CMS-CS brazing expertise connects with other labs
You’ll find them at Brookhaven National Laboratory. They’re at work at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). And here, at Argonne.
But they’re not scientists or researchers. They are components. Components made possible by a brazing process that only one person on earth has mastered: Bill Toter, senior welding engineer with Custom Manufacturing Solutions‑Central Shops (CMS‑CS)
When Brookhaven Lab began designing the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility similar to Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS), Frank DePaola, Brookhaven project engineer, immediately brought in Toter to braze the copper components that size and shape the circulating beam to the stainless steel water lines that cool those components and flanges that maintain the necessary vacuum.
“Copper and stainless steel is brazed all the time, but this was a special alloy of copper. It’s a sintered metal,” explained DePaola.
Sintered metals can react to brazing differently than other metals, causing porosity in the brazed joints that may not maintain the perfect vacuum needed for the beam to circulate within the NSLS-II.
According to DePaola, Toter found a way to successfully and consistently braze these parts together while working on Argonne’s APS facility. “Other people have tried brazing this material but they don’t have a very high success rate. Out of the 120-some components he did for us, not one part was scrapped. And our machine has been running perfectly for the last three years.”
DePaola noted that Toter’s expertise is part of a much bigger picture. “The national labs build these machines and researchers come from all over the world to use them, which strengthens the U.S. leadership role throughout the scientific community. So it’s a great thing that the people at CMS‑CS are there to support the use of these machines.”
Argonne employees can access CMS‑CS’s full range of brazing and welding services through Vector or by calling Bob Swale, department manager, at ext. 2-6526 or Bill Toter at ext. 2-7342.