Fast-track project completion is highly desired, given the expansion of the oil and gas sectors. Welding takes up the majority of the time spent on piping tasks. To shorten the welding process, orbital welding process was introduced to the industry in the 1960s.
This method allows for better weld quality when welding pipes or tubes. It is widely used to link straight-length pipes in pipeline construction. Additionally, it lessens the possibility of a pipeline leak.
Benefits of Orbital Welding
The purpose of using orbital in most industries is its economic, productive, and technical support. The orbital welding machine offers lots of benefits and advantages as follows:
Productivity is significantly increased with a piece of orbital welding equipment compared to manual welding.
The orbital welding machine’s welding quality is better than manual welding when a well-developed weld program is used. This offers 100 percent penetration and exceeds the standards for high-quality welding.
- Welder skill level: Finding a highly trained, certified welder is difficult. In the case of an orbital welding machine, faultless operation and high-quality welding are possible with the proper training and understanding of the machine’s mechanics.
- Consistency: Once a welding program has been defined, it can be applied again. By doing this, the typical fluctuation and mistakes during manual welding are eliminated.
- Environmental Factors: Orbital welding is not affected by inclement weather, space limitations, poor sight, or the presence of radiation. After everything is put up, welding can proceed without interruption.
- Versatility: An orbital welding machine can be utilized when it is impractical to spin pipes. This can also be employed in boiler tubing, where manual welding is challenging.
- Cost reduction: The automated method is more efficient and affordable than manual welding. This automation shortens the welding process and lowers the possibility of mistakes or faults, eventually saving money on the cost of necessary repairs.
Factors affecting the quality of Orbital welding
The appropriate welding technique for orbital welding is GTAW (gas tungsten arc welding). The GTAW process uses an electric arc to melt the base metal and create the weld. The following requirements must be met in orbital welding to safeguard the quality of the welds:
- Material Weldability: The choice of pipe material varies depending on the application and environmental circumstances. The material selected for the pipe affects the requirements for mechanical strength, thermal stability, and corrosion resistance. A large quantity of testing is needed to determine the required welding quality for complex welding applications.
- The fit of Weld Join: How well a fit has been executed determines the quality of welding. The welding specification, concavity, and reinforcing required affect how well a weld joint fits together. There should be no mismatch in the pipe edges, and the gap must be optimal for welding to achieve high-quality orbital welding.
- Shield Gas: A key element in preserving the welding process’s quality is the shielding gas’s purity. Shielding gas impurities of any kind can cause distortion and welding problems. The following list of shielding gases has typical usage:
- 2% hydrogen and 98% argon
- 5% hydrogen and 95% argon
- 10% hydrogen and 90% argon
- 25% argon and 75% helium
- Tungsten Electrodes: Tungsten tip preparation has an impact on welding quality as well. A thick tungsten tip is easy to start an arc with, whereas a sharpened tungsten tip starts quickly.
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