Engineering News Stainless Steel Feature
Air Products, Weldamax and Bohler geared towards complete stainless steel applications solution
8 October 2018– When you refer to arc welding, metal inert gas (MIG), metal active gas (MAG), tungsten inert gas (TIG), plasma cutting, welding gases, abrasives, and consumables, there are companies who have formed strong relationships over the years to provide a total solution to customers. Air Products and Weldamax, attributes a lot of their success in the welding market to this longstanding business relationship. Customers in the welding market are able to obtain the machines, technical support, consumables and gas through Weldamax’s Unique Welding Alloys’ 14 branches and this shortened supply chain enables increased efficiency when it comes to service delivery.
Weldamax, a leading supplier of quality, value-for-money branding welding products, prides itself in the quality of their innovative products and specialised services they provide.They are extremely confident in their offering to customers as they are able to provide a total welding solution, which included the supply of plasma cutting machines, quality joining wires and consumables, Air Products gases and Bohler Avesta pickling and passivating pastes for various stainless steel applications. Thus, the service offering covers the full process of cutting, joining and cleaning of stainless steel metals.
Plasma cutting are the most popular means of cutting stainless steel. Weldamax introduced a new range of Thermamax plasma cutters that covers the full spectrum of stainless steel metal thickness. The company prides itself in its machine back-up service which includes fully-kitted machine repair services in the major cities. (insert pic of plasma cutter)
Besides an experienced welder, quality welding requires a quality equipment, gas and consumables. The Thermamax AWS type 308L and 316L welding consumables with a controlled weld metal ferrite content are designed to produce first class welds with reliable CVN impact toughness and lateral expansion at cryogenic temperatures. Despite the lower ferrite content, hot cracking resistance is good, also in the case of thick-walled constructions. Some manufacturers will produce stainless electrodes and wires with alloying content such as molybdenum, chromium and nickel at the low end of the specification to reduce costs. This reduces corrosion resistance. Thermamax products do not compromise on quality.
The flexible and productive way to join stainless steel is through the use of Böhler Welding flux-cored wires as it offers a productive and versatile alternative. The range consists of all-positional types with fast-freezing slag enabling superior deposition rates anddown handtypes with slow-freezing slag optimized for flat and horizontal PA (1G/1F), PB (2F) welding with a high travel speed.
The rutile slag system gives an excellent bead appearance – while the slag is easily removed.
All wires fulfill both the EN ISO and AWS codes choosing the most stringent requirements. As an example, the AWS A5.22 code allows 2.0 – 3.0 wt.% Mo in 316L wires, while the EN ISO 17633-A code is stricter with 2.5 – 3.0 wt.% Mo. Molybdenum is an expensive alloying element, but it also increases the corrosion resistance of the weld metal.
As a leader in the manufacturing, supply and distribution of industrial and specialty gas in the Southern African region, Air Products suppliers a number of gases used for stainless steel applications such as argon, helium and carbon dioxide. Both Weldamax and Air Products are familiar with stainless steel applications, used in industries such as refineries, power generation, automotive, catering and healthcare.
There are a number of gases used in welding application. The first, argon, is chemically inert to all known elements, is ideal for Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding. It ensures absolute precision when welding stainless steel, which invariably enhances operational efficiency in all stainless steel applications. The benefit of Air Products’ Argon is that the product allows for excellent arc ignition at low voltage (15.5 Volts), to create a stable arc.
Air Products adds helium or hydrogen to argon for austenitic stainless steels production and the speeds have been known to reach up to 30% more over argon.The high thermal conductivity of hydrogen also enhances the cleaning effect, as it is a reducing gas. Mixtures containing hydrogen should only be used on austenitic stainless steels. Helium on the other hand is a preferred gas enhancer for ferritic stainless steels.
Argon is a key element in MIG welding and MAG welding. Its focused arc column is not user friendly for MAG welding on its own, as it causes undercutting and poor fusion. However, oxygen or carbon dioxide are added to profile and shape the weld and ensuring precision and quality.
Carbon dioxide is added to the welding process as it is slightly oxidizing, providing increased heat in the arc through disassociation. The available heat increases penetration, adding width to the weld, improving side wall fusion. The Air Products’ Coogar Gas mixtures are precisely blended from carbon dioxide, oxygen and argon to provide a very smooth welding arc for stainless steel applications and high deposition semi-automatic welding processes and mechanized robotic welding.
Whilst technical performance is important, the gas supply solution is equally important. Weldamax in partnership with Air Products, is able to supply the gases from small to large application thus being able to grow the supply arrangement as the customer grows.Supply ranges from single cylinder supply to manifold packs, to mini bulk (CryoEase) and finally bulk installations (supplied directly by AP). This growing-line supply solution separates the Weldamax/Air Products offer from other suppliers. (insert pic of AP gas supply options)
Weldamax, in partnership with Bohler, has introduced a new range of pickling and passivating pastes for stainless steel application. The Thermamax Avesta range of products are manufactured by Bohler in Sweden, a country renowned for its passion for safety and environmental protection. The patented Avesta pickling paste contains an organic binding agent that reduces acid fumes by up to 80%.Nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid, normal components of pickling pastes are extremely hazardous especially in gaseous form and hence the reduced fume emission of the Thermamax Avesta products will significantly improve worker health and safety. Thermamax AvestaBlueOne™ Pickling Paste 130 restores damaged stainless steel surfaces such as weld seams, by removing weld oxides, the underlying chromium-depleted layer and other defects that may cause local corrosion. The improved pickling result, offers a brighter surface with less discolouration than classic products. Higher yield, decreased consumption, thanks to the visible blue colour and its free-flowing consistency which facilitates application.(insert pic of graph of pickling fumes)
The Thermamax Avesta FinishOne Passivator 630 produced by Bohler Sweden, is a unique acid-free hydrogen peroxide based chemical.It restores the passivation layer on stainless steel surfaces that have been damaged during fabrication such as grinding, brushing, blasting etc or usage. It improves the result after pickling by speeding up the passivation Process whilst diminishing the risk of discoloured surfaces caused by flash clouds or free iron (smut) when used wet-on-wet. It reduces the formation of toxic nitric fumes during rinsing afterPickling and prevents water staining caused by poor rinse water. Handling is much easier as the product is classified as non-dangerous and creates no hazardous waste. These truly Unique products distinguishes the Thermamax products in the stainless steel fabrication process.
According to Air Products’ Distributor Business Manager, Jörg Scholz, Air Products is constantly exploring new ways to apply their range of industrial gasses in a variety of applications and industries. Scholz further comments: “We are conducting market research on a continuous basis to ensure that we are able to supply according to the market’s demands. We work closely with Weldamax to ensure that we remain in a position to form a part of the total customer solution”.
Nazmi Adams, Weldamax CEO, concludes on the relationship with Air Products: “There are a number of similarities between the Weldamax and Air Products’ business models, such as placing customer service at the forefront of what we do, product innovation and our national footprints. These aspects make superior service delivery a reality.