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The Art of Welding

The Art of Welding

Geoff Ekblaw, lead welder in the WHOI mechanical shop, prepares to weld part of Alvin's titanium frame during the sub's recent upgrade and re-building process. Light, strong, and corrosion-resistant, titanium is the metal used for Alvin's personnel sphere and frame. It is also more difficult to weld than other metals, requiring a flow of inert gas around the welding site to prevent oxidation and great care by the welder. "Welding titanium is a black art," said Ekblaw, mainly because of how hard it is to control conditions during the process. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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