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Flux Cored Welding





If you think you know the Flux Cored Process, try Ed's Weld Test

 

Ed's Flux Cored Books & Process Control Train Resources



Ed's one million dollar FCA pipe weld cost reduction, for Imperial Oil Canada



This web site was started in the 1990s long before the word blog. You will note on the site that the date is often added when the comments were made. You will also note with time, the common, global daily weld issues that never seem to change.


Flux Cored and MIG Pipe welding.
Weld applications, info and the usual weld process myths.





1973 or 2013, so whats new in your weld shop?

The hardest thing to introduce in a weld shop is change.



Did you know that the majority of all optimum, vert up. 0.045 E71T-1 pipe and plate welds are made at one simple weld setting. 11 o'clock position with 24 cups of coffee. If you would like to optimize all MIG and flux cored welds in your shop you may want to look at my process controls - best practices teaching and training programs.


THE FLUX CORED PROCESS, SUFFERED & SLOW EVOLUTION:


Two words best describe the gas shielded flux cored process evolution, "retarded growth"

It's amazing in 2013, that more than 30 years after the introduction of small diameter, gas shielded flux cored wires, the number of global weld shops especially in the construction, oil and power industries that have not got control of this process, or rather than use flux cored they still insist on using the inderior. much more costly Stick (SMAW) process.


In the pipe, tank and pressure vessel industry, the evolution of both the flux cored and MIG processes has been painfully slow, especially in industries where weld management lack MIG or Flux Cored weld process control expertise.

The global lack of MIG - FCA weld process control expertise, is a sad state of affairs, especially when all it takes, is for the weld decision maker to read and provide my Best MIG - FCA Weld Practices & Process Controls Self Teaching - Training Resources.


THE BEST PROCESS TO REAR IT'S HEAD IN THREE DECADES, IT'S EASIER TO USE THAN ANY OTHER PIPE WELD PROCESS. IT'S 300% FASTER THAN TIG. IT'S BETTER QUALITY HAN MANUAL TIG AND AUTOMATED HOT WIRE TIG. IT REQUIRES NO WELD GRINDING. IT PRODUCES THE LOWEST WELD FUMES. IT PROVIDES THE LOWEST WELD HEAT WITH THE BEST METAALURGICAL PROPERTIES. IT'S A PROCESS I BOUGHT TO NORTH AMERICA AND IT'S CALLED TIP TIG.

Note: As we head in to 2013, I hope the new welding generation will quickly evaluate and embrace the world's best, manual pipe welding process which was developed in Austria. My partner Tom OMalley and I introduced this important process to North America. When you have a moment, please take a look at the TIIP TIF weld process at tiptigusa.com.







June 12. 2009. Welcome to the first real practical advance in manual pipe - vessel welding and cladding process technology during the last four decades, the process is called." TIP TIG"


The above Sieman P91 pipe joints used to be manually welded with traditional TIG and SMAW, and the weld times was approx. 3 hours per-joint. The welds you see in the pictures are now made with the TIP TIG process and the defect free welds took less than 50 minutes per-joint. In contrast to traditional manual TIG - pulsed MIG and Flux Cored process, the TIP TIG process is easier to use and will always produces superior weld quality and superior metallurgical properties.


QA & WELD PROCESS ISSUES:
E-mail Question: Sept. 2007:


Hi Ed. My AWS approved weld inspector was working with a new application using 316 stainless flux cored wires. We had not used this weld wire before, so he set up a weld qualification test. The weld inspector ran the procedure with the 316 flux cored wire and a helium tri mix containing 90% He / 7.5% Ar / 2.5% CO2 . The welds look cold, and when we sectioned the welds, we found lack of fusion, porosity and slag inclusions. The inspector told me that he got the gas info from AWS and they said the tri mix could be used for this. I think he's made a mistake. I have never heard or seen where the tri mix can be used for flux cored. Ed, do you know if the welds can pass mechanical test requirements with this helium tri mix.

Ed's Answer: It's hard to believe that 30 years after the introduction of steel and stainless flux cored weld wires by the way that have typically only used argon 20-25% CO2 and straight CO2, that someone who received training from the AWS and has a responsible role in a weld shop would try to qualify stainless flux cored welds with a helium tri mix.

With the highly inert tri-gas mix, you will have extensive lack of weld fusion, extensive porosity and slag entrapment. You will also create welds that exceed their maximum strength and have lost ductility.




When weld personnel play around with MIG or Flux Cored controls,
this means the mangement has not provided what?


In the world where too many hands off managers, supervisors don't question why welders “play around”with their MIG or flux cored weld controls, it’s not hard to understand why weld issues are so common and weld costs are poorly understood.




THE BIGGER THE WELD PROJECT, the greater the the weld cost savings:

Tremendous weld cost reduction potential is always found in ship yards, construction projects, refineries, oil platforms and of course at the other
end of the spectrum, the infamous, global auto - truck plants:

 




YOU WOULD THINK THAT IN THE INDUSTRIES THAT PROVIDE THE MOST WELDS PER APPLICATION, THAT THERE WOULD BE THE GREAT PROCESS EXPERTISE AND THE GREATEST MANAGEMENT FOCUS ON WELD QUALITY, PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS.

[] WELD FACT:
NO ONE USES MORE FLUX CORED WIRES THAN A SHIP YARD.

[] WELD FACT:
NO ONE HAS GREATER WELD REPAIRS & REWORK COSTS PER FOOT OF WELD, THAN A SHIP YARD.


2000 NOTE: THE WELD REALITY: WITH WELD REWORK COST PER-SHIP IS FREQUENTLY MEASURED IN THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, LESS THAN FIVE PERCENT OF GLOBAL SHIP YARDS HAVE ESTABLISHED BEST MIG / FLUX CORED WELD PRACTICES AND PROVIDED THEIR EMPLOYEES WITH MIG AND FLUX CORED WELD PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING: PLEASE NOTE, SKILLS TRAINING, IS NOT PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING.


USING MY UNIQUE MIG AND FLUX CORED BEST WELD PRACTICES / PROCESS TRAINING PROGRAMS. TAKE A LOOK AT THE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR COST SAVINGS I ACHIEVED AT AT AKER IN THE PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIP YARD.


In 2007, I presented a manual flux cored weld process control training program to Aker Kvaerner, an international ship Builder, located at the the Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard.

The 300 plus welders in the yard used E71T-1 (1.2 mm) flux cored wires to weld all position, vee groove, 12 to 25mm, steel joints with ceramic backing. Like most ship yards, the Aker weld training focus was on stick welding and particular attention would be focussed on the "welder's skills". Of course like any ship yard, all the welders had to pass the all position, flux cored weld qualification tests and it was commom to find welds as shown on the right.

As with most ship yards, the welder's qualification test and weld procedures utililized at the yard had little in common with the real world weld requirements and weld application variables found in the yard.

It's commom in many large fabrication facilities to find a general lack of both MIG and flux cored weld process control expertise. Its also too common in ship yards to find that many of the weld personnel lack an awareness of the unique flux cored weld process control requirements necessy for all position vee groove, ceramic backed welds.





After establishing the ground work for uniform Best Weld Practices with the weld equipment and consumables, all the welders and supervisors in the yard participated in my unique Gas Shielded Flux Cored Weld Best Practices - Process Control Training Program.

The training program focussed on the flux cored Weld and Consumable Process - Parameter and Control requirements, with the required Best Weld Practices necessary for all position, groove welds with open root ceramic backing.


In a time of welder shortage, when many companies find it difficult to interrupt their daily productivity, management take note, my easy to present, process control training program requires eight to ten hours classroom time to present. You than provide four hours with hands on time to enable the weld personnel to use what was taught in the classroom. In a few weeks, the weld training for the 300 plus welders, engineers and supervisors was complete, and the ship yard QA department started to analyze the results..

Three months after the process control the training, the Aker ship yard's quality control management indicated a 50 - 60 % reduction in the required weld rework per-ship. The ship yard reported that the reduced weld rework, labor and NDT costs, would result in a cost savings of approx. $4.5 million per-ship.



THE WELD COST BENEFITS THAT CAN BE DERIVED FROM A FEW HOURS OF CUSTOM PROCESS CONTROL TRAINING:
Examine the real world ship yard weld cost reductions and benefits for Ed's unique training program that is so simple you dont need weld expertise to present it. The training program required 300 weld personnel x 8 man/hr. = 2400 man hours at an approx. $30/hr, = base labor cost for the ship yard of $72,000. for the training. To this add the actual training costs of approx. $100,000 = for a total training costs of approx. $172,000.


INITIAL WELD COST SAVINGS: With weld rework costs lowered by 4.5 million dollars per-ship and training costs approx. $172,000, its not hard to figure out if the training was cost effective. Also an unreported fact from this yard was the changes that I established in the new weld procedure wire feed settings. The increased flux cored wire feed rates, (weld deposition rates) increased the daily weld productivity per-man in a range from 20 to 40%.


