The method you select for welding pipe will depend on the location where the welding is taking place, materials and pipe size.
For welding steel pipes in the open (e.g. pipe installation in trenches), manual arc welding (SMAW) is most common. This technique used is downhill using cellulosic electrodes (also basic electrodes are used for higher strength steel applications). A root pass and a hot pass are followed by the fill passes. The weld is finalized by the top pass. Welding units optimised for downhill welding are utilised.
Welding Smaller Pipes
For small diameter and short length pipes which are free to rotate, the pipe is rotated while the welding torch is held stationary. The processes used are MIG (GMAW) and TIG (GTAW). In the case of TIG welding a wire feeder is necessary. A process cell is best for this type of welding.
Welding Large Pipes
In applications involving larger pipe sizes, welding is generally carried out using the orbital process. MIG is usually employed, but TIG with automatic feed of the filler wire can also be used. Orbital process using closed head welding units is also utilized for applications where smaller pipes cannot be rotated.
There are a number of advanced methods of depositing pipe welds currently in use. These include precisely controlled short circuit transfer for root pass (Miller – Regulated Metal Deposition), optimized pulsed welding (Miller – Pro-Pulse) and high frequency waveform control (Lincoln – Surface Tension Transfer) in order to speed up and improve the quality of the pipe welds.
Red-D-Arc has a wide range of pipe welding equipment for rent including the following:
- Closed head orbital welding units for small pipe diameter
- Orbital TIG welding system for larger pipe diameters
- Orbital MIG welding system
- Process pipe cell with oscillating open arc welding
- TIG and MIG welding power sources suitable for above
- Cutting and bevelling saws for up to 12.75” (325mm) pipe diameter
Have a look at our entire selection of pipe welding equipment which includes pipe cutters and bevelers.
“You should give as much consideration to the preparation as you do to the actual welding”
Pipe welding is utilized all around the world in diverse industries. A variety of pipe sizes and material grades are joined to manufacture components of various shapes and lengths – from a few feet to many miles. Even though most pipe welding jobs have custom specifications – there are some fundamental aspects of pipe welding that form a common thread for welders and welding engineers alike in order to achieve high quality welds in pipes.
Selecting The Right Pipe Welding Equipment
Equipment selection is the top requirement for producing good quality pipe welds. The highest priorities when selecting welding equipment for pipeline welding are reliability, consistency, accuracy and process control. It is also critical that the equipment is easy to use and the controls are intuitive. In addition to equipment performance, the work environment also needs to be a key factor for equipment selection. There are pipe welding configurations designed for offshore welding, remote land based pipeline welding, general fabrication shop use and custom configured automated pipe welding systems. Selecting the right one can be a daunting task – it is always good practice to seek expert advice. Be sure to ask about the various options, capabilities and limitations of each system. When welding CRA (Corrosion Resistant Alloy) grades, it is necessary to use weld purging in order to guarantee the corrosion performance of the root run. The importance of this should not be underestimated.
Red-D-Arc carries an extensive inventory of welding equipment designed specifically for pipe welding professionals. The latest pipe welding equipment can increase productivity and produce the highest quality welds. We have an extensive fleet of innovative solutions like the Miller PipeWorx Welding System, Red-D-Arc Oscillating Pipe Welder, Bug-O Systems, Orbital Welding Systems from Lincoln and Axxair, and pipe end prep equipment from H&M and E.H. Wachs.
Check out the new Pipe Welding section of the reddarc.com website to learn more.
Red-D-Arc has launched an exciting new product that is designed to increase the productivity and efficiency of pipe welding. The Red-D-Arc Process Pipe Cell with oscillating welding torch is a dual wire feeder, multi-process welding cell. The system is easy to set up and operate. It reduces weld operator errors, reduces welding time, and increases deposition rates, productivity and arc-on time.
A variety of welding power sources and wire feeders can be used with the system including Miller RMD PipeWorx 400 and Lincoln STT S350, S500 and S700 Power Wave systems, with all welding functions controlled via a remote interface.
Root passes can be performed manually with solid wire using either RMD or STT technology (instead of manual GTAW or SMAW) followed up by hot passes and cap passes either solid-wire or flux-cored) with the jammer-style weld oscillator.
Choose the welding positioner, welding chuck, turning roll set or headstock to suit your specific needs. All positioning functions including welding head manipulator, oscillator, welding positioner and turning rolls are managed via a single control.
Contact a Red-D-Arc Weld Automation Expert to learn more or request a demo: 1-866-733-3272 | Contact Sales
“We were grateful to be able to see a product demonstration for the Red-D-Arc (Orbitalum) system. The machine lived up to its expectations and the technical team was invaluable”
—Rob B. (customer)
Update: Red-D-Arc now offers Orbital Welding Equipment from Axxair.
One of our clients, a machine shop based out of Opelika Alabama, needed a solution for welding stainless steel tubes and elbow sections efficiently that would be able to withstand hydrostatic testing of up to 300psi. After taking the time learn about their requirements, specialists from the Red-D-Arc branch in Austell Georgia, worked alongside experts from Airgas to demonstrate how the Orbitalum enclosed orbital welding system would help solve their challenges.
Red-D-Arc welding specialist Gregory Bellamy showed how the extremely narrow design of the Orbiweld 76S enclosed weld head was ideally suited for working in situations where space is limited. The Orbimat 76s was fitted with clamping shells (which are available for all dimensions of pipe) to ensure an exact match and strong hold. The pipe on this application was stainless steel tubing 1.500″ with a .035″ wall, diameter tubing (straight tube) and stainless steel elbow 180 degree 1.500″dia. with a .049″ wall. When the welds were complete, the welded pipes passed the hydrostatic testing at upwards of 300psi.
Thanks to Gregory Bellamy and Rob Storch from Red-D-Arc as well as Wayne Blamire and Bill Hatter from Airgas for their support on another successful orbital pipe welding customer demo.