A new welding process has been developed which uses a hybrid concept. A portable induction coil is operated ahead of the arc welding torch, and heats the surfaces of the weld to near the melting point. Then the heat generated by the welding arc is primarily used only to melt the welding wire. The process operates at speeds of 2-4 times the speed of conventional arc welding. Having two independent and different types of heat source allows better control of, and balancing of, the heating, and offers the advantage of substantially reducing weld distortion in T-fillet welds. When this process is applied to the welding of stiffeners to panels, the resulting distortion is so small that the fairness of the stiffened panel is very good. The deflection of the panel surface is substantially less than the allowable level and therefore does not require any straightening.

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