Some of you may wonder what's the difference between this type of weld training program and the MIG and flux cored weld training you could expect in any North American, Korean, Chinese, Japanese or European ship yard?

For decades conventional welder training in ship yards or manufacturing plants has focussed on the welders skills, especially on stick (SMAW) welding skills which is ironic as this low deposition high rework proce has nothing in common with eith the MIG or flux cored process. With the conventional flux cored training, it's not unusual for weld personnel to have many weeks of hands on training at the ship yards and at the training completion find out they will;

[a] play round with the MIG equipment weld controls,
[b] utilize the FCA weld controls in a very limited manner,
[c] rarely utilize the best FCA weld practices - techniques for the specific applications.



 

 

As you can see with above the left picture, we have a vertical up vee goove weld made by one of the ship yard welders who like many welders in the yard should never have been allowed near a weld power source. This individual, (will not call hime a welder) was out there in the yard making welds all over the ships, using poor skills, poor techniques and poor gas shielded (CO2) flux cored weld settings. The other, above untouched, vertical up, flux cored welds were made by the same welder after a few hours of my training program.

On the left, before my flux cored weld process control training, and on the right, after the eight hours of classroom training. The vertical up weld on the right using the same consumables was not optimum, but it did pass an X-Ray evaluation, and for the ship yard, thats money in their bank account.


The flux cored weld process control training I provide, as with all my training programs, was simlified and enabled each individual to achieve process optimization for the consumables and for applications welded. For the weld personnel who took the process control training, the program enabled these individuasl (and the QA personnel) with the ability to instantly set optimum weld parameters for the consumables utilized, and for the many weld joint variables that was common to the applications in this yard.

Even when the welders have good skills, this type of training allows them to optimize the performance of the tools (weld equipment) they uses which increases the welder's weld quality and productivity capability. What was also important, was each welder became aware of the unique flux cored weld parameters and technique requirements necessary to address the extensive different size root gaps over the ceramic. With all weld personnel the process training will ensure weld productivity will typically be increased in the 20 to 40% range and their will be an instant reduction in lack of weld fusion, slag entrapment and porosity defects.

The improvements by all the welders was immediately noticed by the ship yard QA management who measured the dramatic improvements evident through NDT and radiographs. The bottom line was of course the dramatic four plus million dollars cost reduction that Aker generatted from the reduction in the required daily weld rework.



Aker gained 4 million dollars from a weld training cost of $170.000. By the way, few global ship yards or manufacturing facilities examine the cost effectiveness of the training programs they develop.

For example, instead of an eight hour training program, if the ship yard was to provide a forty hour welder training program for 300 welders in any North American facility, and the minimal labor training and associated costs will be approx. $500,000. Plus the yard would have lost 12000 production hours.


Special thanks to Tom O'Malley the owner of Excell. Tom's company is the prime weld products supplier to the Philadelphia Naval Ship yard. Tom provided the facilities and equipment for the weld training. Tom also assisted Ed with the program in both the classroom and hands on training. Tom was one of those rare owners of a weld supply company that actually spends many hours per-week evaluating weld processes equipment and consumables.






If you are teaching your self, or providing weld process control training for others, the following weld resources are the key to attaining MIG and flux cored weld process optimization.

Item.1. The Book:"A Management & Engineers Guide To MIG Weld Quality, Productivity & Costs"

Item 2. A unique Robot MIG training - self teaching resource.

Item 3. A unique manual MIG training - self teaching resource.

Item. 4. A unique Flux cored training or self teaching resource.

Item 5a."Proceso de Soldadura MIG Manual"
(MIG Made Simple. Self teaching in Spanish).


Item 6a.The Self Teaching MIG Book/ Video.

Visit Ed's MIG / Flux Cored weld Best Practices - Process control books and CD training resources.






For those young guys getting into the weld business, remember weld process - application diversity, makes for a great weld engineer, technician, supervisor, and one day a weld manager.








This is the world in which global weld shops now compete.


 

There is always a place for SMAW welding, but from a weld quality and productivity and cost perspective, management needs to ensure it's use is limited.





SMAW: Stick welding, a weld process which for some applications like specific all position pipe welds will require dexterity and skills, however it's also a very simple, single control process which requires from the operator "minimum weld process control expertise".

There will always be a place for highly skilled stick welders and a pipe application with difficult access or poor root fit is a great one.

The industries that today pride themselves on their manual SMAW / TIG weld skills typically are the industries which for decades have been the most resistant to change.
They need to look at TiP TiG.


 


IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR, YOU SHOULD
NOT BE AT THIS SITE OR IN THE WELDING INDUSTRY

A sad Ed Joke.



I WANTED TO CREATE A PIPE WELDING ROBOT:




A SIX AXIS ROBOT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ONE OF THE
MOST VERSATILE TOOLS THAT COULD BE USED
FOR AUTOMATED PIPE WELDS.

.

During 1997, when robots were wonky and soft ware was unreliable, I set this robot To weld a 48 inch pipe. I used an ABB robot and used short circuit transfer for the vertical down root. I made the robot pipe fill pass welds in the vertical up position using an 0.052 (1.4mm) Alloy Rod Dual Shield E71T-1 wire with 80% Argon - 20% C02. This vertical up flux cord weld, produced a weld deposition rate of approx. "11 pounds an hour"

At that time, The high flux cored weld deposition rate, combined with the fast robot movement between welds, (faster than any other available automated pipe weld equipment) provides greater single gun pipe line weld production potential than any other available automated pipe weld unit using a single gun.

A robot can provide many unique features for pipe welds.

[a] accurate, flexible through the arc weld joint tracking,
[b] adaptive controls that can compensate for different welding conditions,
[c] super fast speeds between welds,
[d] superior communication with the welding power source. Combined these features offer the world's greatest automated pipe welder.

1997: Just imagine, one day we may then see two small robots hanging down, mounted on a "ROBO RIG" truck, that traverses that Texas, Canadian or Middle East pipe line producing weld deposition rates of 22 lb/hr.

 


1997: At this time the pulsed MIG process was an electronic joke.

In 1997: ED' CREATED (IN HIS MIND) THE "ROBO RIG"

[] My 1997 Robo Rig would have two robots hanging upside down using either the pulsed MIG or FCAW process. With the Robo Rig you would have a highly flexible robot unit that offers automatic touch joint sensing, through the arc impedance joint tracking, and adaptive weld controls that would readily compensate for any pipe joint deviations.
For that pipe line, drive the Robo Rig to the weld joint. In less than 10 seconds, the robots or robot will locate the pipe bevel and pipe root, in contrast setting track for two less flexible, two axis mechanized carriages can easily take 20 to 30 minutes.


[] With the pulsed MIG or flux cored weld deposition rates from the two robots at approx 20lb/hr, the Robot Rig will dramatically reduce the total pipe weld time and the superior joint tracking will improve the weld quality. Also at the end of a fill pass weld, a robot can be in place to weld the next fill pass within 5 seconds.

[] The Robo Rig will have a flexibility that far surpass any mechanized, automated pulsed MIG pipe welding carriage. This flexibility will optimize the robot weld gun positions for the all position pipe welds. The robot can automatically sense a weld direction or side wall dimension change and instantly provide weld speed, weld direction and process changes to compensate.

[] The Robo Rig will have far superior communication and will store as many weld schedules as you will ever require. There is one reason this has never existed, its simply part of a dream..

 

 




WHEN IT COMES TO MANUAL MIG OR FLUX CORED PIPE WELD ISSUES IN THE CHEMICAL, OIL AND POWER INDUSTRIES, WELD PROCESS EXPERTISE WILL ALWAYS HAVE A GREATER IMPACT ON A PROJECT, THAN THE WELD DOLLARS SPENT ON COSTLY, SOPHISTICATED ELECTRONIC WELD EQUIPMENT.

 

 

Flux Cored Wires:

 

 


WHEN WELDING PIPE, CAREFULLY EVALUATE THE GAS SHIELDED FLUX CORED WIRES AVAILABLE AS THERE ARE SOME TERRIBLE FLUX CORED WIRE PRODUCTS OUT THERE.

IF YOU WANT TO SEE GOOD VERSUS MUNDANE ALL POSITION E71T-1 WIRES, COMPARE A GREAT RUNNING ESAB (ALLOY RODS) DUAL SHIELD OR KOBELCO WIRE AGAINST WHAT I BELIEVE IS A LESS THAN OPTIMUM LINCOLN, COREX OR HOBART FLUX CORED BRAND WIRES.



E-mail From John Hoffman. June 06/06:

Ed, I use all position 0.045 (1.2 mm) gas shielded flux cored wires for my pipe welds. I have been utilizing Lincoln's 71 M Outershield. I frequently get lots of porosity and worming. I would like to try something that works consistently. Ed what would you recommend?

