gases:



Atomic Number

Boiling Point (C)

Max. Avail. Amt. In the Pressure (PSI) Atmosphere

Helium Neon Argon Krypton Xenon

He Ne Ar Kr Xe

2 10 18 36 54

-268.9 -246.07 -185.88 -156.6 -108.06

6,000 6,000 6,000 1,350 800

5.2PPM 18.2PPM 7600PPM 1.100PPM 0.036PPM

PPM is parts per million. In nature, inert gases are found primarily in the atmosphere. The most prevalent of them is the inert gas Argon. Argon's high amount in the air runs to about . 76%, or 7600 parts per million. The rarest of the inert gases is Xenon. It is found at an incredibly low level - less than 1 part per ten million in the atmosphere. (a) Helium


A gaseous chemical element, He, atomic number 2 and atomic weight 4.0026. Helium is one of the noble gases in-group 18 of the periodic table. It is the second lightest element. Helium is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It has the lowest solubility in water of any known gas. It is the least reactive element and forms essentially no chemical compounds. The density and the viscosity of helium vapor are very low. Thermal conductivity and heat content are exceptionally high. Helium can be liquefied, but its condensation temperature is the lowest of any known substance. The properties of helium are given in the table.

Property Atomic number Atomic weight Melting point at 25.2 atm pressure Boiling point at 1 atm pressure Gas density at 0C and 1 atm pressure, g/liter Liquid density at its boiling point, g/ml Solubility in water at 20C, ml helium (STP)/1000 g water at 1 atm partial pressure of helium

Value 2 4.0026 -272.1C (1.1 K) -268.94C (4.22 K) 0.17847 0.1249 8.61

(b) Neon A gaseous chemical element, Ne, with atomic number 10 and atomic weight 20.183. Neon is a member of the family of noble gases. The only commercial source of neon is the Earth's atmosphere, although traces of neon are found in natural gas, minerals, and meteorites.


. Liquid neon can be utilized as a refrigerant in the temperature range about 25 to 40 K (416 to 387F). Neon is also used in some kinds of electron tubes, in Geiger-Mller counters, in spark-plug test lamps, and in warning indicators on highvoltage electric lines. A very small wattage produces visible light in neon-filled glow lamps; such lamps are used as economical night and safety lights. Neon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless; it is a gas under ordinary conditions. Some of the other properties of neon are given in the table. Neon does not form any chemical compounds in the ordinary sense of the word; there is only one atom in each molecule of gaseous neon.

Property Atomic number Atomic weight (atmospheric neon only) Melting point, C Boiling point at 1 atm pressure, C Gas density at 0C and 1 atm pressure, g/liter Liquid density at its boiling point, g/ml Solubility in water at 20C, ml neon (STP)/1000 g water at 1 atm partial pressure neon

Value 10 20.183 -248.6C -246.1C 0.8999 1.207 10.5

(c) Argon A chemical element, Ar, Atomic number 18, and Atomic weight 39.948. Argon is the third member of group 18 in the periodic table. The gaseous elements in this group are called the noble, inert, or rare gases, although argon is not actually rare. The Earth's atmosphere is the only natural argon source; however, traces of this gas are 36

found in minerals and meteorites. Argon constitutes 0.934% by volume of the Earth's atmosphere. Of this argon, 99.6% is the argon-40 isotope; the remainder is argon-36 and argon-38. There is good evidence that all the argon-40 in the air was produced by the radioactive decay of the radioisotope potassium-40. Argon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. The element is a gas under ordinary conditions, but it can be liquefied and solidified readily. Some salient properties of the gas are listed in the table. Argon does not form any chemical compounds in the ordinary sense of the word, although it does form some weakly bonded clathrate compounds with water, hydroquinone, and phenol. There is one atom in each molecule of gaseous argon.

Property Atomic number Atomic weight (atmospheric argon) Melting point (triple point), C Boiling point at 1 atm pressure, C Gas density at 0C and 1 atm (101.325 KPa) pressure, g/liter Liquid density at normal boiling point, g/ml Solubility in water at 20C, ml argon (STP) per 1000 g water at 1 atm (101.325 kPa) partial pressure of argon

Value 18 39.948 -189.4C -185.9C 1.7840 1.3998 33.6

(d) Krypton A gaseous chemical element, Kr, atomic number 36, and atomic weight 83.80. Krypton is one of the noble gases in group 18 of the periodic table. Krypton is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. The table gives some physical properties of krypton. The principal use for krypton is in filling electric lamps and electronic devices of various types. Krypton-argon mixtures are widely used to fill fluorescent lamps.


