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Welding Processes 23

In automatic TIG welding magnetic control is used sometimes to control


solidification. This control is effected by subjecting the arc and the weld puddle to
a determined level of magnetic field. The arc stability is increased, defects are
eliminated, penetration and dilution can be well controlled, grain refinement and
mechanical properties can be improved by this method.
Both MIG and TIG can be effectively used for narrow gap welding (NGW), in
which thick plates in the range of 50 mm to 350 mm thick can be welded to each
other with narrow U-type gap involving only 10 to 25 mm width and 2° to 4°
included angle. The groove is filled with successive layers of weld metal with one
or two passes per layer.
Edge preparation in narrow gap welding is rather simple and quantity of filler
material consumption is less. Due to low heat input and multipass retempering,
fine grained structure of weld is obtained. Residual stresses and distortion are
minimum in narrow gap welding. However, the MIG and TIG equipments meant
for narrow gap welding are more complex and costly. Repair of defects will be
difficult. Cleaning the weld surface after each layer is laid, is also difficult. Side
wall fusion must be properly ensured. The process requires high accuracy of power
supply characteristics and close tolerance for electrode tip to work distance. Slag
inclusion and lack of fusion in the side wall are the most common defects in NGW.
Weld quality is more sensitive to welding condition than in conventional welding
methods.
Different materials, particularly those sensitive to heat input, including HSLA
steels, stainless steels, aluminium and titanium alloys can be welded by NGW.
Large structures, components like shells, drums, steam pipes, pressure vessels,
power plant components, penstocks etc., are among the variety of products
fabricated by narrow gap welding process.
1.2.3 Electrical method

1.2.3.1 Electric resistance welding


Heat is produced by the passage of electric current across the interface of the
joint. It may also be induced within the metal near the joint. Typical examples of
this type of joining are spot and seam welding where sheet metals are pressed
together at the joint by copper alloy electrodes and, projection welding where the
metal itself is shaped so that local contact at the joint concentrates the current
flow, thereby producing heat. Electro-slag welding which makes vertical joints, is
in effect a continuous casting process employing electric resistance heating of a
bath of molten slag carried above the weld pool.
Electric resistance welding is a nonfusion welding process. Heat is generated
when high electric current is passed through a small area of the two contacting
metal surfaces. The heat H generated is given by
H = I2 × R × t
where I is current, R is resistance of the interface and t is the time of application of
current. When the rise in temperature is sufficient, a large pressure is applied at the
heated interface to form a weld joint. The process variables are : current, time of
application of current, pressure, duration of pressure applications, materials to be
welded and their thickness.