Regards John.

Ed's answer: I have had many weld porosity and, worm track issues with the gas shielded, all position Lincoln flux cored wires and also found that in contrast to some other wires, the Lincoln wires also offer a lower, stable wire feed range, reducing the hourly weld deposition rate potential.


IF YOU WANT OPTIMUM AND CONSISTENT WELD PERFORMANCE FROM E71T-1 FLUX CORED WIRES, CONSIDER ESAB's ALLOY ROD WIRE OR KOBELCO FLUX CORED WIRES. HOWEVER IF YOU WANT DEFECT FREE WELDS USE THE TIP TIG PROCESS.








And the best power source for gas shielded
all position E71T-1 flux cored wires is?

Weld Fact: The lowest cost, CV MIG power source is better suited to flux cored wires than the most costly inverters or pulsed MIG welding equipment.





To avoid weld porosity, worm tracks and hydrogen cracks, do not purchase flux cored wires if they are not stored in vacumm packed sealed packages. Store your flux cored wires in a warm dry location.


The minute that flux cored wire is out of it's package if the shop is damp or humid or cold and damp, the weld wire is subject to moisture pickup and the welds will typically contain porosity, worm tracks or possibly hydrogen cracks..



E-mail 2005. Dear Ed. The weld process control data in your Management Engineers book has been great! As I read your book, it seems like you have been inside my brain. We are now breaking away from SMAW and GTAW and i will be implementing Flux Cored and MIG procedures on our pipe / pressure vessel welds. I will keep you informed and thank you for your work and process knowlege.

Matthew Panconi.
Executive Vice President.
Sylvan Piping NJ.



Imperial Oil Pipe Weld Research Project: Ed managing
& testing MIG - flux cored wires on Nat Gas Pipe..




IN 2003, ED MANAGED A PIPE WELD PROCESS RESEARCH PROJECT FOR IMPERIAL OIL, ALBERTA, CANADA, (THE COLD LAKE PIPE WELD PROJECT). THE PURPOSE OF THE PIPE WELDING RESEARCH, TO EVALUATE THE LINCOLN STT MODE VERSUS TRADITIONAL SHORT CIRCUIT FOR THE ROOT AND ALSO COMPARE DIFFERENT MIG, METAL CORED AND FLUX CORED WIRES FOR THE PIPE FILL PASSES.


PIPE MIG WELD WIRES: IF YOU WANT OPTIMUM, STEEL MIG WIRES FOR PIPE ROOT WELDS CHECK OUT AN ESAB OR LINCOLN L50, WIRE VERSUS THE POORER PERFORMING, COMMONLY USED E70S-X K NOVA MIG PIPE WIRES AVAILABLE FROM THYSSEN.

THE THYSSEN MIG WIRE I USED FOR THE COLD LAKE PIPE ROOT RESEARCH PRODUCED A SLUGGISH, FAST FREEZE, SHORT CIRCUIT WELD, A WELD POORLY SUITED FOR ANY PIPE APPLICATION.

DURING THE PIPE WEL AND WELD CONSUMABLES TEST, I ALSO EVALUATED A NUMBER OF METAL CORED WIRES FOR THE PIPE ROOT WELDS, AS I SUSPECTED WITH TRADITIONAL SHORT CIRCUIT TRANSFER THE METAL CORED WIRES PROVIDED NO WELD BENEFITS.

FOR THE PIPE RESEARCH PROJECT, I ALSO TRIED E80S- D2 MIG WIRES FOR THE ROOT, THESE HIGHER TENSILE MIG WIRES PRODUCED GOOD WETTING IN THE ROOT WELDS AND WITH THE LINCOLN STT PROCESS, THERE WAS NO ISSUES WITH THE E80S-D2 WIRE.

WITH SHORT CIRCUI
T TRANSFER, THE ROOT WELDS WITH THE 80S-D2 WIRES PRODUCED A VERY BENEFICIAL FLAT SURFACE, ALWAYS LESS CONVEX THAN THE TRADITIONAL E70S-X MIG WIRES. KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE HIGH STRENGTH WIRES OFFER LESS DUCTILITY THAT THE E70S-X WIRE SO WHEN WELDING THE PIPE FILL PASSES, THE 80S COULD BE MORE PRONE TO HOT CRACKS IN THE SMALL ROOT WELDS. AT THE TIME OF THESE TESTS I DID NOT HAVE THE TIP TIG PROCESS WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE LIFE A LOT EASIER.

NOTE: IF YOU ROTATE YOUR PIPE JOINTS THE BEST PROCESS IS NOT FLUX CORED OR PULSED MIG, IT'S CONVENTIONAL SPRAY TRANSFER.

 


Set the flux cored wire weld voltage so the tip of the wire is as close as
possible to the weld (arc length) without causing weld spatter

After setting the weld wire feed rate,
fine tune the arc length with the weld voltage control.






Confused about European Pipe Specs? you should be.





Gas Shielded Flux Cored Wires.



YOU KNOW IF FEEMA APPROVES SOMETHING. THAT IT'S GOT TO BE SCREWED UP. THE WORLD'S "WORST WELD PROCESS" IS THE SELF SHIELDING FLUX CORED PROCESS. YOU MAY BE SURPRIZED TO FIND THE WELD PROBLEMS WITH THESE CONSUMABLE IN BOTH THE CONSTRUCTION AND AUTO INDUSTRY

 

HOW DOES A COST COMPETITIVE GLOBAL WELDING INDUSTRY CONTROL IT'S FLUX CORED OR MIG WELDING COSTS. WHEN FEW WELD SUPERVISORS ARE AWARE OF THE OPTIMUM WELD SETTING OR THE WELD DEPOSITION RATE POTENTIAL?


Weld deposition rates may drive weld costs, however in the global welding industry, it's rare to find a weld shop supervisor who is aware of the weld deposition rate they should be attaining for a specific flux cored or a MIG application.

With my unique flux cored and MIG process control programs. all a manager, supervisor, technician or welder has to do is provide a quick glance at any wire feed unit and they will instantly know the weld deposition being delivered and if the optimum weld settings are being utilized.

With the common USA gas shielded flux cored weld wires, be aware that for vertical up, structural / pipe / pressure vessel welds on carbon steels, you can attain a higher, stable weld deposition rate from a Kobelco / ESAB all position, gas shielded flux cored consumable than you can from a similar Lincoln - Hobart - Corex flux cored product?

When evaluating the all position gas shielded flux cored wire electrodes, to attain optimum welds in any position, you must first achieve a stable, small weld droplet transfer. When evaluating all position flux cored wires;

[a] As with the photo on the right, look for erratic large round weld drops that result from large globular weld transfer. This transfer typically occurs when the weld current (wire feed rate) and voltage is typically too low or you simply have purchased poor performing flux cored wires manuafactured likely in China - India or S. America.

The globular weld transfer will provide excess weld spatter, cause arc and weld stability issues, result in lack of weld fusion and destroy the contact tip especially in a pipe weld over head weld position.

[b] Examine how easy the flux cored weld slag can be removed from multi-pass, vee groove welds.

[c] Look at the wire feed range settings and evaluate the low end capability for thin wall applications and examine the maximum weld deposition that can be attained for the common type welds attained. My books and self teaching resources simplify this task and show both optimum wire feed settings and weld deposition rates.

[d] Examine the optimum flux cored settings in which you can control the weld puddle especially in the overhead and vertical up weld positions.

[e] Look at how much weld smoke produced at the high current settings.

[f] Check how frequently you encounter commom flux cored weld defects such as worm tracks and porosity.

[h] Check the quality of the wire winding on the spool and the protection from the flux cored wire package.



Provide MIG or flux cored process control training
and you can instantly make a welding pro.





THE BEST, NORTH AMERICAN, GAS SHIELDED FLUX CORED WIRES.

For the best all position E71T-1 gas shielded flux cored wires, I recommend either the ESAB 1.2 mm dual shield wires (This is an Alloy Rod wire and Alloy Rod developed these wires). I also strongly recommend any Kobelco argon CO2 and straight CO2 wires.

While I recommend the made in Cleveland Lincoln "L50" MIG wires, I have never recommended the Lincoln gas shielded flux cored products as I found there wires have created many weld issues for me. In their optimum weld parameter range, the all position Lincoln E71T1 wires that I tested, provided erratic weld transfer which suggests a wire chemistry imbalance and also extensive worm tracks resulted. In contrast to the ESAB / Kobelco wires, the Lincoln E71T-1 gas shielded wires also provided a narrower optimum weld parameter range, with less control of low and high amp settings. For the weld shop this means that the Lincoln wire I tested, would provide less weld deposition and less weld fusion potential for vertical and horizontal welds.


Remember with flux cored, the adjustment of the arc length is critical for vertical up weld control.

 

 

 

Volts too high = weld too fluid. Volts too low = weld spatter.


