1 Welding Inspection

Submerged Arc Welding

TWI Training & Examination Services
Course Reference WIS 5

Submerged Arc Welding Introduction
• Submerged arc welding was developed in the Soviet Union during the 2nd world war for the welding of thick section steel. • The process is normally mechanized. • The process uses amps in the range of 100 to over 2000, which gives a very high current density in the wire producing deep penetration and high dilution welds. • A flux is supplied separately via a flux hopper in the form of either fused or agglomerated. • The arc is not visible as it is submerged beneath the flux layer and no eye protection is required.

SAW Principle of operation

Submerged Arc Welding Filler wire spool Flux hopper Power supply - + Slide rail Flux Wire electrode .

SAW Basic Equipment Transformer/ Rectifier Welding carriage control unit Welding carriage Electrode wire reel Power return cable Power control panel Granulated flux Granulated flux .

Principles of operation Factors that determine whether to use SAW chemical composition and mechanical properties required for the weld deposit • thickness of base metal to be welded • joint accessibility • position in which the weld is to be made • frequency or volume of welding to be performed SAW methods Semiautomatic Mechanised Automatic .

most of the power sources Constant Current (drooping) .SAW equipment Power sources can be: • • transformers for AC transformer-rectifiers for DC Static characteristic can be: • • Constant Voltage (flat) .

SAW equipment Constant Voltage (Flat Characteristic) power sources: • • • • • • most commonly used supplies for SAW can be used for both semiautomatic and automatic welding self-regulating arc simple wire feed speed control wire feed speed controls the current and power supply controls the voltage applications for DC are limited to 1000A due to severe arc blow (also thin wires!) .

ARC CHARACTERISTICS Constant Voltage Characteristic OCV Large arc gap Small arc gap Small change in voltage = large change in amperage Volts The self adjusting arc. Amps .

control of burn off rate and stick out length can be used for both semiautomatic and automatic welding not self-regulating arc must be used with a voltage-sensing variable wire feed speed control more expensive due to more complex wire feed speed control arc voltage depends upon wire feed speed whilst the power source controls the current cannot be used for high-speed welding of thin steel .SAW equipment Constant Current (Drooping Characteristic) power sources: • • • • • • • Over 1000A .very fast speed required .

ARC CHARACTERISTICS Constant Current/Amperage Characteristic OCV Large change in voltage = Smaller change in amperage Volts Large arc gap Welding Voltage Small arc gap Amps .

SAW equipment Welding heads Flux recovery system Flux hopper Feed roll assembly Wire feed motor Torch assembly Tracking system Contact tip Courtesy of ESAB AB Wire reel Slides .

SAW equipment Welding heads can be mounted on a: Tractor type carriage • • provides travel along straight or gently curved joints can ride on tracks set up along the joint (with grooved wheels) or on the workpiece itself can use guide wheels as tracking device due to their portability. are used in field welding or where the piece cannot be moved Courtesy of ESAB AB • • Courtesy of ESAB AB .

they are use mostly in the workshop Courtesy of ESAB AB .SAW Equipment Welding heads can be mounted on a: Column / Beam carriage •provides linear travel only •are capable of linear motion in 3 axes •because workpiece must be brought to the weld station.

SAW operating variables • welding current • current type and polarity • welding voltage • travel speed • electrode size • electrode extension • width and depth of the layer of flux .

SAW operating variables Welding current •controls depth of penetration and the amount of base metal melted dilution .

also a high and narrow bead solidification cracking •too low current incomplete fusion or inadequate penetration •excessively low current unstable arc . undercut. burn through.SAW operating variables Welding current •too high current excessive excess weld metal (waste of electrode) increase weld shrinkage and causes greater distortions •excessively high current digging arc.

better resistance to porosity •DCEN increase deposition rate but reduce penetration (surfacing) •AC used to avoid arc blow.SAW operating variables Current type and polarity •Usually DCEP deep penetration. can give unstable arc .

SAW operating variables Welding voltage •welding voltage controls arc length •increase in voltage produce a flatter and wider bead •increase in voltage increase flux consumption •increase in voltage tend to reduce porosity •an increased voltage may help bridging an excessive root gap •an increased voltage can increase pick-up of alloying elements from an alloy flux .

SAW operating variables Welding voltage •low voltage produce a “stiffer” arc improves penetration in a deep weld groove and resists arc blow •excessive low voltage produce a high narrow bead difficult slag removal .

SAW operating variables Welding voltage •excessively high voltage produce a “hat-shaped” bead tendency to crack •excessively high voltage increase undercut make slag removal difficult in groove welds •excessively high voltage produce a concave fillet weld that is subject to cracking .

SAW operating variables Travel speed •increase in travel speed decrease heat input less filler less excess weld metal metal applied per unit of length weld bead becomes smaller .

SAW operating variables Travel speed •excessively high speed lead to undercut. arc blow and porosity •excessively low speed produce “hat-shaped” beads danger of cracking •excessively low speed produce rough beads and lead to slag inclusions .

SAW operating variables Electrode size •at the same current. small electrodes have higher higher deposition rates current density .

thin gage). increase electrode extension •excessive electrode extension it is more difficult to maintain the electrode tip in the correct position .SAW operating variables Electrode extension •increased electrode extension adds resistance in the welding circuit increase in deposition rate decrease in penetration and bead width •to keep a proper weld shape. voltage must also be increased •when burn-through is a problem (e.g. when electrode extension is increased.

SAW operating variables Depth of flux •depth of flux layer influence the appearance of weld •usually. depth of flux is 25-30 mm •if flux layer is to deep arc is too confined rough ropelike appearing weld result a •if flux layer is to deep gases cannot escape the surface of molten weld metal becomes irregularly distorted •if flux layer is too shallow flashing and spattering will occur poor appearance and porous weld .