Property Atomic number Atomic weight (atmospheric krypton only) Melting point, triple point C Boiling point at 1 atm pressure, C Gas density at 0C and 1 atm pressure, g/liter Liquid density at its boiling point, g/mi Solubility in water at 20C, ml krypton (STP) per 1000 g water at 1 atm partial pressure krypton

Value 36 83.80 -157.20C -153.35C 3.749 2.413 59.4

(e) Xenon A chemical element, Xe, atomic number 54. It is a member of the family of noble gases, group 18 in the periodic table. Xenon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless; it is a gas under ordinary conditions. Xenon is the only one of the non radioactive noble gases which forms chemical compounds that are stable at room temperature. Xenon also forms weakly bonded clathrates with such substances as water, hydroquinone, and phenol.


Property Atomic number Atomic weight (atmospheric xenon only) Melting point (triple point) Boiling point at 1 atm pressure Gas density at 0C and 1 atm pressure, g/liter Liquid density at its boiling point, g/ml Solubility in water at 20C, ml xenon (STP) per 1000 g water at 1 atm partial pressure of xenon

Value 54 131.30 -111.8C -108.1C 5.8971 3.057 108.1

Of these inert gases mentioned above, we used Argon gas for its various useful characteristics. The various characteristics of Argon are as follows:-

3.10 Characteristics of Argon Gas:-

The most prevalent of the inert gases is Argon. Argon has approximately the same solubility in water as oxygen gas and is 2.5 times more soluble in water than nitrogen gas.

This highly stable chemical element is colorless, odorless, tasteless and nontoxic in both its liquid and gaseous forms. 39

Argon is inert under most conditions and forms no confirmed stable compounds at room temperature.

Argon is valued for its total inertness. Argon is the most abundant of the rare gases. The gas is approximately 1.4 times as heavy as air and is slightly soluble in water.

Argons freezing point is only a few degrees lower, -308.8F (-199.3C). . Argon's high amount in the air runs to about .76%, or 7600 parts per million. Welding and cutting metal consumes the largest amount of argon.

Keeping in view all these characteristics of argon, it is preferred over other inert gases during welding process. Also high pressured compressed air is supplied during welding process to inflate the mandrel so as to give support to the tube from beneath

3.11 High Pressure Air Supply: As we have studied above about the mandrel and the inflation of tube inside it. Generally the main concept of this mandrel is to give the internal support for tube, but in such case the OD of mandrel is obviously lesser than that of ID of tube, so in order to get a proper internal support to the tube, the mandrel should firmly hold the tube from inside, which is possible only if the OD of mandrel is slightly greater than the ID of tube.


This problem can be overcome by using a inflating tube inside the mandrel. Which may bulge when supplied with compressed air. This supply directly connects to the tube inside the mandrel. The setup of producing compressed air is isolated from the main fixture and this compressed air is drawn through pipes. The pressure of the air sent in to the mandrel is already calculated and is setup. Any drop in pressure may be easily identified by the pressure switches. 3.12 Pneumatic Cylinder Arrangement: In our project we need to perform welding operation linearly at regular intervals. And this linear motion is not a continuous motion, we have traversed it linearly at regular intervals, this is possible only by mechanism which works for particular stroke, which is fulfilled by the piston-cylinder arrangement (as shown below).

Fig 13: PNEUMATIC CYLINDER Piston rests inside the cylinder and a pressure which is built up in the cylinder pushes the piston outward producing a reciprocating motion of particular stroke length. 3.13 Motor Motor is a component, which converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Types of motors 41

Electric moor - a machine that converts electricity into a mechanical motion. Thermodynamic motor or heat engine - a machine that converts heat into mechanical motion.

Pneumatic motor - a machine that converts the energy of compressed air into mechanical motion.

Hydraulic motor - a machine that converts the energy of pressurized liquid flow into mechanical motion Looking at the above types of motors, the motor which is perfectly

suitable for our work is an electric motor, which itself has many other types in it which is discussed below. ELECTRIC MOTOR Electrical motors are the motors which covert the electrical energy into mechanical energy. Electric motors can be divided into two types: alternating current (AC) electric motors and direct current (DC) electric motors. A DC electric motor will not run when supplied with AC current, nor will an AC motor run with DC current. AC electric motors are further subdivided into single phase and three phase motors. Single phase AC electrical supply is what is typically supplied in a home. Three phase electrical power is commonly only available in a factory setting. DC electric motors are also split into types. These include brush motors, brushless motors, and stepper motors. Of these types, brush electric motors are by far the most common. They are easy to build and very cost effective. Their major drawback is that they use carbon brushes to transfer electrical current to the rotating part, and these brushes wear over time and eventually result in the failure of the electric motor. The DC brushless motor eliminates the brushes, but is more costly and requires much more complicated drive electronics to operate.


Electrical Motors `

AC Motors

DC Motors

1) AC Motors. 2) Linear AC Motors. 3) Self-Protecting Starters. 4) Definite and special - purpose Motors. 5) Motor Starters. 6) Synchronous Motors. 7) Induction Motors. 8) Protecting Motors.

