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Economics of Advanced

Welding Techniques
March 28, 2013
Stephen Levesque
Director, EWI Nuclear Fabrication Center
Email: slevesque@ewi.org
Office: 614-688-5183
Mobile: 614-284-5426

Nuclear Fabrication Consortium

Some information in this presentation was based


upon research funded by the US Department of
Energy through the Nuclear Fabrication Consortium
(operated by EWI)
The Nuclear Fabrication Consortium (NFC) was
established to independently develop fabrication
approaches and data that support the reestablishment of a vibrant US nuclear industry

Overview

Laser Welding
Process description (Laser and Hybrid Laser Technologies)
Potential applications
Cost benefit

Friction Stir Welding


Process description
Potential applications
Cost benefit

Cladding Technologies
Comparison of various technologies

Tandem GMAW (bonus)

Laser Welding

Laser Background

Solid-state laser technology is rapidly


advancing
Output powers are continuously increasing
Price per kilowatt is dropping
(~$750K for 20-kW)
Improved portability and electrical efficiency
Improved beam quality fiber deliverable

Two laser technologies primarily


responsible
Fiber Laser (IPG Photonics)
Disk Laser (Trumpf)

ROI for laser processing is becoming


more attractive
Cost/watt, cycle time, penetration, distortion

Advantages and Challenges

The main advantages of laser


processing include:
High productivity
Low heat input
Minimal distortion

Some challenges include:


Critical joint preparation due to
limited gap bridging
Increased capital cost compared to
traditional arc-welding equipment

0.005-in. gap

0.010-in. gap

0.015-in. gap

General Terminology

Autogenous Laser Welding


Laser Beam
LaserInduced
Vapor
Plume

Shielding
gas

Liquid
Weld
Pool

Laser
Keyhole
or
Vapor
Cavity

Solidified
Weld Metal

General Terminology

Hybrid Laser-Arc Welding (Hybrid Welding)


The combination of two welding processes in the same weld
pool
Most often GMAW and Laser Welding

GMAW Torch

Laser Beam

Hybrid Terminology

The HLAW process can be used in two orientations:


Laser-Leading HLAW

Arc-Leading HLAW

Laser Tube Sheet Welding

High-level cost model built by EWI

Assumes 1 min. of arc time for GTAW and 2 sec. of laser time
per tube
Varied process efficiency to evaluate the ROI
$550,000
$500,000
$450,000
$400,000

Estimated Cost
$350,000
$300,000
$250,000
$200,000
2kW Laser @ 50%

$150,000

Manual GTAW @ 50%

$100,000

Orbital GTAW @ 75%

$50,000

Robotic GTAW @ 80%

$0
0

20000

40000
60000
Number of Tubes

80000

100000

Laser Tube Sheet Welding

Containment Welding

Hybrid Laser-GMAW welding vs. Tandem GMAW vs.


Submerged Arc Welding

Productivity

For one weldment X long


Includes setup time
and weld time
"10" 50-in "10" 200-in
Parts
Parts
SAW

Hour
Tandem
s
HLAW

11

27

18

15

16

Cost Comparison

For one weldment X long

Includes setup
time/weld time
(@$75/hr) and filler
metal cost
Equipment Cost
SAW

$55k

Tandem

$150k

HLAW

$950k
"10" 60-in "10" 200-in
Parts
Parts

Doll SAW
ars Tandem
HLAW

$48k

$124k

$38k

$84k

$69k

$72k

Combined Comparison Data

200-in

Other Benefits

Peak Temperature Models showing reduction in heat


input

SAW

HLAW

GMAW-T

Distortion and Residual Stress


SAW

Tandem

HLAW

Friction Stir Welding

Friction Stir Welding

Invented by TWI in 1991

Wayne Thomas
Solid-state joining process
No bulk melting of the substrate
Capable of joining
Aluminum, Magnesium, Copper, Steel, Titanium, Nickel,
many more
Non-consumable tool rotates and traverses along a joint
Combination of frictional heating and strain causes
dynamic recrystallization
Adiabatic heating
Creates a very fine grain microstructure
Low distortion
Excellent weld properties

Friction Stir Welding Variables

Essential FSW variables

Fx Fy

Process forces
y

Travel (Traverse) force, Fx

Fz

Vertical (Forge) force, Fz


RPM,
Travel (Traverse) speed, Vf

Fx

Cross (Transverse) force, Fy


Vertical (Forge) force, Fz

Ref: Arbegast, William J., "Week 2 Friction Stir Joining: Process Optimization." (2003).

