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Questions tagged [cold-welding]

Questions about the phenomenon of cold welding that happens with metals in the vacuum of space.

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37 votes
1 answer
36k views

How is unwanted cold welding prevented in space?

Metallic surfaces touching in the vacuum can stick to each other and fuse. This is known as the "cold welding" and it seems to be a possible issue in space if it happens where it should not. ...
mpv's user avatar
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24 votes
1 answer
3k views

Have things been intentionally welded in space? If so, what kinds of metals and techniques were used, and why was it necessary?

There are several very different kinds of welding techniques used in aerospace to join pieces of metal and/or to fill small gaps (e.g. arc, TIG, friction stir, ultrasonic...) Question(s): Have things ...
uhoh's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can you print 3D with iron in space?

A couple of recent questions; How is the unwanted cold welding prevented in space? & Would unpainted iron or steel rust in space? indicate that some pure metals like iron that have been forged in ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
732 views

How much of a mixed blessing is cold welding?

I know it's hard to quantify, but are rocket designers and astronauts more happy about the possibility of cold welding, or more negative about it? I mean: two "bare metal" surfaces in vacuum weld ...
SF.'s user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the air pressure threshold for cold welding?

Cold welding is a problem in vacuum of space - where two metal parts come into contact, they may weld accidentally to each other. As I understand, even a little air or other substance prevents it. My ...
SF.'s user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

A Philae Lander (like) anchoring harpoons on M-Type (metallic) asteroid. Can a nail gun and the effect of Cold Welding be a working solution?

Everyone knows what happened to Philae lander (Rosetta mission). It is hard to predict the reliability of anchoring points before we know surface conditions on the asteroid. On the other hand, it is ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
773 views

Were there ever any accidents involving cold-welding on EVA?

I recall there were cases of mechanisms of spacecraft that failed due to cold-welding, but are there any records of accidental cold-welding on EVA? of e.g. an ill-prepared tool cold-welding to a part ...
SF.'s user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
119 views

What other space vehicles were affected by cold welding?

The Wikipedia page on cold welding states that Mechanical problems in early satellites were sometimes attributed to cold welding. But only mentions Galileo as an example of spacecraft were cold ...
usernumber's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
135 views

Bronze material compatibility for mechanism exposed to LEO

I'm looking at using a worm gear for a latching mechanism on a spacecraft that's destined for a LEO trajectory. The mechanism is on the outside of the spacecraft, but the worm gear itself would be in ...
D. Hodge's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
181 views

Apollo Cold Welding Mitigation

I am currently debating with someone on a different platform and he brought up the phenomenon "cold welding." I must admit that I had never heard of that before, so I have been reading about ...
Movybuf's user avatar
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