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TWI Welding

TWI Welding

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Published by: kartik_harwani4387 on Jul 19, 2012
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Page 1 of 76 Rm.Muthu Velan
The Manual Metal Arc process
Manual metal arc welding was first invented in Russia in 1888. Itinvolved a bare metal rod with no flux coating to give a protective gasshield. The development of coated electrodes did not occur until theearly 1900s when the Kjellberg process was invented in Sweden andthe Quasi-arc method was introduced in the UK. It is worth noting thatcoated electrodes were slow to be adopted because of their high cost.However, it was inevitable that as the demand for sound welds grew,manual metal arc became synonymous with coated electrodes. Whenan arc is struck between the metal rod (electrode) and the work piece,both the rod and work piece surface melt to form a weld pool.Simultaneous melting of the flux coating on the rod will form gas andslag which protects the weld pool from the surrounding atmosphere.The slag will solidify and cool and must be chipped off the weld beadonce the weld run is complete (or before the next weld pass is deposited).The process allows only short lengths of weld to be produced before a new electrode needs to be inserted in theholder. Weld penetration is low and the quality of the weld deposit is highly dependent on the skill of the welder.
Types of flux/electrodes
Arc stability, depth of penetration, metal deposition rate and positional capability are greatly influenced by thechemical composition of the flux coating on the electrode. Electrodes can be divided into three main groups:
Cellulosic electrodes
contain a high proportion of cellulose in the coating and are characterised by a deeplypenetrating arc and a rapid burn-off rate giving high welding speeds. Weld deposit can be coarse and with fluid slag,deslagging can be difficult. These electrodes are easy to use in any position and are noted for their use in the'stovepipe' welding technique.
deep penetration in all positions
suitability for vertical down welding
reasonably good mechanical properties
high level of hydrogen generated - risk of cracking in the heat affected zone (HAZ)
Rutile electrodes
contain a high proportion of titanium oxide (rutile) in the coating. Titanium oxide promotes easyarc ignition, smooth arc operation and low spatter. These electrodes are general purpose electrodes with goodwelding properties. They can be used with AC and DC power sources and in all positions. The electrodes are especiallysuitable for welding fillet joints in the horizontal/vertical (H/V) position.
moderate weld metal mechanical properties
good bead profile produced through the viscous slag
positional welding possible with a fluid slag (containing fluoride)
easily removable slag
Basic electrodes
contain a high proportion of calcium carbonate (limestone) and calcium fluoride (fluorspar) in thecoating. This makes their slag coating more fluid than rutile coatings - this is also fast-freezing which assists weldingin the vertical and overhead position. These electrodes are used for welding medium and heavy section fabricationswhere higher weld quality, good mechanical properties and resistance to cracking (due to high restraint) are required.
low weld metal produces hydrogen
requires high welding currents/speeds
poor bead profile (convex and coarse surface profile)
slag removal difficult
Metal powder electrodes
contain an addition of metal powder to the flux coating to increase the maximumpermissible welding current level. Thus, for a given electrode size, the metal deposition rate and efficiency(percentage of the metal deposited) are increased compared with an electrode containing no iron powder in the
Page 2 of 76 Rm.Muthu Velan
coating. The slag is normally easily removed. Iron powder electrodes are mainly used in the flat and H/V positions totake advantage of the higher deposition rates. Efficiencies as high as 130 to 140% can be achieved for rutile and basicelectrodes without marked deterioration of the arcing characteristics but the arc tends to be less forceful whichreduces bead penetration.
Power source
Electrodes can be operated with AC and DC power supplies. Not all DC electrodes can be operated on AC powersources, however AC electrodes are normally used on DC.
Welding current
Welding current level is determined by the size of electrode - thenormal operating range and current are recommended bymanufacturers. Typical operating ranges for a selection of electrodesizes are illustrated in the table. As a rule of thumb when selecting asuitable current level, an electrode will require about 40A permillimeter (diameter). Therefore, the preferred current level for a4mm diameter electrode would be 160A, but the acceptable operatingrange is 140 to 180A.
What's new
Transistor (inverter) technology is now enabling very small and comparatively low weight power sources to beproduced. These power sources are finding increasing use for site welding where they can be readily transported fromjob to job. As they are electronically controlled, add-on units are available for TIG and MIG welding which increasethe flexibility. Electrodes are now available in hermetically sealed containers. These vacuum packs obviate the needfor baking the electrodes immediately prior to use. However, if a container has been opened or damaged, it isessential that the electrodes are redried according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Solid wire MIG welding
Metal inert gas (MIG) welding was first patented in the USA in 1949 forwelding aluminium. The arc and weld pool formed using a bare wireelectrode was protected by helium gas, readily available at that time.From about 1952 the process became popular in the UK for weldingaluminium using argon as the shielding gas, and for carbon steels usingCO
. CO
and argon-CO
mixtures are known as metal active gas (MAG)processes. MIG is an attractive alternative to MMA, offering highdeposition rates and high productivity.
Process characteristics
MIG is similar to MMA in that heat for welding is produced by formingan arc between a metal electrode and the work piece; the electrodemelts to form the weld bead. The main difference is that the metalelectrode is a small diameter wire fed from a spool. As the wire iscontinuously fed, the process is often referred to as semi-automatic welding.
Metal transfer mode
The manner, or mode, in which the metal transfers from the electrode to the weld pool largely determines theoperating features of the process. There are three principal metal transfer modes:
Short circuiting
Droplet / spray
PulsedShort-circuiting and pulsed metal transfer are used for low currentoperation while spray metal transfer is only used with high weldingcurrents. In short-circuiting or’ dip' transfer, the molten metal formingon the tip of the wire is transferred by the wire dipping into the weldpool. This is achieved by setting a low voltage; for a 1.2mm diameterwire, arc voltage varies from about 17V (100A) to 22V (200A). Care insetting the voltage and the inductance in relation to the wire feed speedis essential to minimise spatter. Inductance is used to control the surgein current which occurs when the wire dips into the weld pool.
Page 3 of 76 Rm.Muthu Velan

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