1) Brushless DC Motors 2) Limited Angle-Torque Motors 3) PM DC Motors 4) Coreless DC Motors 5) Linear DC Motors 6) Selecting DC Motors 7) Stepper Motor 8) Servo Motors

(a) DC Motors: Industrial applications use DC Motors because the speed-torque relationship can be varied to almost any useful form -- for both DC Motor and regeneration applications in either direction of rotation. Continuous operation of DC Motors is commonly available over a speed range of 8:1. Infinite range (smooth control down to zero speed) for short durations or reduced load is also common. DC Motors are often applied where they momentarily deliver three or more times their rated torque. In emergency situations, DC Motors can supply over five times rated torque without stalling (power supply permitting).


DC Motors feature a speed, which can be controlled smoothly down to zero, immediately followed by acceleration in the opposite direction -- without power circuit switching. And DC Motors respond quickly to changes in control signals due to the dc motor's high ratio of torque to inertia.

(b) AC Motor: As in the DC motor case, a current is passed through the coil, generating a torque on the coil. Since the current is alternating, the motor will run smoothly only at the frequency of the sine wave. It is called a synchronous motor. More common is the induction motor, where electric current is induced in the rotating coils rather than supplied to them directly. One of the drawbacks of this kind of AC motor is the high current which must flow through the rotating contacts. Sparking and heating at those contacts can waste energy and shorten the lifetime of the motor. In common AC motors the magnetic field is produced by an electromagnet powered by the same AC voltage as the motor coil. The coils which produce the magnetic field are sometimes referred to as the "stator", while the coils and the solid core which rotates is called the "armature". In an AC motor the magnetic field is sinusoidal varying, just as the current in the coil varies.

(c) Stepper Motors: Stepper motors use a magnetic field to move a rotor. Stepping can be done in full step, half step or other fractional step increments. Voltage is applied to poles around the rotor. The voltage changes the polarity of each pole, and the resulting magnetic interaction between the poles and the rotor causes the rotor to move. Stepper motors provide precise positioning and ease of use, especially in low acceleration or static load applications.



Important performance specifications to consider when searching for stepper motors include shaft speed, terminal voltage, current per phase, continuous output power, and static or holding torque. Shaft speed is the no-load rotational speed of output shaft at rated terminal voltage. The terminal voltage is the design DC motor voltage. The current per phase is the maximum rated current or winding for a stepper motor. The continuous output power is the mechanical power provided by the motor output. Static or holding torque is the maximum torque a motor can develop to hold its rotor in a stationary position. Motor types for stepper motors can be permanent magnet, variable reluctance, or hybrid. Permanent magnet (PM) motors use a permanent magnet on the rotor. Step angles range from 1.5 to 30 degrees. Permanent magnet motors are the most common and versatile stepper motor. This includes both uni-polar (bifilar) and bipolar types. Variable reluctance (VR) motors have a free-moving rotor; no residual torque is produced due to the lack of a permanent magnet. The rotor is instead composed of a soft iron metal. Rotor is also composed of its own very prominent poles, tending to stick out more than a rotor found on the PM version. Step angles: 7.5 to 30 45

degrees single power source required (like a bifilar PM motor). This is the least expensive stepper motor. Hybrid motors consist of a heavily toothed PM rotor and toothed stators, plus prominent rotor poles like a VR rotor. They are capable of very fine step angles: 0.5 to 15 degrees and have a high-speed capability (less chance of a stall). There is a higher available torque than PM or VR stepper motors. Most effective but most expensive stepper motor type. The step angle is the degrees per step of the motor. Stepper motor configurations can have different numbers of leads depending on the specific winding wiring. For example, bipolar PM motors can have 4, 5, or 6 leads, unipolar PM motors can commonly have 5 or 6 leads (two windings with two ends plus center taps, which may or may not be tied together), hybrid motors frequently contain 8 leads, and multiphase motors can have different lead configurations (for example, a motor wired for 5-phase power could have 5 or 10 leads). Consult with manufacturer for specific winding wiring and lead information. Gear motor or gear head options for stepper motors include motor configuration, gearing if applicable, gearbox ratio, and gearbox efficiency. Feedback choices include integral encoder, integral resolver, and integral tachometer. Other specifications to consider when searching for stepper motors include shaft orientation or type and number of shafts, design units, motor shape, dimensions of width and length, NEMA frame sizes, enclosure options and special or extreme environments. Features common to stepper motors include integral driver electronics, integral brakes, integral clutches, and brake or clutch combinations.

3.14 Clamps: Clamps are the one which are used to hold a work piece firmly. The shape and size of the clamp may differ according to the shape and size of the work piece which is supposed to be clamped. In the present case the zircaloy tube needs to be clamped, and the shape of the clamp is show in below fig.