WANT TO SAVE A MILLION ON YOUR NEXT SMAW PIPE LINE PROJECT?
CLICK ON
" ED'S REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS".

 

IN THIS INDUSTRY PROCESS OPINIONS ARE OFTEN CHEAP. There are many engineers involved with pipe, pressure vessel fabrication and cladding that have strong negative opinions on the MIG, pulsed MIG and flux cored weld process, yet few of these engineers will have extensive MIG or flux cored weld process control expertise.

 

THE GREATEST PLACE FOR REALITY TV
SHOW. WOULD THE WELD SHOP IN A SHIP YARD.



IF YOU TOOK THE CULTURE OUT OF
THE WELD SHOP, LIFE WOULD BE BORING.

 

 

A message from Mr. Bubba Baxter Brown Junior. President of the BBBJ Oil Pipeline / Platform Inc..

" Boys, for this pipe here weld project, I want yea all to keep the automated and pipe weld equipment costs to a minimum. Ive known many of you since high school and Ive come to the conclusion that we need the ability on this project to keep the weld operation as simple as possible. Now I know that most of you are from Texas, however I want the key weld decision makers in this organization to minimize the "BS". When I ask you had better be ready to provide me with logical justification for the purchase of any sophisticated electronic bells and whistles you feel you need to weld this pipe line.


BBB junior continues. From now on I want my weld team to "ignore weld sales advice" and start making rational weld decisions for your selves. Dam it men, and I use the word men loosely, we need to cut through the BS that surrounds this MIG and flux cored weld process and stop hiring wimp wristed project managers and supervisors who spend most of their days getting advice from salesmen and who believe the only way to weld a pipe is the way we did it in 1960 with a Lincoln E60XX E70XX electrode.

Before the obease Bubba continues with his conversation he feels that he's getting a little too exited, and his blood pressure is getting pretty high. BBB takes a time out and asks his assistant to get him a Budwiser Beer, which in reality is just like having a glass of water. After a few burps;

BBB continues. "You boys take note because this is the bottom line":

[] I want this fabrication organization to be known as a cost affective, dynamic company that consistently delivers optimum weld quality and delivers it's products always on schedule.

[] I want this companie's weld decision makers to have the ability to differentiate between process and equipment bells and whistles and cost effective weld benefits.

[] I want this organization to ensure the weld processes utilized are made simple to operate and the equipment purchased is both logical and durable.

[] FinallyBubba finishes with, "by the way, I will shoot the next guy that tells me "that this is the way we have always done it". I want each engineer and manager in this organization to go home to night, look in the mirror and repeat the following three points.

[1] Buba has made me responsible and accountable for all the weld process decisions and issues daily generated in this organization.

[2] Bubba wants me to do my utmost to establish and maintain Best Weld Practices for this organization and for my sub contractors.

[3] Bubba wants me to ensure that all weld personnel involved in this companies welded products receive the Process Control Training necessary for Process Optimization.

 


2005: The slow and often painful weld process evolution..



After almost four decades after the development of small diameter, gas shielded flux cored wires by Alloy Rods, we still have weld engineers and managers in the oil, power and chemical industries, who would would rather have their applications welded with stick electrodes (1 - 1.5 lbs/hr) rather than with the superior, weld quality, easier to use, more cost effective flux cored process at 6 - 10 lb/hr.




PIPE WELDS & WELD PROCESS QUALIFIED?
Today, pipe line weld decision makers have many weld process and process combination choices when welding the pipe fill and root passes.

[1] Stick root / stick fill.
[2] Stick root / flux cored fill.
[3] Stick root / pulsed MIG fill.
[4] TIG root / stick fill.
[5] TIG root / TIG fill.
[6] TIG root / pulsed MIG fill.
[7] TIG root / flux cored fill.
[8] TIG root / metal cored fill.
[9] STT root / your choice for fill.
[10] CMT or RMD root / your choice pulsed or FCAW for fill.
[11] Globular MIG, Pulsed MIG for pipe ID and Pulsed MIG and flux cored for fill.

2013: For large scale pipe projects, multi-gun mecahanized pulsed MIG is the preferred choice. For manual pipe welds avoid pulsed MIG (lack of fusion see pulsed MIG section). The TIP TIG process should always be given first consideration for pipe applications.

Left photo: Ed was the project Weld Quality Manager during construction of Africa's largest power station built in Nigeria during the 1970s.

Note from Ed. One trip to Nigeria is enough for one life time.


There are always many opinions on the weld process and consumable selection for that pipe or pressure vessel application, yet over the years I have wondered how many people in the Oil - Energy industry are sufficiently "weld process qualified" to make a rational process choice for a pipe root pass when evaluating the Short Circuit, Globular, Spray - STT - CMT - RMD weld transfer modes?

Process knowlege is just one click away. or simply email Ed in the ecraig@weldreality.com.

 

 

IF CONFIDENT IN YOUR WELD PROCESS KNOWLEGE,
THE FOLLOWING WELD TEST WILL BE A BREEZE.


Weld process control is measured by weld process expertise, would you like to try this fundamental weld process control welding test?

WHEN AN INDUSTRY OR COMPANY SUFFERS FROM WELD PROCESS APATHY OR IS SLOW TO GRASP THE WELD BENEFITS DERIVED FROM UNDERSTANDING BEST WELD PRACTICES & WELD PROCESS CONTROLS, THE WELD DECISION MAKERS WILL OFTEN IMMERSE THEIR HEADS IN THE WELD SHOP SMOKE, BECOME THE COMPANY FIREMAN, SHY AWAY FROM WELD PROCESS CHANGE, NURTURE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE LOCAL WELD SALES REP AND IMMERSE THEIR WELD SHOP MANY USELESS WELD CONSUMABLES AND EQUIPMENT WITH OVER PRICED BELLS AND WHISTLES.



ED LOVES THE SMELL OF WELD SMOKE AND FEELING HIS SKIN BURN THROUGH THOSE USELESS GLOVES. HERE ED IS TESTING MIG SHORT CIRCUIT VERSUS STT / RMD MIG TRANSFER MODES FOR AN IMPERIAL OIL NAT GAS PROJECT.


 

2009: FROM MILLER. THE MULTIPURPOSE PIPE WORXPOWER SOURCE:

2009: I have to ask why would anyone waste $13.000.00 on this Miller multi-process power source, or waste $11.000 on the Lincoln STT / Power Wave to do manul pipe welds?. Miller believes that it's so called unique Pipe Worx has multi-process RMD - Pulsed MIG - Stick - FCAW - TIG attributes that benefit the weld shop.

The Miller RMD (Regulated Metal Deposition) process is used for the pipe root. RMD is simply an electronically modified, MIG short circuit transfer only suitable for all position open root pipe welds. Miller also belives it's pulsed MIG program is ideal for all position pipe fill, however many shops who use this process will find unexpected lack of weld fusion from the pulsed welds.

REMEMBER MECHANIZED PULSED MIG PIPE WELDS CAN WITH SPECIAL CONTROLS (SEE PULSED MIG) PROVIDE 100% X-RAY QUALITY. IN CONTRAST MANUAL PULSED MIG WELDS WILL TOO OFTEN PROVIDE LACK OF PIPE WELD FUSION.

It's ironic that with all the bells and whistles on the Miller equipment and the too often useless wave forms on the Lincoln weld equipment, that their over priced multi-purpose weld processes will never attain the weld quality or be as simple to use as the much lower cost TIP TIG process
.



Tip Tig is the world's best manual process for pipe shop welds



And the best power source for all position E71T-1 wires
is the lowest cost traditional CV MIG power source?





One of Ed's Process Control Resources.



If you want to establish Best Flux Cored Weld Practices and
Weld Process Control Training, you may want to consider.

Ed's UNIQUE BOOKS CD TRAINING RESOURCES.

 

BEFORE YOU RUN THE FLUX CORED PIPE FILL PASSES YOU NEED TO MAKE A DECISION ABOUT THE ROOT, IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE LINCOLN STT OR MILLER RMD FOR YOUR PIPE ROOT WELDS, AND YOU HAVE A REGULAR, MUCH LOWER COST, CV MIG POWER SOURCE, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING...


PIPE 1G ROOTS: For the external, "1G" horizontal rolled pipe root welds, set the a traditional low cost, ($2000) CV MIG process for "short circuit transfer" with an 0.035 (1 mm) wire, argon 20 - 25% CO2.

