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  Apollo Saturn V tanks: type of welding machine

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Author Topic:   Apollo Saturn V tanks: type of welding machine
Apolloman
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Posts: 99
From: Ledignan, Gard (30), France
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 05-02-2011 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A question about the welding tanks on the Saturn V launcher: Which were used? MIG? MAG? and then TIG?

Would you have a photo or photos of the welding machine "at rest"?

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-02-2011 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A footnote in Stages to Saturn offers some references which can probably provide images and details:
The procedures used in the fabrication of stages borrowed from prior aircraft experience and from extant techniques used in military rocket boosters. A useful semitechnical overview of contemporaneous practice is Frank W. Wilson and Walter R. Prange, eds., "Tooling for Aircraft and Missile Manufacture" (New York, 1964).

Nevertheless, production of the various stages of Saturn presented new problems in metallurgy, tooling, and welding. The evolution of the S-IVB upper stage presented many typical problems. See, for example, K. H. Boucher, "Saturn Third Stage S-IVB Manufacturing," Douglas Paper 3707(1965), and E. Harpoothian, "The Production of Large Tanks for Cryogenic Fuels," Douglas Paper 3155 (1964).

For discussion of the S-IC, see George Alexander, "Boeing Faces Unique Fabrication Challenge." Aviation Week and Space Technology, 77 (13 Aug. 1962): 52-63; Whitney G. Smith, "Fabricating the Saturn S-IC Booster," AIAA Paper 65-294 (1965).

The S-II stage was plagued by welding problems, as described in an anonymous article, "The Toughest Weld of All," Skyline (1968), an unpaged reprint in the SHP files.

Despite an obvious bias, company magazines like North American's Skyline and Boeing's Boeing Magazine frequently carried valuable descriptive articles and illustrations. The authoritative articles in Aviation Week and Space Technology are also valuable for their depth and accuracy.

Apolloman
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Posts: 99
From: Ledignan, Gard (30), France
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 05-02-2011 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you... But where to find these papers?

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-04-2011 10:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
S-II tank fabrication:

Apolloman
Member

Posts: 99
From: Ledignan, Gard (30), France
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 05-05-2011 06:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, you've got a real little treasure. Unfortunately this does not advance me to know the type of welding done (MIG, MAG or TIG).

Thank you for your efforts.

Would there be an engineer in the room?

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-05-2011 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
TIG - pull a copy of Stages to Saturn and review the sections addressing tank fabrication. Also Saturn V Structural Elements for details and diagrams.

For those otherwise interested - the latter document also provides good discussion of Apollo CSM fabrication

wickball
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Posts: 88
From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 05-05-2011 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wickball   Click Here to Email wickball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, Are the documents above available for download from a site that does not require a fee?

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3276
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-05-2011 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scribed has a fee structure which can be circumvented if a document is uploaded. I have a copy of the Saturn V Structural Elements (its 11.4 megs) and would be happy to upload to a free resource for the community if somebody wants to host it.

Apolloman
Member

Posts: 99
From: Ledignan, Gard (30), France
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 05-06-2011 05:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
...if somebody wants to host it.
On my site no problem with that would be fun (I am entitled to 500 GB at my site host). I can do a direct download link.

Apolloman
Member

Posts: 99
From: Ledignan, Gard (30), France
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 05-06-2011 05:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About TIG welding process, I think the USA you call Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).

Apolloman
Member

Posts: 99
From: Ledignan, Gard (30), France
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 05-06-2011 07:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apolloman   Click Here to Email Apolloman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally... for all: Saturn V rocket structural elements

mikej
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Posts: 414
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 05-06-2011 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you don't want to bother with the Megaupload forced-wait time and nagging to sign up for the premium version of service, there's always the copy at the NASA Technical Report Server.

Based on the markings on the front cover, it appears to be the same scan as on Scribd.

wickball
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Posts: 88
From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 05-06-2011 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wickball   Click Here to Email wickball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Scott and Apolloman, just got it.

mikej
Member

Posts: 414
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 05-13-2011 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The NASA Technical Report Server has recently posted a MSFC document called Selected Welding Techniques Technology Utilization Notes.

The document is a collection of "lessons learned" type articles, rather than a detailed description of how each tank was welded (although it does reference how techniques were developed for particular problems on Saturn stages), but it may be of interest.

All times are CT (US)

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