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LETU Alumni, Professor Emeritus Earn New U.S. Patent


LeTourneau University alumni and materials joining engineering professor emeritus Dr. Yoni Adonyi have received a United States Patent #9,808,879 for a new welding diagnostic device for identifying metal transfer modes during a welding process and a method for identifying metal transfer modes of a welding process.

Inventors listed with Adonyi on the patent are LETU engineering alumni Joseph Russell; Derek S. Hoyt; and Nathan Berthiaume. Russell and Berthiaume work with Trinity Industries, Railcar Division in Longview, Texas, while Hoyt works with SpaceX Industries in Hawthorne, California. Adonyi, who retired last year as a professor emeritus from LETU has moved to Hungary where he is a visiting professor at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Two of his coauthors were undergraduates and one was a graduate student at the time of filing the patent application. The original project was funded by the Federal Highway Administration and was aimed at avoiding certain types of reoccurring weld flaws in bridge fabrication.

The prototype for the real-time device for short-circuit metal transfer will be marketed as "the Magic Box" or a "Digital Stethoscope" as a preventive tool for maintaining a good quality weld.

Prototype features include being small, rugged and highly portable and able to give instantaneous feedback to an operator with a visible and audible warning in a situation that could cause a lack of fusion in thick wall welds during the welding process. Previous systems analyze welds after they are completed.

According to the patent, "different types of welding processes are used in various industries to join materials such as metals. Arc welding is one example of the different types of welding that use an electric arc between an electrode and a base material to join materials. Different types of arc welding include shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), and gas metal arc welding (GMAW). In contrast to some of the other conventional welding processes, GMAW uses a continuous wire feed that allows higher welding speeds compared to other conventional welding processes."

"This invention makes MIG welders aware in real time of possible parameters that can result in weld defects by giving the welder a visible and audible signal to stop working if the molten metal transfer mode is not favorable to produce a good quality weld," Adonyi said. "The device can simply be connected to the leads of any GMAW welding power supply, new or old, domestic or foreign, independent of its control sophistication, thus making it truly universal and welding operator-centered.

According to Adonyi, the new invention is specifically designed for use "in special cases when GMAW-SC is not desired, such as welding thick plates, or difficult metals to be welded-like Nickel-based super alloys and certain stainless steels," he said.

LeTourneau University is the premier Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.

Categories: Alumni, Engineering, Faculty