Welding involves joining two materials together without the need for a binder. The lack of extra material means that two work pieces can be welded together directly, often creating a much stronger structure depending on the use case and circumstances. One good example of this would be in pipes. In order to create or repair different piping systems and structures, it’s often important to make use of welding to join materials together.
Of the many different types of welding, pipe welding often uses arc welding techniques. This is a welding technique that is achieved by using heat that is generated using an electric arc. When enough heat is generated, it melts the metal of the pipe which allows it to bind with another pipe section.
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Why weld pipes over other joining techniques?
Pipe welding is one way to join two pipes together, but it’s not the only option available. However, there are a number of advantages that it can offer.
- Welding a pipe is usually the cheaper option to join two pipe pieces together. To join two separate pipe pieces, it’s normally required to use fittings which can be expensive and take more time to procure. For a quick fix or permanent piping solution, welding is generally the better option.
- Pipe welding creates less resistance in the pipe. Fittings can often create additional turbulence in a pipe. When welding, it’s possible to create a much smoother surface inside the pipe to improve flow and prevent anything from getting caught inside the pipe.
- Welding pipes makes for easier repairs. Other joining techniques that use screws and fittings can take a bit longer to repair. It may be necessary to find replacement fittings, a pipe system may need to be disassembled, and there are increased labor costs associated with the repair. On the other hand, welding a pipe is much quicker, doesn’t require disassembly, and doesn’t use fittings or screws.
- Welded pipes are less prone to leaking. Welding pipes together generally means a stronger bond that creates a larger overall structure. This means it is less susceptible to vibrations and leaking because there’s just a single piece of metal instead of multiple fixtures, screws, and other parts.
While pipe welding does have advantages over other pipe joining techniques, the pipes do need to be prepared to ensure a good weld. Pipe welding can create a number of hazards, especially when considering the condition of the pipe and its location. But with proper preparation and a skilled welder, it can be a quick and easy job.
What makes pipe welding different to other types of welding?
Pipe welding is often seen as more challenging than other forms of welding because of the angle of the weld, the different pipe parts, and also the dimensions of the pipe. In addition, pipe welding typically happens in locations where the pipes are difficult to reach. For example, larger plumbing pipes may be common targets for pipe welding. Not only do these pipes need to be emptied before they are worked on, but they can also be in hard-to-reach locations.
Pipe welding can also be dangerous if there are no precautions taken. For instance, if the pipes still have some kind of materials or even liquids in them, then it can disrupt the heating process. In some cases, flammable materials could be ignited, causing accidents that may harm the welder or the area around the pipe. Welding itself is also a dangerous job as it can expose people to fumes, airborne particles, and even dust. Without the right safety equipment, precautions, and experience, welders can be exposed to a number of dangers that increase the overall difficulty of a project.
How long does pipe welding take?
Since arc welding involves heating the metal of the pipe, it can take a little longer than other welding methods depending on the material and its thickness. Larger materials may need a bit of extra time before they can be welded together, and the equipment used can also affect the speed of the project. The conditions around the pipe can also play a factor in the time it takes to finish a pipe welding project.
Learn more about pipe welding
Interested in learning more about pipe welding? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts at International Mechanical & Welding today for more information.