You are on page 1of 3

A large quantity of pipe to flange joints has to be fabricated for a piping cont ract.

The pipe outer diameter is 245 mm with a wall thickness of 5.8 mm. The pip e material is 316L stainless steel. The flange has a thickness of 25 mm; an oute r diameter of 335 mm and is forged from 0.25% carbon steel. Discuss the welding procedures that you would employ in the welding of these joi nts. Describe in detail, with reference to joint configuration, welding process, cons umables and equipment, the steps that you would implement to mechanise (automate ) the fabrication process to ensure consistent weld quality. State all assumptio ns made and motivate your decisions. ADVANCED WELDING PROCESSES PIPE: 316 L STAINLESS STEEL PIPE 5.8mm THICK FLANGE: CARBON STEEL In the welding of the above mentioned items, I would employ the following: 1 2 3 4 1 CARBON STEEL (P 1) TO STAINLESS STEEL (P 8) WPS/PQR APPLICABLE WELDER QUALIFICATIONS PREFERABLY A GTAW PROCESS A QUALITY PLAN WELDING PROCEDURE SPECIFICATION

A welding procedure specification (WPS) that addresses all the necessary essenti al variables regarding the welding of these items should be set up so as to prov e the contractor s competency in the successful execution of the job. The WPS should be drawn up from a procedure qualification record (PQR). The welders should als o be qualified to the WPS and be issued with a welder qualification record (WQR) or welder performance qualification (WPQ). These terms are usually used interch angeably. These documents are mostly drawn up using the variables outlined in a code of construction such as ASME IX. Because the welding will be automated to speed up fabrication and welding time, the WPS/PQR should be set up accordingly. The WPS should in essence address the differences between manual and automatic welding paying particular attention to the TECHNIQUE (QW-410), the ELECTRICAL CH ARACTERISTICS (QW-409) and the JOINT DESIGN (QW-402), all of which could signifi cantly change from a manual process. The choice of filler material would most pr obably be a 309 L bare wire, which is mostly used for joining dissimilar metals. The 309 L has a slightly higher % Cr at about 23-25% than 316 L, thus having a slightly better corrosion resistance at high temperatures, although 316 L is per fectly acceptable, it s just what I would choose in this instance. The choice of a groove weld may be the better one mostly for the longevity of th e WPS since according to ASME IX; groove welds range of qualification covers fil let welds as well (QW-451). The joint design applicable for welding these flange s to this pipe would probably be a fillet weld (assuming these are slip-on flang es).

WELDER PERFORMANCE QUALIFICATION

Obviously the welding operator should be suitably qualified to operate the autom ation of the process. This has to be carried out according to the WPS. This incl udes the setting or programming of travel speed, amperages, gas etc. All of whic h has to be set up with data from the WPS. The operator s ability to control the aut omated process should be suitably tested.

CHOICE OF WELDING PROCESS

My choice regarding the GTAW process is mainly due to the lower heat input and t he overall cleanliness of the final weld bead. The GTAW process is relatively fr ee from weld spatter which will become a problem on the inside of the pipe to fl ange arrangement (spatter could fall onto the machined faces of the flange). There are various types of automated GTAW welding machines available. The most c ommon are the ORBITAL machines available from specialist suppliers.

GTAW TORCH HEAD WITH WIRE FEEDER The automated orbital head can rotate to any angle required for access to the we ld joint. Although it can be fixed to a chain or track around the pipe, it is ty pically fixed to a flat position while the pipe can rotate to facilitate the wel ding of the joint. One could use multiple heads and feeders to do multiple passe s of weld metal depending on the thicknesses required.

Mostly, companies choose mechanisation over manual welding due to high productiv ity rates and the human factor in that there are no industrial relations with machine y. Therefore the initial setup costs soon start to become economical as the proc ess implementation eases out. Also, due to the 5.8mm thickness of pipe, huge deposition rates such as those pu t down by SAW (Submerged Arc Welding) are not really necessary. GTAW can lay dow n decent passes at a low heat input which is advisable for the joining of stainl ess to carbon steels. Another factor would be the speed of the wire. This impact s on the heat input and the amperage, depending on the machine used. Another imp ortant factor in automation/mechanisation is the duty cycle. Given a duty cycle of around 70%, this should increase productivity to around 300%, which is very s ignificant when costing a job. Being that these items are mainly pipe to flange, one can assume that there will few, if any, site welds to be made. This is impo rtant because it may be very difficult to use this process in the field. The systems are on the market today generally have the following components: - A weld head which carries and manipulates the torch. - A power source which provides weld head control and programming, as well as cu rrent output. - A remote pendant for system control at a distance from the power source. - A water recirculation to provide torch and possibly weld head cooling. 4 QUALITY CONTROL PLAN

A Quality Control Plan (QCP) should be submitted and approved for the control of each step in the fabrication of these items. This becomes even more important d ue to the fact that there is stainless steel involved and there needs to be appr opriate protection from contamination. While the pipes will ultimately be attach ed to carbon steel, there should be steps taken to minimise the contamination of the rest of the pipe as well. QCP s lay out the fabrication and welding processes i n a logical fashion as well as setting various intervention points for the invol vement of quality personnel and inspections. A typical QCP for the job at hand w ould entail some of the ff: 1 APPROVAL OF DOCUMENTATION (Review and Approval of drawings, welding documentation, quality forms and systems etc.)

2 e es, 3 y 4 oring 5 ts for Witness

PREPARATION AND HANDLING OF MATERIAL (This includes steps taken to handl stainless steel, separation of material and consumables, stores procedur certifications and compilation of data) FABRICATION (Fit-Up Checks, Tacking and checking of dimensions by Qualit Personnel) WELDING (Setup of variables and programming of equipment, welding, monit of welding, cleaning of final weld) INSPECTIONS (Continual inspections of fabrication and welding, Hold Poin client and third party inspection involvement, Surveillance, Review and of entire process)

From a Quality perspective, accurate detailing and execution of a Quality Plan c an save a company time and money and ensure the best quality possible. It will a lso document every step of the quality cycle and can be used for similar jobs in the future.