Like any other welding application, process piping has its own unique requirements and challenges. Welding operators must adhere to strict codes when welding in these applications, as well as take precautions to avoid potential defects like lack of fusion, porosity or other weld defects that could compromise the integrity of the completed weld.
In addition, contractors in the process piping industry also encounter many of the same constraints found in other jobs. Tight deadlines, lack of skilled labor and the drive toward cost reductions are all considerations, as is the need to turn out x-ray quality welds.
As a means to gain a competitive advantage, some contractors have chosen to move away from the shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) welding processes common in this industry and convert to wire processes. Advanced technologies like modified short circuit GMAW or Pulsed Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), as well as conventional GMAW or Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) can serve to speed production, ease training and produce high quality in process pipe applications.
With this conversion, however, comes the question of filler metal selection. Contractors need to determine which wires can provide the most appropriate results for every weld pass: root, fill and cap, and be certain that they are selecting the highest quality filler metal.
This article has been published as a web-exclusive on thefabricator.com. To read the entire story by Joe Ryan, marketing segment manager – process pipe welding, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. and Keith Packard, marketing segment manager – oil and gas, Hobart Brothers, click here.