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Flexible welding enclosures® for zero colour titanium welds

When welding titanium, zirconium and some stainless steel joints it is important that the welding zone is purged of oxygen to a level as low as 10 parts per million (ppm). 

Flexible Welding Enclosures® are available from Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® for a fraction of the cost of a rigid welding chamber. Flexible Welding Enclosures® provide a solution where a rigid chamber may not be economically viable or where space may be at a premium. 

Ron Sewell, Chairman for HFT® said: "In his workshop in Santa Rosa, California, retired CEO Bob Lee is recreating a famous Can-Am racecar, the Ti22 that was destroyed in 1973. This car was the first Monocoque road racecar to make extensive use of titanium. With over 40 years of experience of welding titanium, Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® have become very involved in this project, providing equipment and technical assistance where required.
 
The Ti22 titanium suspension, bulkheads and subframe will be welded inside HFT's 60" Flexible Welding Enclosure® providing a very fast purging time down to a few parts per million of oxygen, ensuring oxide free, zero colour titanium welds are achieved."

Size for size, HFT®'s range of Flexible Welding Enclosures® can cost less than one tenth of a metal glove box and less than one hundredth of a vacuum system. These enclosures provide fast purging times down to a few ppm of oxygen and are ideal for small production quantities of parts that need total gas coverage.

It is not only racecar manufacturers that have taken advantage of the low cost, easy to use Flexible Welding Enclosure®, industries such as aerospace, automotive, biochemical, medical, food, beverage, semiconductor and nuclear sectors have also been producing zero colour welds inside these welding bubbles. More recently, companies experimenting with wire plus arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) have also invested in these enclosures.

The standard enclosures are manufactured with two sets of glove ports as standard and the upper half of the enclosure, above the arm entries is optically clear, providing excellent welding vision. A transfer sleeve makes it possible to pass small parts in or out of the enclosure without affecting the purge quality. 

As in the case of the robot manufacturing cells and for laser and arc additive manufacturing applications, special enclosures can be designed and manufactured to suit.

Operator comfort and ease of use with Argweld® Flexible Welding Enclosures® versus the disagreeable conditions with a rigid plastic or metal chambers make the HFT® versions a big hit with welding personnel.

A Flexible Welding Enclosure YouTube Video is viewable at: https://youtu.be/ZlYO0PYTTro

Dramatically reduce Weld Purging times with QuickPurge®

Time after time, welders, supervisors, quality control personnel and others are kept waiting, sometimes for many hours, for stainless steel or titanium pipes to be purged of oxygen ready for welding.

In addition, all involved are watching the expensive inert argon gas flow away to waste after it has passed through the pipe, gathering oxygen and other harmful gases along the way.

Such time loss and material waste can be avoided now because of the innovative QuickPurge® Tube, Pipe and Pipeline Weld Purging Systems designed and manufactured by leading weld purging specialists Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®.

Whatever the size of pipe, QuickPurge® Systems reduce waiting times so dramatically that they pay for themselves in less than one weld.

The Welding Manager at a leading pipework fabricator was recently charged with the task of reducing costs and waiting time in the department. The specialists at HFT® were contacted to discuss the possibility of reducing waiting times and costs and also to meet the technical demands of the welding process.

After discussions, during which their welding process of Plasma / TIG (PAW/GTAW) was highlighted, HFT® delegates prepared their demonstration equipment for a welding trial on 36" (900 mm) pipes. The purge was completed in just a few minutes instead of the hours that were taken previously and the special heat protective covers, fitted around the volume-reducing sleeve, absorbed the extra heat of the plasma arc.

Several welds were made with different sizes of pipe and all were successful, restoring the confidence that they had lost due to the failure of the previous systems that they had purchased elsewhere that were all laying around the shop on pallets, having only been used once and damaged beyond further use.

QuickPurge® has an additional gas input line, which means extra purge gas can be introduced for applications such as this, thereby achieving a much faster purge down to the lowest oxygen levels, which is perfect for larger diameter pipes where quality welds are required. The extra cold gas is perfect for mitigating the extra heat produced by the Plasma / TIG process.

The advanced design of the QuickPurge® System means that oxygen levels as low as 10 parts per million (ppm) can be reached every time, allowing zero colour welds to be achieved with no loss of corrosion resistance caused by oxidation.

Using IntaCal® combined with the integrated PurgeGate® device makes it possible to safely inflate the systems with argon gas, for purging the space between the dams where the weld joint is located. With PurgeGate®, burst dams are prevented in the event of undue pressure increase or accidental flow increase of the purging gas.

All systems are manufactured as standard with a hose for connecting a Weld Purge Monitor®, which can read oxygen levels down to as low as 10 ppm.

Materials used in the manufacture of QuickPurge® are such that they are resistant to the higher weld temperatures present and they don't outgas, preventing weld contamination.

For pre-heated chrome steel and high strength stainless steel pipe joints, HFT® design and manufactures the HotPurge® range for a higher and longer temperature exposure.

QuickPurge® Video is available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/x3YlH9pcKi4

For further information, e-mail: michaelareay@huntingdonfusion.com or view website: www.huntingdonfusion.com   

Pipe Welding becomes easier

New devices for welding stainless, duplex, chrome steels and titanium are launched by Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®.

Typically for closure welds, tight bends, T piece joints and dome end connections where a conventional Tandem Weld Purging System cannot be used, a range of low cost, single ended Inflatable Weld Purge Dams is available for pipe diameters from 6 to 96 inches (150 mm up to 2,440 mm).

These lightweight systems are easy to inflate and are heat resistant up to 90oC (194oF).

Ron Sewell, Chairman at Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® said: "Even today, many companies are still allowing their technicians to spend many hours fabricating dams made of foam, cardboard, adhesive tape, wood and so on. Like paper, these materials contain a high percentage of water, which is very undesirable to have in the presence of a weld.

"As these old fashioned, poor quality dams and materials are warmed by the welding operation, they start to outgas their water vapour, which starts to circulate around the weld joint and combine with the weld pool to cause porosity and oxidation, leading to metallurgical defects."

Each of these new design HFT® Dams are made of low vapour pressure materials specially selected for optimum weld purging results to provide the lowest quality oxygen reading in the fastest possible time with the minimum use of expensive argon gas.

The dams are fitted with a dual inflation and purge hose, an additional purge gas hose and an exhaust which can be connected to one of our Weld Purge Monitors®. The additional purge gas hose is suitable for introducing extra purge gas into the weld zone at any time to cool welds to meet interpass specifications, or to provide more inert gas in the event of titanium, zirconium or special stainless applications needing a guaranteed zero colour weld.

Once the Dam is inflated using the purge gas and seals all around the internal circumference of the pipe, the excess inert purge gas spills out and purges the space around the weld joint. The air (oxygen) is then released out and into the pipe length through a series of venting exhausts on the dam.

Four pull tags are located around the circumference of the Weld Purge Dam, so rope, pull wires or slings can be attached for retrieval of the deflated system, if required.

By producing bright shiny welds, there will be no porosity and there will be no loss of corrosion resistance caused by oxidation.

Apart from the benefit of having a metallurgically sound weld, the difficulties of cleaning an oxidised weld are eliminated, saving vast amounts of money in labour and material costs as well as the disposal costs where acids are concerned.

Now there is no more reason to put welds at risk by using apparently cheaper materials, when for a very low cost, Argweld® Inflatable Weld Purge Dams can be purchased instead!

For further information, e-mail: michaelareay@huntingdonfusion.com or view website: www.huntingdonfusion.com   
Refer to page 445

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