Clamp (Home Position)

Position after Clamping

FIG 15: CLAMPS As we could see above that at the initial state the clamp is at home position. Now in order to restrict tube movement in forward we need to clamp it. So for that the Clamp (as shown in fig) is brought from its home position on to the tube. 3.15 Supports: As we know that science has revealed that every object needs to be supported in order to prevent it from falling. For example a building is supported on its foundations, which is in turn supported on the earth otherwise the building may fall to ground. So by this we understand that any object cannot stand in air by its own. In our case, in order to resist the tube being bended, we are providing supports at some regular distance. The shape of the clamp we are using is a 90 V-block (as shown in fig below).




The above V-Supports are placed at regular intervals through out the length of the tube. And these supports are fixed to the carriage and move along with it. Here the height of the V-Support is little less than the bottom stroke of the Bottom Electrode. So that the Bottom Electrode when moves down, it does not get collided with the V-Supports.



The sequences of operations are listed below: Lets us study the sequence of operations in detail. For convenience, 49

1. Setting all the active elements to home position. Initially a home is position is set for all the active parts in the system. And before starting the system, one should assure that all parts are in the home position or not. If not then an error is displayed and the system doesnt start. 2. Loading of zircaloy tube on V-Supports. As the shown below, the tube on which the welding operation is to be performed is placed on the V-Supports Tube

Clamp 1 Placed on V-Supports

V-Supports Fig (a) 3. Activate the Clamp1. Now when the tube is placed on the supports, we need to clamp it to restrict its movement in forward direction. So for that, the Clamp 1 is activated (as


shown in the figure).

Clamp 1 (Activated)

Fig (b)

4. Activate the Right Chuck. Now when the tube is clamped, the Right Chuck moves from Position 1 to Position 2 (as shown in fig below). A Pneumatic Cylinder of particular stroke does the movement of the chuck.

Right Chuck Rubber Diaphragm Air Supply

Position 2 Fig (c) 5. Activate the gripper in Right Chuck.

Position 1


From above figure, we have a Rubber Diaphragm over the tube. Now compressed air is passed over the Rubber Diaphragm (as show in fig above), which in turn grips the tube. Now the tube is perfectly gripped at one of its end. 6. Deactivate the Clamp1. For further movement of tube in forward direction, we need to deactivate the clamp 1, which is in activated state. 7. Activate the Right Chuck again. After deactivating the Clamp-1, we need to push the tube towards the left chuck (as shown in fig below). For this we need to push the tube with the help of Right Chuck. So according to the distance between the Left Chuck and Tube, a Pneumatic Cylinder is chosen and a push is given to the Right chuck which moves the tube inside the Left Chuck and the Right Chuck comes to a new Position (Position 3).

Right Chuck

Air Supply

V-Supports Position 3 Left Chuck Fig (d)

8. Gripping of Tube in Left Chuck: The same procedure of gripping tube in Right Chuck is followed in case of Left Chuck also. And the tube is gripped. 52

9. Upward movement of Bottom Electrode: After the tube is firmly fixed in both the chucks, bottom electrode is moved upward (as shown in figure) with the help of Pneumatic cylinder of certain stroke. After giving support to the tube at the time of welding, the bottom electrode retrieves to its home position.

Bottom Electrode

Fig (e) 10. Clamp-2 actuated:


Spacer Pad is loaded

Clamp 2 (Activated)

Left Chuck Fig (f) 11. Downward movement of Upper Electrode:

Upper Electrode

Moved Down

Left Chuck

Fig (g)

12. Deactivating the Clamp-2:


Upper Electrode

Spacer Pad

13. Linear Indexing of the Tube:

Welded Spacer Pad

Welding Electrode

Tube Ready for Second Spacer Pad

s As mentioned in the above figure, after the spacer pad is welded on the tube, all the active elements of the system move to home position. Then the tube is linearly indexed for welding of second spacer pad. 55

14. Conforming Operations Linear Indexing Conformation:






Fig 17: Linear Indexing Conformation Rotary Indexing Conformation:


Slotted Disc





Controlling of handling system deals with mainly three objectives, they are:-

(i) Alarms (ii) Sensors (iii) PLC

Lets study each of them in detail. 5.1 Alarms: This circuit produces the sound of a beeper like the one in pagers, which produces a "beep-beep" sound. Basically the circuit consists of a 555-timer oscillator, which is turned ON and OFF periodically. The first IC (left) oscillates at about 1Hz. The second IC is turned ON and OFF by the first IC. The first IC determines how fast the second IC is turned ON/OFF and second IC determines the tone of the final output. 58

By varying the VR1, the changeover rate can be adjusted. By varying VR2 the tone can be adjusted.


