Brings an Old Process Into the 21st Century
Since the 19th Century people have
been using resistance spot welding as their main means to weld and
assemble large metal products such as automobiles. The original
process involves bringing two electrodes under suitable force in
contact with two pieces of material. An extremely large electric
current is then passed through the electrodes, generating enough
resistive heat to form a weld. This approach commonly uses AC power
to generate the electric current which requires a step down
transformer to lower the voltage level to a level appropriate for
welding. Unfortunately, this process provides very little control,
and has negative impact on the power system.
In 2001, Dr. Lyndon Brown, faculty
member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
started looking at new ways to use a switch-mode power supply with a
lead acid battery as the primary source, eliminating the need for a
large power transformer. Collaborating with colleagues at the
University of Waterloo, Brown's unique research in the area of
welding control resulted in a recent patent titled, Power
Supply and Control Equipment for Resistance Welding Machine.
The object of Brown's invention is a
weld power supply that allows flexibility and precise control of the
weld power supplied. The power supply will be built around a high
current capacity battery. The battery can be charged without
resorting to a large, heavy costly transformer or large current
"My invention uses modern power
electronics to produce cheaper and more accurate welding supplies,"
explains Brown. "Commercialization is currently in the works."
Brown also has research interests in
adaptive control, periodic disturbance cancellation and intermittent
control. He is also working on a music transcription device for
people to input music into a computer and have the sheet music for
that song print out. This research is in the beginning stages. If
you are interested in working with Brown on this research
initiative, please contact him at
Click here to view Brown's US patent.