We’re very excited for this year’s Welding Thunder event, coming up on November 30 and December 1 at Skyline High School in Mesa, Arizona!
Welding Thunder is a school welding competition that was started by an educator named Sam Colton, who currently teaches at Ray High School in Kearney, AZ. This is the second time the event has been held at Skyline High, and about 17 schools will be participating in the event. It’s the fourth time that our welding store in Phoenix, AZ has been a vendor at this particular event, and each year it has been an absolute blast.
This year’s event
This year’s theme is “Just For the Fun of It,” and the students will be building a go-kart, which provides students with some practical welding and automotive engineering opportunities. Everyone will be using the same frames, which have been designed to provide variable attachment points with movable cross bars and bracing, creating as much flexibility as possible.
The frame is extremely strong and light, based on a car one of the teachers designed for his kids that they have taken out and about in various outdoor locations. The one the students are making, though, is considerably larger than the version of the vehicle designed by the teacher. It is seven and a half feet long, 10 inches wider than the original and a foot longer. The original’s frame rails were tapered toward the front, as was the third iteration of the car’s design, which makes it stronger and look cooler, but reduces its flexibility.
Making frame rails parallel allows the team to place the cross members wherever works best for their design. There’s also a vertical member on each side of the frame rails. Their location is intentionally unspecified—the object is for each team to figure out where it would make the most sense for them to put the vertical members based on the overall design of their vehicle. This allows for a much wider variety of design features and appearances.
Each team gets two frames, including one practice frame to use in advance that they can weld together. Each team is responsible for sourcing its other parts, so they should be able to easily swap their parts onto the kart they’re going to be using for the competition. Each kart must use an internal combustion engine, have four wheels and is recommended to have good brakes. With most parts, though, it’s really up to each team as to the types of equipment they’ll use and how they’ll attach them.
The driving course for the event is the road that runs around the athletic facility at the high school. There will be traffic cones outlining the track, and there are deluxe speed bumps that each kart must be able to pass through.
Interested in learning more about Welding Thunder? Contact Vern Lewis Welding Supply, Inc. today—the team from our welding store in Phoenix, AZ is very much looking forward to being there and seeing all the great kart ideas these students come up with!
Categorised in: Welding Store
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