The term "Remote Sensing" indicates that the measuring device is not physically in close proximity with the phenomenon being observed. Sensors are devices that convert a physical parameter (such as heat, light, sound, pressure, magnetism, or motion.) into a signal that can be measured electrically, we will confined our coverage to electrical output sensors as they are more compatible with electronic measuring devices. Once the physical parameter has been converted to an electrical equivalent it is easily input into a computer or microprocessor for manipulating, analyzing and displaying. Sensors are becoming smarter, more accurate and cheaper. They will play an ever increasing role in just about every field imaginable. 59

Typical sensors are cameras, radiometers and scanners, lasers, radio frequency receivers, radar systems, sonar, thermal devices, seismographs, magnetometers, gravimeters, and scintillometers Each year hundreds millions of sensors are manufactured. They are in domestic appliances, medical equipment, and industrial control systems, air-conditioning systems, aircraft, satellites and toys. Sensors are becoming smarter, more accurate and cheaper. They will play an ever increasing role in just about every field imaginable. Here in our project also we are using sensors, to give information about the performance of each movement that has incorporated in the fixture. Any change in the signal from sensors displays error with a beep sound, which helps the work man to sort out the problem easily.




The above chart summarizes the types of sensors now used or being developed in remote sensing. It is expected that some new types of sensors will be developed in the future. Passive sensors detect the reflected or emitted electromagnetic radiation from natural sources, while active sensors detect reflected responses from objects which are irradiated from artificially generated energy sources, such as radar.. Each is divided further in to non-scanning and scanning systems. A sensor classified as a combination of passive, non-scanning and nonimaging method is a type of profile recorder, for example a microwave radiometer. A sensor classified as passive, non-scanning and imaging method, is a camera, such as an aerial survey camera or a space camera, for example on board the Russian COSMOS satellite. Sensors classified as a combination of passive, scanning and imaging are classified further into image plane scanning sensors, such as TV cameras and solid state scanners, and object plane scanning sensors, such as multispectral scanners (optical-mechanical scanner) and scanning microwave radiometers. An example of an active, non-scanning and non-imaging sensor is a profile recorder such as a laser spectrometer and laser altimeter. An active, scanning and imaging sensor is radar, for example synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which can produce high resolution, imagery, day or night, even under cloud cover. The most popular sensors used in remote sensing are the camera, solid state scanner, such as the CCD (charge coupled device) images, the multi-spectral scanner and in the future the passive synthetic aperture radar. Laser sensors have recently begun to be used more frequently for monitoring air pollution by laser spectrometers and for measurement of distance by laser altimeters.

Proximity Sensors 62

These non-contact sensors are available with single pole double throw switches (Form C), or Form A and B. They offer a variety of ways to sense the relative position of specific machine elements requiring continuous monitoring. Several different fabrication materials can be used. Materials are selected based on the application environment. The standard operating temperature range is from -40C to 125C. Sensors can be ordered in sets containing the sensor, the actuator and hardware, or the components can be ordered separately. These cost-effective sensors are offered in standard designs and engineered designs with various actuation points.

Fig 21: PROXIMITY SENSOR Features: Fully potted switch and leads High cycle rate capabilities High-speed operation Compact for limited-space applications No moving parts, for longer life Corrosion-resistant Wide selection of materials Engineered designs available 63

5.3 Programmable Logic Control (PLC):

A Programmable Logic Controller, PLC, or Programmable Controller is an electronic device used for automation of industrial processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines. Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for extended temperature ranges, dirty or dusty conditions, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed or read-only memory. A PLC is an example of a real time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a bounded time; otherwise miss-control will result. Thus plc is a collection of digital relays in series.

The main difference from other computers is the special input/output arrangements. These connect the PLC to sensors and actuators. PLCs read limit switches, analog process variables (such as temperature and pressure), and the positions of complex positioning systems. Some even use machine vision. On the actuator side, PLCs operate electric motors, pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders or diaphragms, magnetic relays or solenoids, or analog outputs. The input/output arrangements may be built into a simple PLC, or the PLC may have external I/O modules attached to a computer network that plugs into the PLC. PLCs are well-adapted to a certain range of automation tasks. These are typically industrial processes in manufacturing where the cost of developing and maintaining the automation system is high relative to the total cost of the automation, and where changes to the system would be expected during its operational life.

PLCs contain input and output devices compatible with industrial pilot devices and controls; little electrical design is required, and the design problem centers on expressing the desired sequence of operations in ladder logic (or function chart) notation. PLC applications are typically highly customized systems so the cost of a packaged PLC is low compared to the cost of a specific custom-built controller design. Check Confirm Upper Inflation If If Spacer Electrode Check If Confirm Confirm 64 T=10se IfofPad Movemen Movement chuck back T=10 the Rotation Argon Supply Rotate sec Tube BringMandrel to Move right Carriage Deactivate all the Bring Upper t Display Error-10 Display error-13 Yes DisplayPass ArgonSound Give S=21 Gastube Error-14 Exists Beep No c 120 Yes Display Error-6 through Home Unload and Position Electrode YesYes GrippersYes Down. Yes Yes No Reverse Locator Retracted No Actuate Stepper Motor No No Clamp The Tube carriage movement Yes No

