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Welding units from ESAB are being used to produce the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) for the 2011 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) racing series.

ESAB has supplied its Origomag/mig and Caddytig welding units as well as the Origocut plasma cutter to GPR Motorsport, which is providing suspension sub-frames, roll cages and whole cars to the new NGTC specification.

Gary Blackham, director at GPR Motorsport, said: ‘We have already made one prototype car [a Toyota Avensis], which was tested in October 2010 at Brands Hatch.

‘At our workshop, based near Silverstone, we are fabricating the suspension sub-frames and roll cages with the ESAB welders.

‘These components are made in T45 tube [aircraft-grade, high-strength, carbon/manganese alloy steel] so require skilled welding and top-quality, controllable welding equipment.

‘We use the Origocut 36i plasma cutter to modify the car bodies to accept the GPR Motorsport sub-frames and suspension components.

‘Fundamentally, we cut away parts of the mild steel monocoque to accept our sub-frames,’ he added.

The NGTC concept is on track for launch in 2011.

The organisers of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (TOCA) confirmed the introduction of new technical regulations aiming for a lower-cost car, using common components such as suspension, brakes, electronics and gearboxes.

The NGTC technical regulations will permit front- and rear-wheel-drive formats and use front and rear sub-frames with double-wishbone suspension all round.

At the culmination of the design and development programme, teams will have a package of component assemblies, around which they can easily build and develop their own cars.

At around GBP140,000 plus the engine, they will get a car that is easier to maintain and has greater performance potential at about half the current cost.

GPR Motorsport has been commissioned to carry out the design, validation, prototype manufacture and testing programme for the new sub-frame/suspension assemblies.

GPR will be the nominated supplier of suspension sub-frames and associated assembly components.

It will provide ongoing technical assistance and support competitors at all BTCC rounds, providing sufficient stock of the suspension components, sub-frames and assemblies – reducing the need for teams to tie up capital in parts stock.

In the coming months, at the GPR Motorsport workshop, staff will be working with the ESAB equipment to produce sub-frames, roll cages and another car for February 2011.

The ESAB Origo Mag C201 has step-regulated welding power sources for Mig/Mag welding.

The lightweight units, featuring a built-in wire feeder, are a practical solution for use in light production applications and repair shops.

The Origo Mag C201 can be used with both conventional solid wire and self-shielding cored wire and is designed for welding steel, stainless steel and aluminium as well as for Mig brazing.

The units are equipped with multi-step voltage switches and potentiometers for wire speed adjustment, making it easier to set the welding parameters.

It is possible to adjust burn-back time and to set spot welding time.

Although the Origo Mag C201 is a single-phase unit, the Power Smoothing Device is claimed to give excellent welding performance in CO2 and gas mixtures.

The Power Smoothing Device ensures a smooth welding current, comparable to that of a three-phase machine.

Caddy portable welding equipment from ESAB features a compact design, with impact-resistant casing.

It is light and easy to carry, but large heat sinks and an advanced design make for a cooler running machine with a long life expectancy.

Caddy Tig supplies direct current welding for most metals including alloyed and non-alloyed steel, stainless steel and cast iron.

Advanced control panels are said to be simple to understand and set, even when wearing welding gloves.

The Caddy TA34 control panel allows Pulsed TIG welding, giving better control of the heat input.

The Arcplus II regulator provides an easy-to-control, intense, smooth and stable arc.

Caddy TA34 has two memories to store all the settings.

Switching between the memories can be carried out from the panel or the torch trigger.

The Caddy Tig 2200i is equipped with a power factor correction circuit, making it possible to use the full range of the machine on a 16A fuse.

As part of ESAB, a world leading supplier of welding and cutting solutions, ESAB Group (UK) Ltd have access to a product research and development programme, the envy of the welding industry.

The brand is synonymous with world leading expertise  and today the company produces consumables and equipment for virtually every welding and cutting process and application.

As a logical step following his invention of the covered welding electrode back in 1904, Oscar Kjellberg founded ESAB. Since then, the company has constantly improved on existing methods and materials. At the same time, ESAB has developed new methods to meet the challenge presented by technological progress.

More than 100 years of continuous research, development and manufacture have made ESAB a world leader in welding, cutting and also an international supplier of products, know-how and services that none can match.

At is UK headquarters, ESAB Group (UK) Ltd have a team of highly experienced and qualified staff who are always available to offer help and advice on all aspects of welding and cutting. 

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