For the root short circuit weld, rotate the ant-clock wise with the gun a 2 pm. You are welding in the vertical down weld position using the drag technique. For the root prep provide an 0.080 land with a 0.100 - 0.125 root gap. Set the short circuit wire feed rate at 250 to 300 ipm (around
11 o'clock wire feed control position), with 17 to 18 volts. Let the
contact tip stick outside the gun nozzle. Start in the middle of a ground roo tack, (tacks should be 25 mm long and ground so the are approx
1.6 mm thick). Position the weld wire in the center of the pipe root gap and rotate the pipe anti-clock wise. Use the drag technique with the weld wire in the center of the root gap, short circuiting on the leading edge of the fast freeze weld puddle. With the root weld tie-ins, reduce the wire stick out to increase the weld energy. No root weld weaves are necessary for the root pass as long as the root gap dimensions are maintained. This traditional, CV low cost MIG process is simple to operate and always provides great results for the 1G pipe roots .

Note: Info like the above is available in my MIG process control training resources.




 



Pipe 5G ROOTS: For a mechanized rotating "internal 5G root weld", common with large pipe line welds, the root weld settings can be carried out with either MIG short circuit or globular mode, welding vertical down. For the globular MIG mode, use an 0.035 wire, a gas mix of 25% CO2 and a wire feed rate of of 400 to 500 IPM, (one to two o'clock) with 20 - 24 volts.

For the external root use the short circuit mode with wire feed at 250 inch/min 17 volts, use the pipe root gaps and edge prep dimensions mentioned for the 1G position. At the root overhead, 5 to 7 o'clock positions use an aggressive weave with a slight back hand to avoid the wire running through the root gap. For the 1 to 5 and 11 to 7 o'clock positions weld vert down the same technique as mentioned for 1G. For the top of the pipe at the 11 to 1 o'clock position use the drag (wire back to weld pool) with slight weave.

Photo: It took Ed 30 minutes to teach Jesse 11 years old Jesses on how put a root pass in a pipe. Using short circuit or the newer, modified MIG modes for the root welds requires minimal manual weld skills and typically will attain root weld speeds of approx. 15 ipm. As all pipe shops are aware it's important to maintain consistent root dimensions and good pipe alignment.

As root pass welds can be made with TIG, SMAW, pulsed MIG or modified short circuit MIG equipment, and a seperate weld process or consumable is required for the fill, perhaps its time to look at one process that provides the best weld quality for for both the root and tfill passes. Check out TIP TIG.


Ed bought Tip TiG to the USA in 2009. In the last six decades this is the
first real practical advance in manual pipe welding technology"


These P91 pipe joints used to be welded with traditional TIG and the weld time was 3 - 4 hours per-joint. The welds you see in the pictures are now made with the TIP TIG process and the defect free welds took 50 minutes per-joint. In contrast to traditional manual TIG - MIG and Flux Cored, the TIP TIG process is easier to use and always produces superior weld quality with the lowest possible weld heat. The TIP TIG process will provide Advanced TIG pipe welds at highly cost effective pulsed MIG deposition rates.



An Ed excuse for a welding Joke:


 

FCAW Process expertise. See how you do with the Flux Cored Quiz.


 


WELDERS WHO IN THE PAST HAVE BELIEVED THAT"SKILLS" ARE THE PRIMARY PREREQUISITE FOR ALL POSITION PIPE WELDS, NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT
WITH TODAY'S CHOICES OF TIP TIG, MIG MODES AND FLUX CORED;

WELD PROCESS CONTROL AND BEST WELD
PRACTICE EXPERTISE IS MORE IMPORTANT
RELEVANT THAN WELD SKILLS.




Weld Question from UK.

Hi Ed I love the site, it's a breath of fresh air. My name is Mick Brennan. I work in the UK and I have been involved with the welding offshore and cross country pipelines for close to 40 years. Much of my time is spent using the Mechanized MIG Process. Some of the ID MIG welds have involved combination Internal clamping and complex ID Weld Machines. This is a fine process but it can be very costly as the Pipe Ends require costly Internal Bevels and a Narrow Gap preparation on the outside. The money saved on less deposited metal and less welders gets eaten up with this unique Bevel Design and the use of a costly Internal Welder. Using this equipment on shorter pipelines < 20 Miles becomes uneconomical as the pipe weld equipment is usually rented in and a mob and demob fee erodes the potential profit.


INTERNAL PIPE ROOT WELDS: Ed. In your opinion, could a Root Pass be applied to a Pipe using a Mechanized External Welding device, welding vertically down in the 5G position, with a 60 Degree Bevel, 1.5 - 2.00 mm Gap. Using similar data to what we used for the pipe ID. Wire size 0.035. Weld speeds of approx. 30 IPM. from wire speeds 500 IPM. Wire stick out of 3" with 23.5 Volts measured at the Welding Tip. In this particular area would the Pulse process be beneficial as Top and Bottom are prone to burn through and the Vertical is prone to LOP as the puddle outruns the Welding Tip?

Regards
Mick Brennan. UK.



Ed's Answer:

INTERNAL PIPE ROOT WELDS: Mick as you know, controlled, internal, pipe weld roots can be made with 0.035 MIG wires with the correct wire feed stickouts of 3/4 to 1''. I recognize your long wire stick out reduces the root weld current and enables higher wire feed rates, but who gives a dam if a pipe root is done in 3 minutes or six minutes? What is important is doing the root weld with the best possible weld controll and that simply does not happen with a 3" wire stick out. The ID roots can be done with the recommended wire stick out and a short circuit wire feed rate of 250 to 300 IPM with 17 to 19 volts. Also controlled globular transfer wire feed 350 to 450 ipm with, 20 to 23 volts. The MIG settings you provide, with a long wire stick out, WF 500 ipm - 23.5 volts are simply globular transfer.


20013: EXTERNAL PIPE ROOT WELDS: The MIG STT - RMD and CMT modes are well suited to external open root welds as long as the root gaps are controlled and specified pipe alignment dimensions are maintained.. The settings with these weld modes which typically utilize 0.045 wires are similar to the optimum short circuit wire feed rates and voltages provided above for the 0.035 wires.



For five decades engineers in the oil and energy industries gave MIG a bad name, and on many pipe weld applications the reasons were never logical.

 

MANAGERS PLEASE NOTE. WHEN YOU "ROTATE" A STEEL OR ALLOY STEEL PIPE, USING THE 60 YEAR OLD MIG SHORT CIRCUIT MODE, YOU CAN TRAIN IN LESS THAN ONE HOUR, A PERSON WHO HAS NEVER WELDED, TO PRODUCE OPTIMUM ROOT WELDS THAT WILL MEET ANY CODE REQUIREMENTS.


Modified Short Circuit versus Traditional Short Circuit.




Note: The above picture is a a pipe root weld process evaluation. I managed and performed this evaluation for a contract I recieved from Imperial Oil, (Cold Lake Canada project). With this project I evaluated the STT and traditional SC MIG mode for the roots and various flux cored wires for the fill passes. The welds carried out by Imperial Oil Union contract welders.

The STT process is little more than a low parameter PULSED MODE " that transfers low energy weld drops across the root arc gap bridging the root gap. Without electronics you could set a controlled globular made which would fuction but with less control and much more spatter. As short circuits are rare with STT and globular this eliminates wire from driving through the root gap and sticking to the inside pf the pipe. STT was in the above photo used by the welder on the left. The traditional MIG short circuit transfer mode when set correctly (noted by the small amount of spatter), was used by the welder on right.

ED WELDING THE 16 INCH, NATURAL GAS PIPE AT 5 O'CLOCK. WITH A PAIN IN HIS SHOULDER AND NECK. HE WAS WISHING IT WAS
5 O'CLOCK AND TIME FOR THAT DAILY DIET OF A PINT OF GUINESS.

The only problem area I had with all position, external MIG pipe root welds which were made with the traditional MIG short circuit mode and 0.035 wire, was found at the 5 - 7 o'clock root area of the pipe. At this position, during the short circuits occasionaly a piece of the weld wire would go through the root and stick inside the pipe.
The 5 - 7 o'clock pipe positions would also result in root welds with a slight root weld suck back . The bottom line, it's difficult to control the short circuit root weld quality in the over head area. Note:This root area required another short circuit technique which I have now figured out. Both the MIG short circuit and all position gas shielded flux cored process can be used with argon 20-25% CO2 gas, low cost generators with CV adapters or with low cost CV MIG equipment.


MIG and Pipe Root Tacks.


If on your pipe application, the required pipe root dimensions and edge preperation cannot be maintained, the root pass should be made with the SMAW, TIG or TIP TIG.

ROOT TACK LOGIC: F or the a MIG root pipe prep and the short circuit process, use an 0.070 - 0.080 land and a 3 mm root gap. Note for those that normallly use a feathered edge, you are using weld practices associated with the SMAW process which has nothing in common with MIG. The 0.070 - 0.080 land adds base metal to the filler which adds metal to the root reducing root center line cracks and an increased root throat also enables the next fill pass to provide more weld energy. Remember most pipe weld defects are found in the first and second fill pass over the root.

With the short circuit (SC) or the other MIG modes used for the root. Using an 0.035 (1mm) wire, place three or four weld tacks 30 - 40mm in length, then feather the total tack length so the tacks are about 1.8 mm thick. Start the root weld in the center of one tack and finish in the middle of another tack. Then with a grinder blend the two tacks just welded back to 1.8 mm thick. Continue with the same practices.

