Welding is an essential skill of any kind of industrial and engineering process, and it is particularly important in the world of pipelines. Welding is responsible for joining millions of kilometres of pipelines all around the globe. In fact, an estimated
5 million miles of pipeline are being used around the world! Each of these pipelines are held together by welding – but what kind of welding is actually used on pipelines?
This article will answer this question and more. Read on to find out more about the fascinating world of pipeline welding.
What Kind of Welding Is Used On Pipelines?Welding is one of the most common and efficient methods for joining two pieces of metal. The welding process used on pipelines comes in different forms, depending on the type of material the pipeline is made from, the application, and the desired welding process.
In this article, we will discuss the different welding processes used on pipelines.
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)Gas Metal Arc Welding (also called Metal Inert Gas, or MIG) is a welding process that uses a non-consumable electrode, typically made of copper, to create an arc between the base metal and the welding wire.
This arc melts the wire and base metal together, forming the weld joint. GMAW is one of the most common welding processes on pipelines, as it is fast and cost-effective.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (also called TIG) is another welding process used on pipelines.
Similar to GMAW, it also uses a non-consumable electrode, but it is made of tungsten. GTAW is used for joining thin materials and for welding stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and nickel alloys.
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)Shielded Metal Arc Welding (also called Stick welding) is a welding process that involves using a stick electrode to create an arc between the base metal and the electrode. The stick electrode is coated in flux and produces an electric arc that melts the metal to form a weld joint. Shielded Metal Arc Welding is used on some kinds of pipelines, but not as frequently as GMAW and GTAW.
Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) is similar to GMAW, but it uses a wire that contains a flux core in the center. This type of wire does not require the use of an external shielding gas, as it produces its own shielding from the flux core.
FCAW is mostly used for welding thicker materials or for welding in outdoor environments where windy conditions may affect the quality of the weld joint.