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What is Electrojoining


What is Electrojoining

A common task in engineering - to permanently and hermetically join two or more components (such as attaching flanges to bellows expansion joints) - is often accomplished by welding, brazing or soldering.

However, this becomes challenging, costly or impossible when:

  • One of the articles being joined is made of a material that can not be welded and/or soldered.
  • The presence of solder in the joint is unacceptable.
  • An item is too thin for welding.
  • One of the items is non-metallic.

Adhesives can be used in such cases, but then the joint does not provide electrical or thermal conductivity, and often is not as durable and mechanically strong as a metal-to-metal joint.

Electrojoining is an electroforming-based joining technique in which two or more items are permanently and hermetically bonded together by a tightly adherent electroplated layer. Exceptionally strong mechanically, such joints, when properly executed, are also air- and helium-tight, and have excellent thermal and electrical conductance.

The added benefits of this joining method (also known as 'cold welding') are:

  • low (<120°F/50°C) temperature of all operations - no heat affected zone that compromises metal strength after welding or brazing
  • a choice of materials that can be used in the joint - NiColoy®, Nickel, Copper, and their combination
  • electroforming and electrojoining can be performed simultaneously, reducing the cost of assemblies
  • components being joined can be accurately aligned prior to electroforming, eliminating the need for additional fixturing
  • ability to join dissimilar or non-conductive materials that are impossible to weld, solder or braze
  • ability to hermetically join very thin (.001"/25 micron) components - bellows, electroforms, diaphragms, membranes, etc.

A NiColoy bellows electrojoined to a machined stainless steel hub (bellows end before electrojoining shown for comparison)
3" OD stainless steel flanges attached by electrojoining to a NiColoy® bellows
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