FF
xy x

FFyx

Vf

Fz

Vf
Fz

VFfFz
z

Friction Stir Welding

Main Spindle

Fixturing
Local Clamp

FSW Tool

FSW Economics

FSW of Aluminum
15% reduction in man-hour per ton rate in aluminum panel
fabrication Hydro Aluminum
Total fabrication savings of 10% in shipbuilding - Fjellstrand
60% cost savings on Delta II and IV rockets Boeing
400% improvement in cycle time for fabricating 25mm thick
plates General Dynamics Land Systems

FSW of Steel Pipeline


Estimated cost savings
Onshore construction, 7%
Offshore construction (J-Lay), 25%

- Kallee, S. W. (2010). Industrial Applications of Friction Stir Welding. In D. Lohwasser, & Z. Chen, Friction Stir Welding From Basics to
Applications (pp. 118-163). Boca Raton: CRC Press.
- Kumar, A., Fairchild, D. P., Macia, M., Anderson, T. D., Jin, H. W., Ayer, R., . . . Mueller, R. R. (2011). Evaluation of Economic
Incentives and Weld Properties for Welding Steel Pipelines Using Friction Stir Welding.Proceedings of the Twenty-first (2011)
INternational Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference (pp. 460-467). Maui: ISOPE.

FSW of Steel Cost Model

Assumptions

Plain carbon steel


Simple butt joint configuration
Use of EWI DuraStir tools
Machine and fixturing purpose built for assumed application
Range of thicknesses
3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19 mm

Broken down in terms of cost/meter based upon weld length


achievable each month

FSW Cost Summary


Cost Summary
Thickness

3.00 (mm)

6.00 (mm)

9.00 (mm)

12.00 (mm)

16.00 (mm)

19.00 (mm)

Production Costs:
Fixed Costs:
Variable Costs:

$246.31/m
$18.12/m
$36.46/m

$307.24/m
$21.44/m
$41.32/m

$373.45/m
$27.94/m
$62.65/m

$444.94/m
$28.31/m
$83.29/m

$531.46/m
$40.52/m
$127.46/m

$613.51/m
$53.20/m
$306.23/m

Total Cost Per Meter:

$300.88/m

$370.00/m

$464.05/m

$556.55/m

$699.44/m

$972.94/m

Cladding

Introduction

Many process options exist for weld cladding


and hardfacing
A number of factors should be considered when selecting a
process:

Desired deposition rate


Required dilution level
Welding position
Component size/geometry
Method of application
Manual/semi-automatic
Mechanized
Automated

Welder/operator skill
Alloy/material to be
deposited
Equipment cost

Available Processes for


Surfacing Include

Thermal spray
Resistance cladding
Laser cladding
Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)
Plasma arc welding (PAW)
Gas metal arc welding (GMAW)
Submerged arc welding (SAW)
Single and multi-wire SAW
Submerged arc strip cladding
Electroslag strip cladding

Explosion welding

Resistance Cladding

Uses Simple off the shelf sheet material and may use
interlayers to make a fusion type weld between CRA
and Pipe
Can make the clad weld in one pass
Uses sheet metal consumables which are much
lower cost than wire consumables
Post weld surface finish should meet customer
requirements
No dilution of base metal into CRA surface

Resistance Cladding

Current Cladding Techiques

Explosive Welding $$$$

Roll Bonding

Requires post clad longitudinal seam weld

GMAW / GTAW / SAW welding

Requires post cladding longitudinal seam weld which impacts


fatigue

Processing time intensive with inspectability issues

Liner Expansion (lowest cost)

Risk of liner buckling is concerning to customers during


installation or dynamic lines

Resistance Cladding

Cost comparison
Normalized Price Per Unit
RSEW Pipe
Roll Bonded Pipe
Expanded Liner Pipe
CRA Piping
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Tandem GMAW
Bonus Material

Why Use Tandem GMAW?

Improve Productivity and


Quality

Increased deposition rates


Faster travel speeds
Maintain or improve overall
weld quality, gap filling
capability

Deposition rate (lbs/hr)


Image courtesy of Lincoln Electric

Example

5.25-in.-thick test joint


0.5-in.wide groove
2 included angle
Travel speed: 15 ipm
Heat input: 46 kJ/in.
Single bead per layer
27 passes required to fill
4.5 in.
Fill height per pass 0.17 in.
Clean UT results