Start Set to Home Position


Check the home position


Place the tube on V Supports

No Red Light Glows

Check the position of the tube Yes

` Green Light glows

Press Start Button

Clamp the Tube

Move the Right Chuck From HM-1 to HM-2 and Grip the Tube No Yes Display Error-1 Check if t = 10 secs No Confirm Right Chuck Movement Yes No Yes No Yes Display Error-3 Check If No Check if T=10se csecs No Grip the Tube

Display Error -2

Check Move the Tube In To Left Gripping Chuck Chuck by Right 65 Confirm Tube


Yes Remove the Clamp on Tube

No Yes Display Error-3 Check If T=10 sec No

Move the Tube In To Left Chuck by Right Chuck

Confirm Tube Movement in Left Chuck Yes Grip Tube in Both Chucks

No Yes Display Error-4 Check if T=10 secs No Confirm Gripping Yes Move the Carriage in Forward Direction to 250mm Check If T=10se c No Confirm Carriage Movement Yes Set S=0 Stop Forward Movement

No Yes Display Error-5


Inflate the Mandrel by Air Supply

Yes Display Error-6

Check If T=10 sec


Check Inflation of Mandrel


Yes Move the Bottom Electrode up Clamp Bottom Electrode and Tube by an Upper Clamp


Yes Display Error-7

If T=10se c


Confirm Clamping Yes

Yes Display Error-8

If T=10 Secs No


Feed Spacer Pad on Tube

If Spacer Pad Exists Yes Bring Upper Electrode Down.

Confirm Upper Electrode Movement Yes Pass Argon Gas No Yes Display Error-10 If T=10se c No

Confirm Argon Supply


Yes Weld the Spacer Pad

No No

Yes Display Error-9

If T=10se c

No No Confirm Indexing No Yes Yes Display Error-11 Yes Display Error-12 No If T=10se c Locator Retracted Actuate Stepper Motor Rotate the Tube through 120 No Confirm If Movement to S=21 Home Position Yes Yes Bring Carriage to Home Position S=S+1 Deactivate all the Grippers Give Index 450 mm If S=7 Or S=14 Or Move Upper Electrode and Clamp toS=21 Position Home


If T=10se c

No Display error-13

Confirm Rotation Yes

Give Beep Sound

Clamp The Tube Move right chuck back and Unload tube Display Error-14 68

Reverse carriage movement Yes Confirm Movemen t No



6.1 Introduction Welding is a fabrication process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence. This is often done by melting the work pieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material (the weld puddle) that cools to become a strong joint, but sometimes pressure is used in conjunction with heat, or by itself, to produce the weld. This is in contrast with soldering and brazing, which involve melting a lower-melting-point material between the work pieces to form a bond between them, without melting the work pieces. Many different energy sources can be used for welding, including a gas flame, an electric arc, a laser, an electron beam, friction, and ultrasound. While often an industrial process, welding can be done in many different environments, including open air, underwater and in space. Regardless of location, however, welding remains dangerous, and precautions must be taken to avoid burns, electric shock, poisonous fumes, and overexposure to ultraviolet light. There are various welding processes are shown below:










6.2 Resistance Welding: Resistance welding is a group of welding processes in which coalescence is produced by the heat obtained from resistance of the work piece to electric current in a circuit of which the work piece is a part and by the application of pressure. There are at least seven important resistance-welding processes. These are flash welding, high-frequency resistance welding, percussion welding, projection welding, resistance seam welding, resistance spot welding, and upset welding. They are alike in many respects but are sufficiently different. (a) Resistance spot welding (RSW): Resistance Spot Welding is a resistance welding process that produces coalescence at the faying surfaces in one spot by the heat obtained from resistance to electric current through the work parts held together under pressure by electrodes. The size and shape of the individually formed welds are limited primarily by the size and contour of the electrodes. The equipment for resistance spot welding can be relatively simple and inexpensive up through extremely large multiple spot welding machines. The stationary single spot welding machines are of two general types: the horn or rocker arm type and the press type. 71

The horn type machines have a pivoted or rocking upper electrode arm, which is actuated by pneumatic power or by the operators physical power. They can be used for a wide range of work but are restricted to 50 kVA and are used for thinner gauges. For larger machines normally over 50 kVA, the press type machine is used. In these machines, the upper electrode moves in a slide. The pressure and motion are provided on the upper electrode by hydraulic or pneumatic pressure, or are motor operated. For high-volume production work, such as in the automotive industry, multiple spot welding machines are used. These are in the form of a press on which individual guns carrying electrode tips are mounted. Welds are made in a sequential order so that all electrodes are not carrying current at the same time.

