How To Choose the Right Pipe Welding Method?

Pipe Welding by Frontline Manufacturing

Pipe welding finds its place in many industries, including construction, water, oil and gas, fabrication, and power generation.

Fabricators must understand several pipe welding techniques to get their products made in the best and safest way possible. Factors like application, material, temperature, and filler material availability determine which method best applies. 

To better understand which pipe welding method to use, here are the five techniques and how they differ.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

SMAW is known by many names, like Manual Metal Arc Welding, Flux Shielded Arc Welding, stovepipe, and stick welding.

In this pipe welding method, the electrode is melted by heat generated from an electric arc. The molten material obtained is applied to sections of metal pipe to join them together. The benefit of using SMAW welding is that it does not require any special equipment.

However, the method is less productive due to its lower travel piece. Also, you must ensure the welding machine must be fitted with the suitable electrode for the material.

Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

FCAW pipe welding method uses the heat generated by an electric arc to fuse the electrode filler wire to metal pipe sections. The electric arc is applied between the continuously fed wire and the metal surface, melting both materials.

The method has two subcategories: self- and gas-shielded. The gas-shielded process uses semi-automated tools to provide high speed and productivity. At the same time, the self-shielded method avoids this by not using a shielding gas.

The advantage of using FCAW welding is that it is preferable for outdoor welding and thicker materials. It offers higher deposition rates and better arc stability. 

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

GMAW pipe welding method includes Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding and Metal Active Gas (MAG) Welding. These techniques use a shielding gas with electrode and heats the two metal pipe sections for joining. 

The method has higher speed, versatility, and productivity than SMAW and is performed with semi or fully-automatic tools. 

However, this method requires the welder to have more control for producing high-quality welds. 

Submerged Arc Welding 

It is a semi-automatic method that has a non-visible welding arc. Here an electric arc is formed between a metal pipe and continuously fed electrode. A powdered flux layer is formed that covers the arc. This flux then melts and provides conduction between the metal and electrode.

The benefit of this method is that it offers sound, defect-free welding, along with the highest deposition rates. 

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

TIG pipe welding is the most common method for stainless and non-ferrous metal welding. It employs a fixed consumable electrode to create the weld. It is versatile, suitable for various metals and applications, and produces high-quality welds,

However, this quality is mainly dependent on the welder’s skill.

Now you know the pipe welding methods and their advantages, so choose the one that fits your needs. If you are looking for experienced and qualified welders in Brisbane, contact Frontline Manufacturing.