Welding has become increasingly prevalent in a variety of industries and applications in recent decades, including underwater welding. Over 40,000 underwater welders employed worldwide in 2020; and in that same year, an average salary of 109,000 U. S.
dollar paid to them. If you’re curious about what type of welding is used under the sea and why welding is necessary for certain projects?
Here is the complete guide about different techniques used in underwater welding.
What type of welding is used underwater?Underwater welding is an incredibly challenging type of welding and often involves deploying specialized apparatus for the task. Usually, underwater welding technicians use a process known as wet welding.
This process utilizes a consumable electrode, shaped like a tube or a cigar, that produces an arc underwater. The biggest benefit of wet welding is that it produces a consistent, even weld in areas that can become volatile underwater.
AdvantagesThe main advantage of wet welding versus other underwater welding processes is the low risk of sparks or fire. Wet welding produces minimal sparks and reduces the risk of a fire underwater. All of the arcs come with a “shielded”, which is a heavy material that is placed over the weld during the welding process to help prevent sparks.
Underwater welding techniquesUnderwater welding techniques usually involves the use of high-voltage electrical equipment that may cause electric shocks and other hazards. In order to ensure safety, underwater welders must be properly trained and certified in the specific welding process that they are using.
There are two main underwater welding techniques – in-water welding and remote welding.
In-water weldingIn-water welding is the traditional method of underwater welding – which uses the consumable electrodes mentioned earlier.
The electrodes are held in the underwater welders hand and the electric arc is created by striking the electrode against the metal surface. Once the welding arc is established, the welder feeds the electrode through the metal, creating a series of small welds.
Remote weldingRemote welding is a newer underwater welding technique and uses a metal-filled chamber to house the welding job.
The metal chamber is filled with a mixture of inert gas and the weld is made through a remote arc. In this process, the welder controls the welding machine from outside of the metal chamber and the welding job is completed within the chamber. While this technique is safer than in-water welding, it is more expensive and takes more time.