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Development of a Robust Underwater Welding Process using the"SmartShroud" System for Permanent Offshore Structure Repairs

The objective of this proposed study is to develop a robust underwater  "wet" welding process using the "SmartShroud", which  is an intelligent system developed under multiphase research projects  sponsored by the Ohio Sea Grant College Program (OSGCP) over the past  four years. It integrates an adaptive "momentum barrier"  mechanism (which effectively maintains a gaseous arc atmosphere in  various welding joint conditions) into two other subsystems: the smart  arc bubble status monitoring/control, and the intelligent joint  tracking/operation guidance subsystem. This system will improve the  arc performance in underwater welding and slow weldment cooling rates,  hence improving microstructures and weld quality. It will also assist  the diver performing underwater welding operations in an environment  of difficulty to observe welding conditions directly. The integrated  welding system will be able to produce air-quality "wet" welds  in practical industrial applications. It will provide the diving  contractor industry with an underwater "wet" welding technique  for permanent offshore structure repairs. It will take two years to  accomplish the proposed objectives. 

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