SAW technological variables Travel angle effect .Butt weld on plates Penetration Excess weld metal Tendency to undercut Deep Maximum Severe Moderate Moderate Moderate Shallow Minimum Minimum .

Fillet welds on plate in the HV position Typical work angle = 40° Smaller work angles reduce penetration Larger work angles increase penetration .SAW technological variables Effect of work angle .

SAW technological variables Effect of electrode position .Fillet welds on plate in the flat position Correct Exception .when more than usual amount of penetration is required .

Circumferential welds •too little displacement slag spills out of the weld •too much displacement slag runs ahead welding head .SAW technological variables Effect of electrode position .

SAW technological variables Earth position Direction of travel •welding towards earth produces backward arc blow •deep penetration •convex weld profile •little resistance to porosity + .

SAW technological variables Earth position Direction of travel •welding away earth produces forward arc blow •normal penetration depth •smooth. even weld profile •high resistance to porosity + .

Weld backing Backing strip Backing weld Copper backing .

Starting/finishing the weld .

SAW variants
Twin wire SAW welding •two electrodes are feed into the same weld pool •wire diameter usually 1,6 to 3,2 mm •electrodes are connected to a single power source a single arc is established •normally operate with DCEP arc blow •offers increased deposition rate by up to 80% compared to single wire SAW

SAW variants

Wires can be oriented for maximum or minimum penetration

SAW variants
Tandem arc SAW process •usually DCEP on lead and AC on trail reduce arc blow •requires two separate power sources •the electrodes are active in the same puddle BUT there are 2 separate arcs •increased deposition rate by up to 100% compared with single wire SAW

SAW variants SAW tandem arc with two wires Courtesy of ESAB AB .

travel speed limited by undercut.highest deposition rate Twin pool .SAW variants Single pool . very resistant to porosity and cracks .

8 kg/hr •tandem two 4 mm wires at 600 A 13.6 kg/hr Courtesy of ESAB AB .multiple wires •only for welding thick sections (>30 mm) •not suitable for use in narrow weld preparations (root passes) •one 4 mm wire at 600 A 6.SAW variants Tandem arc SAW process .

SAW variants Strip cladding •requires a special welding head (sometime problems with arc stability) •can be applied on complicated shapes (e. dished heads) •higher productivity and smaller dilution than twin arc process •strip electrode more expensive than wire .g.

SAW variants Strip cladding .

8° Courtesy of ESAB AB .SAW variants Narrow groove welding max.

SAW variants Narrow gap welding •for welding thick materials •less filler metal required •requires special groove preparation and special welding head •requires special fluxes. otherwise problems with slag removal •defect removal is very difficult Courtesy of ESAB AB .

SAW variants Narrow gap welding .

SAW variants Cold wire welding •the cold wire is not connected to power source •increase deposition rates up to 75% •high deposition rate at fixed heat input results in lower penetration! .

SAW variants Hot wire welding much more •the hot wire is connected to power source efficient than cold wire (current is used entirely to heat the wire!) •increase deposition rates up to 100% •requires additional welding equipment. additional control of variables. considerable set-up time and closer operator attention .

reduced penetration and dilution from parent metal higher impact strength •metal powders can modify chemical composition of final weld deposit •does not increase risk of cracking •do not require additional arc energy •metal powder can be added ahead or directly into the weld pool . improved bead appearance.SAW variants SAW with metal powder addition •increased deposition rates up to 70%. increased welding speed •gives smooth fusion.

SAW variants SAW with metal powder addition •forward-feed powder addition .

SAW variants SAW with metal powder addition •magnetic attachment of powder •SAW with metal cored wires .

SAW variants Storage tank SAW of circular welds Courtesy of ESAB AB .

Submerged Arc Welding Process (SAW) Submerged arc welds are difficult to predict as the weld is made up of three elements. The dilution may be as much as 60% resulting in a high susceptibility to solidification cracking 15% 60% 25% Flux elements Electrode Dilution .

high productivity • deep penetration allowing the use of small welding grooves • fast travel speed. giving a higher duty cycle and low skill level required • provide consistent quality when performed automatic or mechanised • Virtually assured radiographically sound welds • arc is not visible • little smoke/fumes are developed . less distortion • deslagging is easier • uniform bead appearance with good surface finish and good fatigue properties • can be easily performed mechanised. high deposition rates (up to 10 times those for MMA).Advantages of SAW • high current density.

creep resisting. impact strength of weld metal/HAZ may be low. low alloy. handling and recirculation control difficult to apply on-site due to complicated equipment high capital costs weld line must be regular (straight or circumferential seams only) with accurate fit-up . also high dilution slag must be cleared away after welding due to the danger of slag inclusions need flux storage.Disadvantages of SAW • • • • • • • • limited mainly between flat and horizontal positions limited to carbon. stainless steels and nickel alloys due to the high heat input.

Submerged Arc Welding Advantages • Low weld-metal cost • Easily automated • Low levels of ozone • High productivity • No visible arc light • Minimum cleaning Disadvantages • Restricted welding positions • Arc blow on DC current • Shrinkage defects • Difficult penetration control • Limited joints .

Any Questions .

Questions Submerged Arc Welding Process QU 1. which require inspection QU 5. Generally what power source characteristic is required for the SAW welding process QU 4. State the possible problems when using damp and contaminated fluxes when using the sub-arc process QU 2. State three main items of sub-arc fluxes. State the advantages and disadvantages of the sub-arc welding process . QU 3. State the two flux types used in the sub-arc welding process.