One of the forging industry’s biggest challenges is finding ways to increase die life, a parameter that is fundamental to efficiency and profitability. One way to achieve this is through the process called flood welding, a high-speed, high-deposition weld-metal recovery of a worn forging-die cavity.
ASM International presented Weld Mold Company its prestigious ASM Historical Landmark Award for 2017 on May 17. Weld Mold, founded in 1945, was recognized for developing and innovating the flood welding process for die repair. Company founder Matt Kiilunen (1905-1990) was personally responsible for innovating the process, which took die repair to the next level by increasing die life while reducing customer costs. Attending the event were distinguished representatives from the city of Brighton and the state of Michigan, ASM dignitaries, members of the press, Weld Mold officials and employees, and other invited guests.
The patent-pending Weld Mold RC-17 Fly-By-Wire welding process enables operators to perform totally remote floodwelding from the safety of a temperature-controlled environment while maintaining total control of the welding operation and long-established best welding procedures.
The repair of worn forging dies by flood-welding techniques has been around for many decades. Advances in the evolution of the process have made it a cheaper, quicker and more effective way to extend the life of die blocks and reduce tool-steel inventory costs. Today, many forging companies consider flood welding an integral part of their routine die maintenance programs.