(b) Projection welding (RPW): Projection Welding is a resistance welding process that produces coalescence of metals with the heat obtained from resistance to electrical current through the work parts held together under pressure by electrodes. The resulting welds are localized at predetermined points by projections, embossments, or intersections. Localization of heating is obtained by a projection or embossment on one or both of the parts being welded. There are several types of projections: (1) the button or dome type, usually round, (2) elongated projections, (3) ring projections, (4) shoulder projections, (5) cross wire welding, and (6) radius projection. The major advantage of projection welding is that electrode life is increased because larger contact surfaces are used. A very common use of projection welding is the use of special nuts that have projections on the portion of the part to be welded to the assembly. (c) Resistance seam welding (RSEW):


Resistance Seam Welding is a resistance welding process which produces coalescence at the faying surfaces the heat obtained from resistance to electric current through the work parts held together under pressure by electrodes. The resulting weld is a series of overlapping resistance spot welds made progressively along a joint rotating the electrodes. When the spots are not overlapped enough to produce gaslight welds it is a variation known as roll resistance spot welding. This process differs from spot welding since the electrodes are wheels. Both the upper and lower electrode wheels are powered. Pressure is applied in the same manner as a press type welder. The wheels can be either in line with the throat of the machine or transverse. If they are in line it is normally called a longitudinal seamwelding machine. Welding current is transferred through the bearing of the roller electrode wheels. Water-cooling is not provided internally and therefore the weld area is flooded with cooling water to keep the electrode wheels cool.

In seam welding a rather complex control system is required. This involves the travel speed as well as the sequence of current flow to provide for overlapping welds. The welding speed, the spots per inch, and the timing schedule are dependent on each other. Welding schedules provide the pressure, the current, the speed, and the size of the electrode wheels. This process is quite common for making flange welds, for making watertight joints for tanks, etc. Another variation is the so-called mash seam welding where the lap is fairly narrow and the electrode wheel is at least twice as wide as used for standard seam welding. The pressure is increased to approximately 300 times normal pressure. The final weld mash seam thickness is only 25% greater than the original single sheet. (d) Flash Welding (FW): Flash Welding is a resistance welding process which produces coalescence simultaneously over the entire area of abutting surfaces, by the heat obtained from resistance to electric current between the two surfaces, and by the application of pressure after heating is substantially completed. 73

Flashing and upsetting are accompanied by expulsion of metal from the joint. During the welding operation there is an intense flashing arc and heating of the metal on the surface abutting each other. After a predetermined time the two-pieces are forced together and coalescence occurs at the interface, current flow is possible because of the light contact between the two parts being flash welded. The heat is generated by the flashing and is localized in the area between the two parts. The surfaces are brought to the melting point and expelled through the abutting area. As soon as this material is flashed away another small arc is formed which continues until the entire abutting surfaces are at the melting temperature. Pressure is then applied and the arcs are extinguished and upsetting occurs.

(e) Upset welding (UW): Upset Welding is a resistance welding process which produces coalescence simultaneously over the entire area of abutting surfaces or progressively along a joint, by the heat obtained from resistance to electric current through the area where those surfaces are in contact. Pressure is applied before heating is started and is maintained throughout the heating period. The equipment used for upset welding is very similar to that used for flash welding. It can be used only if the parts to be welded are equal in cross-sectional area. The abutting surfaces must be very carefully prepared to provide for proper heating. The difference from flash welding is that the parts are clamped in the welding machine and force is applied bringing them tightly together. High-amperage current is then passed through the joint, which heats the abutting surfaces. When they have been heated to a suitable forging temperature an upsetting force is applied and the current is stopped. The high temperature of the work at the abutting surfaces plus the high pressure causes coalescence to take place. After cooling, the force is released and the weld is completed. 74

(f) Percussion welding (PEW): Percussion Welding is a resistance welding process which produces coalescence of the abutting members using heat from an arc produced by a rapid discharge of electrical energy. Pressure is applied progressively during or immediately following the electrical discharge. This process is quite similar to flash welding and upset welding, but is limited to parts of the same geometry and cross section. It is more complex than the other two processes in that heat is obtained from an arc produced at the abutting surfaces by the very rapid discharge of stored electrical energy across a rapidly decreasing air gap. This is immediately followed by application of pressure to provide an impact bringing the two parts together in a progressive percussive manner. The advantage of the process is that there is an extremely shallow depth of heating and time cycle is very short. It is used only for parts with fairly small cross-sectional areas. (g) High frequency resistance welding (HFRW): High Frequency Resistance Welding is a resistance welding process which produces coalescence of metals with the heat generated from the resistance of the work pieces to a high-frequency alternating current in the 10,000 to 500,000 hertz range and the rapid application of an upsetting force after heating is substantially completed. The path of the current in the work piece is controlled by the proximity effect. This process is ideally suited for making pipe, tubing, and structural shapes. It is used for other manufactured items made from continuous strips of material. In this process the high frequency welding current is introduced into the metal at the surfaces to be welded but prior to their contact with each other. Current is introduced by means of sliding contacts at the edge of the joint. The high-frequency welding current flows along one edge of the seam to the welding point between the pressure rolls and back along the opposite edge to the other sliding contact. The current is of such high frequency that it flows along the metal surface to a depth of several thousandths of an inch. Each edge of the joint is the conductor of the current and the heating is concentrated on the surface of these edges. 75

At the area between the closing rolls the material is at the plastic temperature, and with the pressure applied, coalescence occurs.

