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Gel fixative set to challenge welding

Materials

A NEW chemical gel could be used as an alternative to traditional welding, according to its manufacturer.

The gel, marketed as Tribtech, is smeared onto the surfaces of components to be joined together.

Geoff Linzell, the system's inventor, who owns Herefordshire-based Ball Burnishing Machine Tools, claimed that using the gel dramatically boosted the strength of a press-fit bond.

He said: 'The gel can increase the strength of joints by up to four times and can be used instead of welding.

'It is the reverse of a lubricant and works by increasing frictional grip.'

He added that the gel could be used on such applications asassembling trusses and beams, on tubular space frames and on joining rebar.

Mr Linzell claimed that the gel was suitable for all materials except copper alloys and cast iron.