In this course, students will learn to fuse different types of metals. Welding and cutting processes will be implemented in a real-world shop setting utilizing state-of-the-art welding equipment, such as a Virtual Welder, and plasma cutting equipment. They will be able to assess and evaluate their welds through nondestructive and metallurgical destructive test methods.
The first year welding students are introduced to basic welding skills in gas welding, brazing, soldering, oxygen cutting and stick arc welding. Measuring tools are introduced and include squares, micrometers, calipers, protractors and compasses. Students learn skills in scale drawing and design work, the properties of metals, the use of work orders, inventory sheets, materials lists and estimation of cost sheets.
Second year welding students learn advanced welding skills in MIG, TIG and Thermo Plastic welding, along with skill building in sheet metal work. The sheet metal work includes hands-on operation of metal brakes, squaring shears, power shears, roller punches and hand tools, with layout work and blueprint reading.
Upon successful completion of this program, students can earn their AWSD 1.1 Structural Steel Qualification for both vertical and overhead welding. Students will be able to take nationally recognized welder qualification tests (certifications) in accordance with the American Welding Society and the American National Standards Institute.
Students in Lyndon Institute’s welding program and adults in the school’s Continuing Education program have received a new tool to improve their skills. The school has installed a virtual welder that provides students the chance to refine their technique without the expense of gas, wire, or other raw materials. The only other similar machine is at the Burlington Technical Center.
The majority of the cost for the $49,000 machine was covered by grants from the Vermont Department of Labor and the Agency of Education.
Manufactured by Lincoln Electric, the VRTEX 360 virtual welder allows students to refine their technique with numerous configurations for flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead situations using flat plate, tee joint and groove joint coupons. The unit also offers a variety of pipe options. The machine is currently set up to simulate welding with carbon metals (steel). Upgrades to the system could offer aluminum and stainless steel and tig welding.
The operation of the welder is similar to a common video game. A welding helmet offers a virtual display and speakers in the helmet offer audio cues to the welder. The display also helps students set the proper work angle, travel angle, and travel speed. All of these factors are displayed as a final grade. A tolerance-to-load factor is also available. Adults with no gaming experience, or welding experience, can easily work the machine.
A pair of wands synched to the computer and virtual display allow students to replicate several different types of welding. A monitor on the machine delivers real-time action so that an instructor can offer pointers during the process. A 50” monitor will be installed to facilitate classroom teaching with the system.
Melissa Tyler, LI’s welding instructor, has been introducing students to the machine. “Their welding ability has already improved because of the ability for students to practice on the virtual welder. Their beads are better,” says Tyler.
Someone new to welding, student or adult, can practice proper techniques without all of the sparks and heat associated with welding. The sparks and heat are often a deterrent to someone seeking to try their hand at welding
Local businesses will also benefit. Welders must be certified for every type of welding project they work. This can be based on the type of stock, thickness of the stock, and whether or not they are working horizontal, vertical, or overhead. This machine offers practice time to gain experience without the expense of materials.
The economic impact for the virtual welder was evident in just the first few days. According to Tyler, had the students been using new stock for practicing all of the welds made on the virtual machine to date, the cost of the steel would have been over $1,000. Time is also saved. As an example, two of her advanced students were working on overhead projects to weld two 3.5”x7” plates together at a 90 degree angle. A student working with a conventional welder took the same amount of time to complete one weld as a student using the virtual welder to complete five welds and receive immediate feedback.
It is our intent that the virtual welder will encourage more students to try welding as well as allow adults who would like to be certified in welding an opportunity to practice at a lower cost.
Earn college credit!
Students can also earn dual-enrollment college credit in selected classes:
Early Childhood Education
- Intro to Early Childhood Education
- Communication in Early Childhood and After School Workplace
- Infant and Toddler Development
- Fostering Creativity
- Medical Terminology
- Human Biology
- Intro to Lathes
- Intro to Milling & Grinding