Of all these welding processes, Resistance Projection Welding was chosen because of its simplicity, cleanliness, consistency in quality, amenability to automation, etc.



Conclusion In the present work, an automated fuel tube system for resistance welding was developed. This system consists of integrating and synchronizing several activities involved in resistance welding of spacer pad to 10.0 x 3196 mm fuel tube, where 3196 is length of the tube. These spacer pads play an important role while bundling the zircaloy tube together, which will be used in nuclear reactors for production of energy. Hence this is very critical operation on moreover the productivity requirements have to be met. The automated system comprises of 14 elements, which work in a defined sequence of operations starting from loading of tube on supports till the completion of welding of spacer pad and final unloading. Prior to development of system, the standard time for welding for each tube was around 30min. due to this developed system the production time has been reduced to 15min. This amounts to great money and labor saving for the organization.


Future Improvements: Future improvements of the present project include Loading the tube automatically. Loading the spacer pads automatically. Unloading the tube automatically.



P.N.Rao, Manufacturing Technology. THK Catalog Wikipediathe encyclopedia



AutoCAD (Drafting Package Used): AutoCAD is a suite of CAD software products for 2- and 3-dimensional design and drafting, developed and sold by Autodesk, Inc. The original concept of AutoCAD in the 1980s was to promote customization and feature extensibility, and was what made it especially appealing to customers. Most contemporary CAD products at that time offered little if any customization capability and most were far more expensive. Modern AutoCAD includes a full set of basic solid modeling and 3D tools, but lacks some of the more advanced capabilities of solid modeling applications. AutoCAD can be used as a platform for other products such as Bentley Auto PLANT and COADE CADWORX. AutoCAD is a vector graphics-drawing program. It uses primitive entities such as lines, polylines, circles, arcs, and text as the foundation for more complex objects. AutoCAD supports a number of application programming interfaces (APIs) for customization and automation. These include AutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA, .NET and ObjectARX. ObjectARX is a C++ class library, which was also the base for products extending AutoCAD functionality to specific fields, to create products such as Autodesk Architectural Desktop, AutoCAD Electrical, or third-party AutoCAD-based applications.


AutoCAD's native file format, DWG, and to a lesser extent, its interchange file format, DXF, have become de facto standards for interchange of CAD data. AutoCAD in later years has adopted another file format known as DWF. These files allow selected DWG drawings to be compiled to one file. This allows distribution of the drawings to those without AutoCAD or similar packages. It also protects the drawings from manipulation by others, as the drawings are rasterized inside the DWF file. DWF files can be viewed with a free program from Autodesk called "DWF Viewer" - this program allows users to both view and print DWF files. Another advantage of DWF files is that a large number of drawings can be compiled to a single DWF and be of a very small to reasonable filing size for electronic distribution. In 2006, Autodesk estimated the number of active DWG files to be in excess of one billion. In the past, Autodesk has estimated the total number of DWG files in existence to be more than three billion. AutoCAD currently runs exclusively on Microsoft desktop operating systems. Versions for UNIX and Macintosh were released in the 1980s and 1990s, but these were later dropped. AutoCAD can run on an emulator or compatibility layer like Virtual PC or Wine, keeping in mind the performance issues that can arise when working with 3-dimensional objects or large drawings. AutoCAD exists in 14 language localizations, including many European and Asian languages.

In AutoCAD, blocks are versatile objects that can be created on-the-fly and reused in the same drawing or in other drawings. The use of blocks when repetition occurs represents a savings in the data a drawing must contain. When a block is used, the definitions of the entities that make up the block are stored once in the drawing. Subsequent insertions of the block only require a small amount of information (size, orientation, layer, etc.) to reproduce the block. An AutoCAD drawing file (*.dwg) can be inserted as a block into another AutoCAD drawing. Conversely, a block can be exported to its own drawing with the WBLOCK (write block) command. Additionally, text data (called "attributes") can be attached to blocks and extracted in reports. On the Web there are many sites that provide AutoCAD blocks, line types, hatch patterns, etc. In version 2006, AutoCAD adds dynamic blocks, which have capabilities similar to the symbols used in Microsoft Visio. A more powerful and flexible use of blocks (and DWG files) is to "reference" them within other drawings, maintaining a link back to the source data. This is known as an External Reference or XREF. 82