(1) BENEFIT OF ROOT LAND: If the root pass filler metal is stronger than the base pipe metal, the filler weld dilution with the root land will lower the root weld strength and therefore provide less weld shrinkage stresses. In this situation the root weld ductility will typically increase reducing the potential for hot weld cracking in the root..

(2) BENEFIT OF ROOT LAND: The land on the pipe bevel alows a solid surface for the root weld to attach itself in a uniform manner. The land as mentioned adds to the root depth. This enables a higher energy fill pass to take place without concern for root weld burn through.


When the gas shielded flux cored consumables are selected for the pipe "fill" passes, pipe line welding companies should examine closely the need for costly, complex automated pipe weld units, versus a simple automated, carriage and CV generator for the gas shielded flux cored pipe fill passes.

FOR SMALL PIPE LINE PROJECTS IT PAYS TO KEEP IT SIMPLE AND COST EFFECTIVE:

Take a look at your process and equipment choices. Consider a $130 to $200K, complex, automated, multi-torch, pulsed MIG pipe line weld package, or will a simple to operate mechanized, carriage / track with a CC- CV generator and all position gas shielded flux cored wires for approx. $30,000 do the job as shown on the right?.

The flux cored wires, two simple weld procedures and a low cost generator (with CV mode) with the low cost mechanized carriage package could provide the following benefits;



[a] When manual or automated welding on pipe lines using flux cored wires, one volt / wire feed amp weld setting is all that will be required for the pipe fill passes and one setting for the cap. The weld speed and weld weave width will of course change.

Note: When pipe weld operators use many flux cored or MIG "weld parameter combinations" for multi-pass, pipe fill welds, it's an indication the people who set the equipment are typically not in control of the welding process.

[b] The simplicity of the two simple weld controls (volts - wire feed) used with the flux cored process, allows the manual or automated pipe weld operators "easy control and weld adjustment of the weld process" To optimize this pipe welding process I recommend my MIG - Flux Cored weld process control books and CD resources

[c] The flux cored process provides greater weld fusion than any pulsed MIG mode, it will also provide less porosity potential and require less welding skills. The down side is the slag removal, the upside is with a good wire and the correct parameters the slag should remove easy.

[d] For the Flux Cored pipe fill passes, a simple low cost mechanized carriage attached to the track that straddles the pipe would sell for $10K $20K. The weld carriage should have the weld controls necessary for weld height adjustmant, weld speed and weld weave controls. The weld gun or two weld guns operating weither side of the pipe (depositing 20 lb/hr) would be hooked up to a traditional, field wire feeders that would be attached to CC / CV generators.

FOR ALMOST 40 YEARS FLUX CORED HAS BEEN A WINNER, IT'S JUST THAT MANY IN THE WELDING INDUSTRY FAILED AND STILL TODAY, FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THE FLUX CORED PROCESS POTENTIAL...


The use of gas flux cored wires for all position pipe fill passes, will in contrast to any MIG weld transfer mode, be simpler to use, easier to operate, require less sophisticated costly equipment and produce higher weld deposition rates (lower weld costs) with superior side wall fusion.

Note: If optimum flux cored consumables are selected and the flux cored weld data is correctly applied, as the following photo indicates, all the welds will be made with one set of weld parameters with changes only for the weave data. If the weld data is correct the pipe weld slag should fall off almost without assistance.

 





When Ed makes Flux Cored Pipe welds the flux peels off.

 


If welding the pipe line root weld on the "inside" of the pipe, the traditional low cost, CV, MIG equipment or a CV adapter on a CC generator may be used with a MIG wire using;

[1] a high short circuit setting,
[2] a controlled low globular setting,
[3] a low spray transfer setting with less than normal spray transfer weld volts.

Note: For 1 to 3, the 0.035 (1 mm) E70S-3 wire with argon 15 to 25% CO2, will provide the greatest control in open root pass welds. Use Ed's MIG process control resouces for optimum data




Ed's "Clock Method" process control - best practices simplifies MIG and Flux Cored process control training. With this Nat Gas pipe, in less than one hour, Ed taught 11 year old Jessie how to optimize the MIG weld settings and produce a code quality root welds..

 

1999: The following statement is one many highly skilled SMAW pipe line welders will not want to hear, however like it or not, it's weld reality and different processes when understood enable different weld opportunities. Using the available MIG weld transfer modes for a pipe root, a none-welding individual who is drug free, has good vision, good dexterity and the "right attitude" can be trained in no more than a day to weld an all position pipe root welds that will meet any pipe code weld requirement.

I would also like welders, technicians and engineers to be aware that any professional weld decision maker is much more than the sum of his skills. A good weld professional will combine their skills with weld process controls and best practices knowledge and can apply that expertise to any of the common weld processes and consumables used throughout the global welding industry..

 

Lincoln Invertec STT. Featuring the Surface Tension Transfer (STT) Process

The STT II power source, combines high frequency inverter technology that produces low pulsed MIG parameters suited to welding a gap. This process provides no real world weld benefits to most other common steel applications making this power source a costly, piece of equipment to have sitting on the floor of a weld shop.

2006: Note: Once competitive MIG power source manufactures wake up, they will develop similar pulsed arc characteristics / parameters to STT from the available pulsed weld technology and create a pulsed program suited to pipe root welds.

If you are using the STT for a root weld. You typically providel a root gap of 1/16 to 3/16. Note 3/32 to 1/8 is optimum. I would recommend 1.6 . 1.8 mm land. Remember the land adds metal to the root increasing the root weld depth and often reducing root cracking potential.

STT PIPE ROOT.
THE PULSED PARAMETERS:
With that 0.045 (1.2 mm), E70S-3 wire and argon 10 to 20% CO2, set the STT parameters in the following approx. range.

Pulsed Peak 320 - 360 amps, (Opt Start 325A)
Pulsed Back Ground. 40 - 60 amps, (Opt Start 45A)
Pulsed Wire Feed 110 - 160 ipm. Opt start 120 - 140 IPM. (same as short circuit with 045 wire)

Note: The optimum wire feed and average modified STT current for the pipe root is also the same as the optimum short circuit wire feed range and weld current for the same application. To anyone who understands the relationship between gaps, weld current and wire feed rates, no surprise there.




2004: You highly skiller SMAW pipe welders, rather than resist the inevitable cost effective process changes for pipe line welds, I would recommend you reach out and embrace the manual / automated modified pulsed / short circuit transfer modes along with the flux cored process and strive to become expert "manual or automated pipe line weld technicians".


E-Mail. Feb 2004. Mr. Ed Craig:

I have been welding for ten years but have never, like you say,really known or understood the optimum MIG or Flux Cored weld parameter settings. What would be the optimum manual flux cored weld parameter settings using .035 wire welding 6" schedule 180 pipe in the 6G position on carbon steel? I have never welded with FCAW to make a root weld in a pipe. I need to take a test on Monday and sure could use this information. I think your book " Gas Metal Arc and Flux Cored Welding Parameters " is the book I need to have and do plan to buy it. Thanks for your help and Ed thanks for your website.

Sincerely,
Larry Fritsche


Ed's reply. I must get two letters or phone calls like this every week. Two days before the welder takes a test he suddenly realizes he will not know where to set the optimum MIG or flux cored weld parameters for his critical pipe or fabrication weld test. It seems to be a common theme the southern states that when the welders take a pipe or tank weld test, the process ignorant supervisors and engineers may demand that the welders use flux cored for the pipe root welds.

For those process ignorant individuals who are making welders lifes impossible. you do not use flux cored for the root welds. and if you want to know why read the following book.



I WOULD ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO MAKES A LIVING OUT OF MIG OR FLUX CORED WELDING TO INVEST IN A PROCESS CONTROL CDs and BOOKS SO THEY CAN INVEST IN THEMSELVES.


For those of you that feel you have mastered the single wire MIG process, try this fundamental MIG Test?. If you use flux cored, try this Flux Cored Tests. Those that truly understand the weld processes they work with would have no trouble setting this 8 wires pipe application, running these four Fronius twin wire units that provide an average weld deposition rate of 55 - 65 lbs/hr. For those that want to improve their process expertise, I would recommend my self teaching MIG manual or automated weld process control resources .

 



Weld process rationalization and weld process controls have to be the responsibility of "qualified managers and engineers".

It's not uncommon in the pipe and fabrication industry to find the following:

[1] Managers who believe they can optimize their welds by placing engineers in control who have no practical weld process control experiences with the MIG or flux cored process and equipment utilized.

[2] Managers who stay behind glass walls, resist change and adopt a "hands off management approach" to weld quality production and cost issues.

[3] Managers engineers and weld decision makers who let welders or maintenance personnel make "unqualified" weld process decisions.

