When Union Fabricators & Fitters of Jonesville, Michigan, won a contract to build the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the company had a challenging job to complete. This is because the memorial is a 120-ft. long curved arc that had to be dimensionally perfect - a difficult job considering that it was composed of heavy, 1 1/2" thick steel plate that was prone to distortion. In addition, the reflective steel monument had to be aesthetically pleasing and also required code-quality welds to AWS D.1.1. To meet these demands, Union Fabricators & Fitters turned to its local welding supplier, Miller Welding Supply of Jackson, Michigan, and The Lincoln Electric Company for technical support.
Lincoln Technical Consultant, Ray Fayer, met with Union Fabricators & Fitters President Craig Doan and his staff to make recommendations on equipment, processes and welding procedures. To provide control of distortion, Fayer recommended a semi-automatic SAW process. Because of the deep penetration features of SAW, the company was able to qualify procedures and joint preparations that required less weld metal for the butt splice welds and the horizontal fillets on the A36 steel. The result was excellent appearance, minimal distortion and outstanding quality, as tested through ultrasonic testing of all butt splice welds. To apply the SAW, Union Fabricators & Fitters used Lincoln DC 600 power sources with LN-8 wire feeders.
For tacking, root passes and all vertical-up butt and fillet welds, Fayer recommended all-position FCAW. Because of its versatility, the company used the same .052" Outershield® 71M wire throughout the job - meaning no changeovers and higher productivity.
The arc, designed by architect Alan Gordon of New York, was fabricated in two sections and delivered on time to the general contractor, Christman Construction Co., for erection at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. A Vietnam Veterans Group riding 1,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, escorted the first section as it was moved to the site.
The massive memorial is suspended on one end by huge stainless steel cables and self-adjusting spools. Bronze plaques line the curved surface and list the names of the 2,654 Michigan veterans lost in the Vietnam War. Governor John Engler dedicated the structure on Veterans Day 2001.
Originally Written 7/17/02