In this article, we will discuss what orbital welding is, when it can be used, the advantages, the products used to carry out the process, and the leading industry suppliers of those products.
We cannot begin to talk about the term known as orbital welding before first discussing what welding is. It is when we understand what welding is before we can then understand what orbital welding is.
In simple terms, welding is a procedure that allows the joining together of two distinct metal pieces otherwise called electrodes with the aid of intense heat.
These metals aka electrodes are of two categories which are consumable and non-consumable electrodes. The former is characterized by a low melting point and has the ability to create a bond that is stronger than that created when non-consumable electrodes is used. Furthermore, its impurity removal ability is very effective. When examined further, this category of electrodes is further divided into bare and flux-covered electrodes.
Non-consumables, on the other hand, are the opposite of consumables. Their melting point is higher, and to create a bond, another metal known as filler is required. This electrode has a subcategory of carbon/graphite and tungsten electrodes. The Tungsten electrode is further divided into 2% Thoriated, 2% Ceriated, and others. The thoriated and ceriated electrodes are the ones used frequently when it comes to orbital welding.
This is the act of using automated welding on secured pipes or tubes while the electrode is orbiting or rotating around the pipe or tube. This technique is done by a specialist while the arc rotates around the secured pipe or tube in a 360-degree.
The development of this technique can be traced back to the 1960s which was a result of the need that arose within the aerospace industry to get a more accurate welding technique. Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerospace_engineering to find out more about aerospace engineering. Over time, the technique began to be used in other industries starting from automotive engineering and even the food processing industry.
When should you use this Technique?
As we just mentioned, this technique was developed as a more accurate technique compared to regular fusing. Hence, when do you go for orbital fusing instead of the normal technique? Here are the instances when you should use this technique:
1. The position of the production is difficult to work on manually
The production location and the position of the machine should be considered to determine which technique should be used. If the work is difficult or the worker’s safety is at potential risk, then a more precise procedure should be adopted
2. The production quantity is large
If you are handling large productions, then you need to make use of the automated technique. This will ensure that the work is carried out faster with lesser effort.
You can make use of mechanized and semi-automatic machines if you are handling production that involves customized parts or small quantities.
Benefits of Using this Technique
The following are the benefits of orbital welding:
1. High Accuracy
The reason this technique was developed was to produce a more accurate welding method. Hence, this benefit is still available to date which ensures fewer human errors with an impeccable finish.
2. Enhances Productivity
Being an automated process, it is faster than the manual traditional method. The time required for the machine setup is less, and the time to even carry out the metal fusion is faster.
3. Promotes Workplace Safety
One of the situations wherein it is more appropriate to utilize this method of metal fusion is when it poses a potential risk to the welder. Hence, this method has created a safer working environment.
Orbital Welding Products
The following are the essential products needed to carry out this process:
1. Programmable Power Source
This equipment is used to transmit the electric current required to power up other pieces of equipment that will be used. It is categorized into three according to the output power they supply. Let’s quickly take a look at them:
This category has a weight that is less than 30kg which makes it light enough to be carried to the production site. The current and voltage are 160 amperes and 1-phase 230 volts respectively. Click here to learn more about electric current.
This type can be quite heavy and vary in weight. Nevertheless, they are mobile because they are mounted on wheels. Its maximum current is 400 ampere and the maximum voltage is 3-phase 415 volt.
This category is the largest of the three. The current ranges from 300 to 600 ampere, and the voltage is either multi-voltage input or 3-phase 415 volt.
2. Weld Head
The weld head performs the following functions:
- Fastens the metal in place
- Sustains heat temperature
- Puts pressure on the metals that will be welded
- Runs fusing current
3. Coolant System (Air/Water)
The purpose of this system is to ensure that the equipment doesn’t overheat. It aids in preventing damage to the machine and injury to the welder.
This system operates using either air or water.
4. Wire Feeder
The necessity of this mechanism is dependent on whether or not the equipment is mobile. This device comes either as a different device or is a part of the welding head.
Leading Products Suppliers
Several brands have proven themselves to be exceptional manufacturers and suppliers of orbital welding products. Here are a few of them:
This company is operational in more than 60 countries and has over 98 distributors. They have been in the industry for some decades and are gaining global trust gradually.
Swagelok prides itself on being able to deliver constant improvement. Their aim is to be the number 1 advisor when it comes to anything science, engineering, and logistics.
3. Arc Machines Inc.
AMI was founded in 1976 and has been able to partner with more than 3,000 partners worldwide. They are reputed for their product’s durability, functionality, and quality.
Orbital welding was developed to serve as an improvement to regular welding, and over the years it has become an integral production process in a wide range of industries. The article above has armed you with basic information about this production technique.