[4] Managers who are often rely on or are influenced by "weld marketing and weld salesmanship".

[5] Managers who do not taken advantage of the weld processes and consumables that actually provide real weld quality and cost benefits.

[6] Managers who believe that a discussion on weld costs means talking about reducing the cost of the MIG wire or gas.

 

 

 

 






HOW LONG SHOULD IT TAKE FOR AN INDUSTRY TO
DEVELOP BEST WELD PRACTICES?

IT WAS DURING 1950. THE LOCATION 30 MILES NORTH OF HOUSTON TEXAS. WHILE PIPE WELDING USING HIS 6010 ELECTRODES, RIP VAN SMITH, A 40 YEAR OLD, EXPERIENCED PIPE WELDER DECIDED TO HAVE A NAP IN THE 48 INCH PIPE. WHILE RIP SLEPT THE PIPE WAS SEALED.



Like many Texans, RIP had amazing powers and fifty years later RIP woke up from his oil immersed deep sleep. The unique chemicals inside the pipe had put RIP into a deep coma and not allowed RIP to age. After crawling along the pipe for a 100 miles, RIP found a maintenance access hole. RIP crawled out of the hole and his first stop was Buba'sBarbecue Bar where he purchased a Barbecue triple Burger, extra bacon and washed it down two cases of water whin in reality was Bud Weiser.

After a short nap and a long bath, RIP decided to apply for a pipe line welder position on a new, natural gas pipeline that was running straight through the primary school in the center of down town Houston. Wearing a new Harley tee shirt, recently stained with Buba's famous barercue sauce RIP took his newly aquired Cadilac out to the pipe site office.

As a fellow Texan, the pipe site weld supervisor was impressed with RIP as he pulled out his brand new leather gloves and shield. With the aid of his new 10 inch bowie knife, RIP with a single strike then pierced opened the metal lid container of the E6010 electrodes.

RIP smiled as he held the electrode under his nose and sniffed the sweet smell of his next pay check. With a flick of his wrist he inserted the electrode into the holder and his heart never missed a beat as he commenced to produce a great vertical down welds on the 24 inch pipe.

RIP quickly completed the pipe test and the pleased supervisor hired him on the spot. That night in celebration, RIP made mad passionate love to Mary Lou Ellen, a waitress he met at Bubba's. Being a Texan RIP made mad passionate love that lasted eight hours, as Mary Lou lay in a state of exhaustion, RIP leaned back on the pillow, lit a long Cuban cigar and said out loud "life don't get better than this"

The moral of this story I wrote in the 1990s is change does not come easy in the weld industry, and there are few industries that today complete it's fundamental manufacturing tasks the same way they did 50 years ago? I hope the present day managers, welders, technicians and engineers in the pipe and pressure vessel industry will be more open minded to the practical, cost effective weld process changes that can improve both their weld quality and productivity. For gods sake visit www.tiptigusa.com



WHILE RARELY INTERESTED IN BEST WELD PRACTICES - PROCESS CONTROLS, THE WELD INDUSTRY LOVES IT'S "WELD CODES" AND EMPLOYING PERSONNEL WHO CAN FIND RATHER THAN PREVENT WELD DEFECTS.

 


Weld decision makers often look to weld codes to provide practical, pipe welding advice and recommendations. The weld reality is the weld sections of many weld codes have been written by weld code committee individuals who's strength may not be in the weld processes under discussion.


Some of the major weld code committees in North America are likely to have individuals that are more interested in marketing their companies weld products than they are in writing meaningful, logical weld spec data. Other committee members would benefit if they spent a little more time behind a welding shield before they make their flux cored or MIG weld comments.



50 YEARS AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF THE "MIG PROCESS", AND 30 YEARS AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF FLUX CORED ELECTRODES, THE NEWLY REVISED 03/2001 "AP1 CODE 582" STATES THE FOLLOWING ABOUT MIG AND FCAW PIPE WELDING.

API. 5.2.3 Pulsed Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW-P. The pulsed process may be used for any material thickness. Commentary: Whenever the welding system is changed or the settings on existing equipment are "significantly altered", the fabricator should verify weld properties. The extent of verification or testing should be as agreed between the purchaser and fabricator.


PULSED MIG AND WELD PARAMETER REALITY.

In contrast to the traditional, simple, two weld parameter MIG or flux cored weld processes, there are many weld parameter essential variables that can be readily changed with the pulsed mode. The API code warns against a "significant change" in a pulsed weld settings. What is "significant" weld parameter change?


Keep in mind that at best the pulsed process will only provide marginal weld fusion on vertical up welds on part thickness >6 mm. From my weld process perspective, "a minor pulsed parameter change" can have a significant impact on side wall weld fusion. It's an ironic fact that few weld decision makers or welders understand the influence of the pulsed variables, wall thickness and weld fusion potential.





In that MIG and flux cored weld shop or out on that pipe line, you will find the majority of weld personnel do not fully understand the influence or the relationship of the pulsed MIG wire feed rate, the weld speed, voltage, the pulsed frequency, the peak and back ground current on the MIG arc plasma and resulting weld fusion potential.

With all these pulsed variables in a pipe shop who in the shop is going to determine what a significant weld parameter change is?

 


While on the subject of pulsed, most codes do not address "mechanized versus manual" pulsed and traditional MIG weld inconsistencies".

When a code stipulates that a fusion sensitive weld process like pulsed MIG is OK for any pipe thickness, the code is sending the message that this process is recommended for both "manual and mechanized" welds.

Controlled weld speeds, fixed arc length and a controlled mechanized weld weave have a lot to do with the success of MIG weld using any mode of weld transfer. However you can be sure the traditional "manual weld weave inconsistency" would make the pulsed process a poor choice for pipe fill welds in contrast to the superior weld fusion, gas shielded all position flux cored electrodes.



ANOTHER SECTION OF THE CODE.

API. 5.2.2 Short Circuiting Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW-S).

The use of GMAW-S shall be limited to the following conditions:

a]. The short circuit process shall not be used for branch connections or socket welds.

(What if there is a good size root to fill in?)

b]. For vertical welding, the root pass and second pass progression for a material of any thickness may be either uphill or "downhill".

(Have you tried uphill with short circuit?, if so you would not recommend it.)

c]. The fill and cap pass for butt or fillet welds may be welded With this process provided the thickness of any member does not exceed 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) and vertical welding is performed with uphill progression.

(Any short circuit welds made uphill on parts over 3/16 >5 mm are sure to end up with inconsistent weld fusion)

d]. What about the weld gas? The API code does not spell out the MIG gas mix that must be used with the short circuit process or pulsed on pipe welds. Use short circuit with argon <10% CO2 and you can weld in any position and almost guarantee lack of fusion on any parts > 1/8 (>3 mm), (none gap welds).

e]. Why is it that the API code will stipulate where a process can be used but will not stipulate a simple thing like weld parameter limitations for that consumable or process?

(Is it possible the code committee are not aware of this data)?

Finally the API code makes no mention of the higher energy MIG globular or spray transfer modes, does that mean they can or cannot be used. Spray transfer can be an excellent method for a rotated hot fill pipe pass and globular is great for ID roots or hot pass welds.

To repeat an important point .

IF A CODE DOES NOT OR CANNOT PROVIDE THE COMPLETE, FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENTS OF A WELD PROCESS RECOMMENDATION, THE WELD REALITY IS THAT CODE SHOULD PROVIDE NO WELD RECOMMENDATIONS OR WELD RESTRICTIONS.

WELD CODES SHOULD PRIMARILY BE CONCERNED THAT WELDS ARE CORRECTLY PRE-QUALIFIED AND CONCERNED WITH THE "CONDITION OF THE FINISHED WELD PRODUCT".

2007: I REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PIPE AND PRESSURE VESSEL WELD CODES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS. MY POINT IS HOPEFULLY THAT THE NEXT GENERATION OF WELD CODE / SPEC REVISIONISTS WILL SEE THAT THEIR MIG AND FLUX CORED WELD DATA RECOMMENDATIONS DOES NOT GENERATE THE PROCESS CONFUSION THAT THEIR PREDECESSORS HAVE GENERATED.

 

LIKE SOME INFO ON HOW TO PREVENT ARC BLOW?

 


Question:

Flux Cored Pipe Weld.

Ed here in Canada we are welding a 4 in. A335-P22 pipe to A234-WP22 pipe. We are using a E-91T1-B2 0.045 in. dia. Gas-shielded, flux-cored wire with a 75 Ar - 25 CO2 gas mix. We preheat the pipes to 400° F and do not exceed 550° F for the inter-pass weld temperature. The flux-cored weld current range is from 150 - 225 A. Voltage ranges from 24-29. The supervisor says all his welders have experienced massive worm tracks in the center of the weld bead usually on the cap pass. Yet it doesn't happen on every weld. I told the supervisor to reduce the weld voltage and this seemed to fix the problems. Could you explain why?

