ITSI came to ACE with a South American customer’s issue. Their power generation turbines had pressurized, super-heated gas ducts which were aging too rapidly and costing both replacement costs plus installation downtime costs. ACE engineers worked with ITSI using our GE Power high-pressure heated gas duct knowledge base to evolve the duct design into a new breed which would stand the test of heat, pressure and time.
The original ducts were welded sections of cast metal which made them brittle. A 3D model was used to analyze the design.
The ACE design conclusion was to make the panels of heat-resistant Inconel.
All the different sections were formed on our drop hammers, and expertly trimmed in our Deburr/Trim shop.
Custom tools were developed to hold special rings adding rigidity
Here the ring is precision-set inside of the tooling for our CNC machine to mill the outer holes and thread them.
These two rings stiffen the inner and outer flanges with scores of laser cut tabs – each to be welded to the surface.
A massive fixture was developed to ease the process of construction and make production very efficient.
First, the panels are clamped and spot welded together.
A collar is added, including the machined ring flange inside – to maintain the correct radius.
One half of the clamshells, spot-welded.
Next, the outer support ring is installed with precision on the fixture.
Each one of the tabs, or "fins" will be welded to the surface for superior strength.
The inner flange being tacked into place.
The second clamshell is tacked together.
The halves are coming together...
The entire assembly is carefully positioned onto the tool, aligning the outer flange.
The assembly is adjusted into exact position.
Back onto the tool, the two ends are fitted into the tool.
The final panels are tacked on and the line welds are begun.
The complex form takes shape.
Each tab, welded.
One completed, a florescent penetrant dye is applied for Non-Destructive Testing.
It passed the test and went through cleanline to remove the dye.
Last, Final Inspection uses laser technology to check all the surfaces.