Ed's Answer:The worm tracks which are accumulated porosity, typically appear in an irregular line on the weld surface. The tracks result from moisture in the electrode wire flux. This is a common problem especially with flux-cored electrodes purchased at bargain prices from wire manufacturers that simply don't give a dam.

However even with quality flux cored consumables the moisture can get into the wire flux due to inadequate weld wire storage or from no protection for the wire when it's out in the shop.Take note of the flux-cored wire manufacturers storage and baking recommendations.

The reason you see the common worm track weld problem in the pipe weld cap pass, is that this weld pass is typically the one with the least weld depth and therefore, has the fastest weld freeze, providing the opportunity for trapping porosity.

Using a slightly longer wire stick out will preheat the weld wire and this sometimes helps. I suggest you use the highest possible weld current, slow down weld travel rate, and increase the weld depth. Turning down the voltage, which is reducing weld energy, is not likely to help unless you end up with a more convex weld — a weld with increased weld depth.

 

 


IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR RESOURCES THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO INSTANTLY SET THE WIRE FEED AND VOLTAGE CONTROLS FOR ANY GAS SHIELDED FLUX CORED WELD CLICK HERE.

Question: FLUX CORE WIRE SIZES:

Ed we will be welding various diameter stainless / steel pipes in all weld positions, some welders like 1/16 and other welders like 0.052, apart from welder preference is there a logical approach to the selection of an optimum wire diameter.

Ed's Answer. Current compatibility with the part thickness and the weld deposition rate attained is what drives the selection of the correct size weld consumable. For pipes with a wall thickness < 1/2, without question the 0.045 1.2 mm gas shielded, all position flux cored wire welding in the 140 to 220 amp range 24 - 26 volts provides welders with the greatest control of the weld puddle particularly in the overhead position. For pipes with wall thickness > 1/2 and diameter consider the 0.052 but keep in mind the 0.045 is always easier to use.

Question: FLUX CORED DRIVE ROLL GROOVES:

Ed I believe you need different guide rolls for different MIG wire and flux cored types, what's recommended?
JH. Manchester UK

 



 

Ed's Answer:

[] For solid hard MIG wires use a vee groove built for the wire OD.

[] For flux core wires use a vee groove with at least on roll providing a knurled surface to improve the grip. Watch you do not apply too much drive roll pressure to these wires.

[] For aluminum MIG wires a U groove with smooth surface again don use excess drive roll pressure. With aluminum ensure minimum gaps between the inlet, drive rolls and outlet guides to avoid buckling. If using a regular MIG gun use a hard plastic liner and a maximum gun length of 10 feet.


Question. FLUX CORED TECHNIQUE:

Ed, when welding fillet welds with the E70T-1 gas shielded wires > 1/16 (>1.6MM) do we push or pull the gun?

Answer. If using the <1/16 (<1.6 mm) wires and welding fillet welds you can push or pull, however I would use back hand for all fillet welds with all flux cored weld wire sizes.

 

 




THE SELECTION OF FLUX CORED WIRE TYPE:

In many weld shops the first choice FCAW consumable is the "all position E71T-1 wire. This is not the best choice if many of your welds on steels > 7 mm are made in the flat and horizontal weld positions. In contrast the 1/16, E70T-1 basic slag wires, provide a more stable higher weld parameter range, a superior weld surface, have more deoxidizers, have a thicker, slower freeze weld slag that typically results in superior weld surface, rather than the irregular pock marked weld surface from the E71T-1 wires. The E71 wires are ideally suited to vertical / horizontal welds, and that's the place to use them.

Note: Unlike MIG wires which have subtle differences in arc characteristics and weld pool dynamics, you will find a tremendous weld performance difference with flux cored products from the different flux cored wire manufacturers.

Note: For those of you who are using metal cored wires on your steel applications, please note they offer no real world weld benefits for the applications in your shop.

 

LARGE FLUX CORED WELDS, AND THOSE WELD CRACKS

Ed my company welds with 3/32, E70T-1 gas shielded flux cored wires. The manual welds are single pass fillet welds from 3/8 to one inch. The welds are made on parts in which many welds are concentrated in a small area. The welds are made in positioners and made in the flat weld positions. The typical flux cored weld parameters are 400 to 500 amps and 30 to 32 volts. The carbon steel parts we weld vary from 6 to 50 mm and are used in heavy duty construction equipment. The parts are subject to excessive variables loads. In the past month we have had extensive field weld cracks. The cracks are typically in the weld's heat affected zones. Is this low hydrogen cracking?

Hydrogen may have an influence however the weld procedures used are likely the real root cause. With many weld shops managers there is a common point of view that when it comes to welds "bigger is better"

Large, > 5/16 "single pass" fillet welds require "slow manual weld speeds" of 4 to 8 ipm is typical and 3/32 wires will use weld current up to 500 amps with 30 volts. These parameters can result in abnormal weld heat build up in theparts welded. The high weld heat can be further influenced by possible lack of interpass temperature controls. Excess weld heat can cause excess grain elongation in the parts heat affected zones and welds, weakening the load bearing ability of the steel.


 



HOW MUCH WELD HEAT IS ENOUGH?

(joules = volts x amps x 60 divide by weld travel speed)

Compare the weld joules heat input generated by the flux cored wires and controlled MIG and flux cored welds.

Typical MIG and flux cored welds should be made with a weld joules input of approx. 20.000 to 40.000 joules per inch.

When single weld passes larger than 5/16 are made with large consumables requiring high weld current, the resulting weld joules per-inch can be in the 100.000 to 200.000 range. When more than 60.000 joules per inch are attained in a weld, apart from a potential reduction in the steels mechanical properties, the wire chemistry and weld mechanical properties can also be negatively influenced by excess weld heat which can result in vaporization / reduction of critical weld alloys.


FOR MOST MIG AND FLUX CORED APPLICATIONS. IT'S LOGICAL
TO LIMIT THE SIZE OF THE HORIZONTAL SINGLE PASS
MIG AND FLUX FILLET WELD, TO 5/16, 8mm.


Use logical size weld consumables that enable lower weld current with good weld deposition rates . Most important is remember weld speed are limited by the the size of the fillet welds, this is key in dramatically reducing weld heat input.

For flat and horizontal fillet welds on steels with mill scale, the world's most effective flux cored weld consumable size is the 1/16 - 1.6 mm, type E70T-1. With this wire and a single pass limit of 5/16 , the weld operator would weld with approx. 320 to 380 amps, (average 14 lb/hr) x 28 volts x 60 at an average weld speed of around 12 ipm resulting in approx. 50.000 joules per inch. For those concerned with weld production, remember the smaller weld wires and welds enable greater weld control and approx. two hundred percent faster weld speeds than that attained with the 3/32 wires. Also smaller weld sizes and multi-pass welds offer the unique benefits of weld temper beads. Typically the multipass welds when made in weld heat controlled conditions will provide a stress relieve and beneficial grain refinement.

LOGICAL INTERPASS TEMPERATURE WELD CONTROLS?

On any steel structure subject to excess weld heat a little welding common sense goes a long way. Interpass temp controls are necessary to control the weld heat build up in both the welds and parts. I would recommend for the low carbon steels that require multi-weld passes a max. interpass temperature of 350 to 400F. The weld temperature should be taken within one inch from the weld edge.



WELD BENEFITS FROM 1/6 (1.6mm) FCAW WIRES:

In contrast to the 3/32 wires:

[A] The 1/16 flux cored wire enables both the push (forehand) and back hand techniques allowing for superior weld control. In contrast the 3/32 wire allows only the back hand technique which is required to stop the fluid weld puddle passing the weld wire.

[B] The 1/16 wire can provide high deposition welds with the benefit of lower weld current, something that benefits both the welders and parts.

[C] The 1/16 wire provides superior control of the weld puddle which is especially important to 5/16 "horizontal" fillet welds.

[D] The 1/16 wire provides flexibility for the variable steel thickness sizes > 6 mm found throughout the plant.

[E] The 1/16 wire reduces weld smoke, weld undercut and weld spatter potential.

 

 



See the incredible accident with the world's
largest welded machine in part 2 of this section.



Visit most global ship yards and you will see that the most common MIG power source is an Inverter, yet these over priced power sources are the worst possible MIG weld equipment choices for welding flux cored welds on any type of sea going naval vessels. The reasons are in Ed's flux cored welding training resources.

 

All position Structural Plate
and Pipe Welding Data.

 

See how you do with the
E71T-1 flux cored weld test.


[] The root cause of flux cored weld porosity and worm tracks.
[] The root cause of flux cored cracks.
[] Repairig armour plate with flux cored.
[] Best way to test flux cored wires and much more, visit
flux cored, part 2.


 


Email Ed Craig at ecraig@weldreality.com   -  Phone Eastern Time. USA.